But first, Keflavik
We arrived on Easter Saturday – now why isn’t it called Easter Eve, I wonder? – and spent the night at a guesthouse in Keflavik. Our plan was to spend Easter Sunday in Reykjavik, do the free guided walking tour there and head towards the wilderness in the Snaefellsnes peninsula. We also considered going to the Blue Lagoon while in Keflavik. In fact, half the members of our party wanted to “do” this to strike it off their wish list. I wasn’t so enthusiastic myself, first of all because many reviewers said it’s too touristy and overpriced, but also because on Easter Sunday it was bound to be super crowded. I hate crowded places. It was in fact super crowded, so crowded that it was fully booked. So that settled the question, although I do still harbour a nagging guilt about thwarting the girls’ wishes. I could have booked beforehand…
A few hours is the ideal amount of time required to explore Keflavik. This included shopping for groceries in an Icelandic national institution – the Bonus budget supermarket chain. You’ll find them in any Icelandic town and, unlike most anything else in Iceland, their prices are not astronomical.
Shopping over, it was time to brave the cold wind and start to explore. The main attraction in Keflavik is the shoreline, from where, on a clear day, you can view distant snow-capped mountains north across the water.
Perched above a pretty little marina, we found a good restaurant serving the usual Icelandic stuff – fish, lamb, even whale. The latter was out of the question of course. I took my first of several fish and chips orders during my week in Iceland. The others opted for a mixed seafood platter, which they found delicious.
Our tummies happily full, it was time to seek the warm shelter of Kef Guesthouse and settle down for the night.
Those elusive Northern Lights
I had already been to Iceland with Gianluca last October/November. The sky was overcast each of five nights then, so it was impossible to view them if there were any. This might the right occasion. The sky was totally clear, so we set the alarm to drive to an unlit road at midnight. Total failure. The sky was dark and clear. Another driver sounded an impatient horn at us as we parked on the side of the road to have a look at the heavens. Nothing. Just stars and a black sky.
We drove back and went to sleep.
Later in the week, there were a couple of instances where the night sky wasn’t clouded over. But the summer season was fast approaching, and within a few days there would hardly be a moment anymore when the sky was completely dark, which would allow the northern lights to be visible.
So, no northern lights, yet again. The closest we could get was a northern sunset…