March Madness: From North Yorkshire to the Northern Lights

‘We wander for distraction but we travel for fulfilment’ – Hilaire Belloc

It’s felt a long time since we last had any time off work. Apart from a few days off between Christmas and New Year we haven’t been away since last September. So when 6th March came around this year, the 2 and a bit weeks I had booked off couldn’t have come quick enough!

My 2 weeks of freedom began with a girls weekend away to Barmston, North Yorkshire and the cosy Sea View Cottage which became home for 3 champagne filled nights. Steph, Ang and I arrived about 4pm on the Friday afternoon and met Helena who’d driven from Manchester and we settled in, drinking copious about of tea, coffee, wine, prosecco, and cooking up a Mexican feast

Saturday we ventured into Bridlington, not a great deal to see or do and felt like we’d gone back into some kind of time warp (if you’ve ever lived near Blyth in Northumberland you’ll understand!) we had fun wandering around the tacky shops and seeing the seafront though. Saturday night and Sunday we were much less adventurous and apart from popping out for an hour to a local pub for Sunday Lunch we made full use of the cottage facilities (mainly the hot tub) and the mountains of food and drink we’d brought down.

Highlight of the weekend was the two trips down to the beach armed with bottles of bubbles to mess around like fancy hobos, much to the annoyance of some fishermen as I suspect our raucous behaviour was scaring off their potential catches – oops!

I was back home for all of 18 hours when it was time get pack up again and head off to Iceland with the hubby. We drove up to Edinburgh and everything took off on time. Sadly it was rather an ‘adventurous’ flight to say the least and we ended up diverted to another airport on the Eastern side of the country as weather conditions were too bad to land in Keflavik. We sat on the tarmac there for a while and then a very tumultuous flight across the country ensued. I’m not a religious person but i was praying to anyone who would listen that the plane would make it out the sky safely and through all the horrific turbulence. A further 2 hours were spent sitting on the tarmac at Keflavik as it was too windy to open the doors. We made it eventually and managed to get to our hotel in Reykjavik safely, only 8 hours late!

Iceland was apparently experiencing the worst winter they’ve had in 30 years, which made driving around in our little VW Golf fun! We did some exploring in Reykjavik, drove down to the Blue Lagoon hot springs and saw the Waterfalls and geyser at Gullfoss. We left Reykjavik for a few nights and stayed in Vik in the hope that being somewhere more remote with less light pollution would enable us to see the Northern Lights. Sadly with weather conditions so bad it was too cloudy, they weren’t playing out any of the nights we were there!

Highlight of the trip was definitely renting some snowmobiles and going on a tour across Myrdalsjokull Glacier, We both got chance to drive and once i’d distinguished the difference between my left and right, I was away! Views from the top of the glacier were stunning and the tour guide really knowledgeable and funny.

It was a different type of holiday we usually go on (we’re normally sun chasers) but i would highly recommend going. We were very unfortunate with the weather, which made driving conditions very uneasy; the shine is taken off your holiday somewhat when you’re constantly fearing for your safety! But there’s loads to see and do if you have the transport (or the money to pay for excursions). It’s not cheap,a pint of beer is about a fiver but we saved money by buying lunch in local supermarkets and wine from the off licences to have a few drinks in our room before going out for dinner.

It’s a real shame we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights but i think the weather was so bad that even if we’d booked a tour it would have been a waste of money, being on a tour doesn’t guarantee you’ll see them sadly!

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