The Quilted Bird goes to Iceland

So not quite a quilting related post… or is it?

To celebrate the arrival of a fairly big birthday, we upped sticks and flew to Iceland for the weekend in search of the elusive Northern Lights. Always been on our list of things to do and with the massive IcelandAir campaign that can be seen just about anywhere you look, we thought we’d take the opportunity to see if we could catch them!

Friday we took in the sights of Reykjavik, the World’s most Northerly capital. For that evening we were booked on to the Northern Lights tour, wandering around the city we over heard one of the locals talking to some English tourists telling them the weather has been bad and that the Lights haven’t been seen for a while and not only that, tonight there was to be a BIG storm! Eeeekk

Well he wasn’t wrong… huge gale force winds blew in, sweeping us and everyone else off their feet. Needless to say the tour was cancelled, much to our disappointment. But we made sure that we were booked in for the next night just in case.

Saturday – My Birthday 🙂 and Golden Circle day! We were booked on a tour to visit the Geysers, Gullfoss Waterfall and Pingvellir National Park. Iceland is stunning (if not a bit cold in gale force winds!) the craziest moment was when the waterfall spray turned to ice, hitting our faces and making all the tourists look incredibly red faced!!!

The Geysers produced the biggest wow moment, curiously amazing and always accompanied by ooohs and ahhs from those watching. They were certainly worth the trip. Finally we had a walk through Pingvellir national park which was stunning.

I’ll admit our eyes were on the sky quite often in the day, watching for clouds and hoping for good fortune! When we returned to the hotel that evening we were overjoyed when we saw the tour was on!!!! 17 coachloads of tourists went out that night, however we had plenty of warning from our guides that the Northern Lights were Nature’s most temperamental phenomena and we might not see them.

Eagerly I spent the journey looking out the window of the bus, when I saw something, a faint streak of green across the sky, I pointed it out to my husband who agreed it looked like it was the Lights!! Hearing us the couple behind us, very excitably yelled ‘We can see them!’. The whole bus was calling for the driver to pull over!!!

And so there they were dancing in the sky, not as vibrant as the pictures you see but still an amazing sight to behold. There was something spiritual about the way they move and dance across the sky. I should also say that the Milky Way was also visible in all its glory, I have never seen so many stars. It was an awesome way to spend my birthday and I realise I was very fortunate to see the Lights in all their glory!! Alas no photos, those Lights are hard to catch!!

Before we flew home on Sunday we stopped off at the Blue Lagoon, a surreal but great experience all the same! It was freezing outside, we all ran to the lagoon and then gingerly stepped into the warm water. It was so weird to be in a hot pool whilst the air around us was so cold, but you didn’t feel it (well not until you get out that is!!)

It was the perfect ending to one of the best holidays I have ever had, a weekend of many firsts and natural wonders.

I can’t leave it there though, I started by saying it wasn’t a quilting related post but actually I couldn’t go somewhere and not purchase some fabric!!!

Yep you guessed it, I found a fabric shop in Reykjavik and purchased some blue fabric, fitting I think for an Icelandic holiday… Now to start yet another quilt, something inspired by my holiday I think!!

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