I DID NOT WANT TO GO TO ICELAND.
If you guys know me, my idea of a vacation is warm weather and a nice beach. Nelli would always tell me that Iceland was one of his dream trips and I was dreading the day when he would inevitably book his plane ticket. A couple months before he started planning and as usual, he was sticker shocked on the price as he started looking at airfare late. He was disappointed and started looking at trip prices in Canada which would offer a similar experience in offering Northern Lights drives. I knew how much he wanted to go to Iceland so going against my own pre-conceived notions, I pushed us to go to the little island somewhere near Europe.
The first stop after getting off the plane in Iceland was straight to Blue Lagoon. I was horrified because have you seen me coming off a 7 hour international flight? Apparently, going in the morning or right before or after a flight is common as the Blue lagoon is close to the airport and it gets REALLY crowded. The Blue Lagoon is a must-see if you are in Iceland and I enjoyed the refreshing, hot water as well as the mud mask after a long, dry flight.
From there, we went to our hotel and over the next few days took different tour busses and enjoyed the sights of nature. Even though it was FREEZING, I packed all my warm gear and was too distracted by the beautiful waterfalls, craters, and mountains to notice. The only things I wasn’t fond of was the food was quite expensive in the local downtown area and when I took a shower the water had a faint smell of sulfur aka rotten eggs.
After a few days, Nelli and I took a plane to the Northern part of Iceland which is famous for the Northern Lights. We went to the airport and found out that we had gone to the International airport instead of the domestic one. Nelli looked noticeably anxious but I brushed it off because Nelli always gets high strung at airports. We had enough time to catch a cab to the domestic airport and we were soon on our way. Nelli really wanted to maximize his chances to see the lights as we were approaching the season where they go away.
As soon as we landed, our driver was there to pick us up. We stayed in a SMALL cabin that looked like it was made out of sheet metal in the middle of nowhere. We had a couple of hours to kill before our Northern Lights tour so we grabbed dinner a mile away (we walked because you couldn’t call a cab) and then went on our tour. Our driver took us around in a range rover to different craters, steam holes, and even the cave where Game of Thrones was filmed. All this was to kill time before it got really dark so we could see the lights. Once it got dark, the driver kept driving around, kept calling his friends to see if they saw the lights, taking pictures to see where there were cloud breaks in the sky but still NO LIGHTS. He asked Nelli if he wanted a photography lesson and the 2 of them stayed outside.
Eventually, the driver asked if we wanted to go hiking down a waterfall and I reluctantly agreed. It was pitch black, very cold and I didn’t want to slip down the trail and fall in the raging river (sigh). We parked at the top of the waterfall and made our way down which was of course, slippery, icy, muddy, you name it. We made it to the bottom, close to the waterfall and it was extremely beautiful. The next thing you know, Nelli was kneeling down and proposing to me. His hands were so cold and nervous he could barely open the box and put the ring on. I was completely surprised by the proposal and never thought he would do it Iceland but I’m glad he did.