Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Shocking bodies

A while back I posted that I'd removed the bar from my belly button piercing. This resulted in some shocked reactions from people who didn't realise I had a piercing.
So I was wondering what bodily secrets do you have that people couldn't guess from looking at you? I'm only really talking about piercings or tattoos those things that some people think of as taboo. If so why did you do it and are you still happy with the decision you made?
My belly button piercing is the only thing I have to reveal and I've removed it. Not too much of a rebel.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Iceland II 2011

We were up early the next morning and set off north. We went to Akureyri  which is Iceland’s second city. It was about 5 hours drive away (just shy of 400km) the weather was incredibly rainy on the drive and got a bit snowy in patches but nothing too serious. We went through their new tunnel which reduces the journey quite considerably, the tunnel is quite amazing, incredibly long with a big hill in it, to the extent that it has a crawler lane and corners – not sure what went wrong in the planning that they ended up with corners in a tunnel! 

Once we hit Akureyri we kept going to Lake Myvatn stopping by a waterfall (Godafoss) on the way past. I’d really recommend a visit to Lake Myvatn this might have been our favourite day although I loved every single day it is really hard to chose. 

We saw the pseudo craters, a park of natural lava sculptures and the bubbling mud and steam vents – can’t remember what this place is called but it was amazing and we had the place to ourselves. On the way back we went to the baths I think this was my favourite of the swimming experiences. We got here when the light was just dying so we got to see the landscape and then the darkness descended. It was also very quiet so we could just float around the baths finding hot bits or moving off to cold bits when it got too much. Bizarre being outside in your swimming costume when there is snow not 6 feet away and being TOO hot.
We’d hoped to see the northern lights on the drive back to Akureyri and we did see something strange in the sky but we weren’t convinced it was northern lights. I spent the drive back looking at the stars, which were amazing. So beautiful and there seemed to be three times as many as we see in Scotland.  Once in Akureryi we checked into our hotel and then went for a walk around Akureyi with their heart shaped red traffic lights. 

(all photos by O or me)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Iceland I 2011

O, ok and I, were very excited when we got on our Iceland Airways flight to discover that there were individual tv screens in the backs of the seats. We touched down at Keflavik airport at quarter to 4 ish and went to pick up our hire car, raiding the tourist information office in the airport for free maps. We were a little apprehensive about potentially driving in snow and ice but the hire car came with winter tyres (feels like you’re driving on flat tyres) as standard and heated seats (essential). From the airport, we headed straight to find our hotel which for our first night was part hostel/part hotel, cheap and almost cheerful but it served us. Once we’d checked in we headed straight to the supermarket for supplies shocked that the shops don’t have very long opening hours. Once we had our supplies, we headed out for a walk from our hotel. 

We headed up to the Perlan, which was quite stunning at night. During the day you can go in – you can also go in at night I think, to eat but it is vvv expensive. From there we walked to the shore to see the heated beach, which is either not on at night or not on during the winter but it was not warm. We walked home through the graveyard, which is apparently stunning during the day. It wasn’t bad at night, is very well lit, and feels safe if not a bit bizarre to be walking through a graveyard. 
For tea, we followed a recommendation by Cakes and Bunting and went for fish and chips it was lovely yummy food. After dinner, we went to the swimming pool.   Laugardalslaug for our first experience. Thankfully Cakes and Bunting had warned us of the strict routine that you need to follow when swimming in Iceland so it wasn’t a shock. You leave your shoes outside of the changing rooms. Take off all your clothes and leave them in your locker. Take your swimming costume and towel with you from the changing room to the “wet” area where there are cubby holes for your towel.  Here you must shower naked then you put on your swimming costume and make the very cold dash to the nearest bit of hot water you can find. There was a British school group at the pool and they were very loud and boisterous so sort of spoiled the experience. We soon realised how much of a social experience swimming is for the Icelandic there are always loads of conversations going on and you feel a little out of place if you’re in a hot pot without anyone to talk to.  After the pool you go and shower – they have absolutely no qualms about being naked and you get strange looks for being in your costume and trying to hide behind your towel. You dry yourself in the wet area and only then should you return to your locker. You get dirty looks from the Icelandic women if you trek your wet self through the dry area.
After all that we collapsed at our hotel and prepared for the next day.

(photos by O or me)