ICELAND EXPLORER

by - September 29, 2017


Just 84 days to go and I’ll be off again…

…and if you’ve worked that out, you’ll have realised that I’ll be away for Christmas. Another exciting and incredible adventure awaits, this time to the very snowy, very cold, isle of Iceland.

I’m hugely excited for this trip, but a little apprehensive and nervous at the same time. I was so ready for Norway, and so excited to be arriving at the first destination. I think when you meet a group of people on a trip who become family, you feel a little nervous going away on another organised trip without them. I am definitely having thoughts of ‘wish you were here’ already, and there’s still three months to go before I have to start packing bags. I know I’ll be fine. I’m really hoping and wishing that this trip will be filled with people who are just as amazing. I mean, they won’t be as incredible as my original travel family, but they can still be fabulous.

I’m setting off on another Topdeck trip, this time it’s their ‘Iceland Explorer’ adventure, you can find all the details here. Now, the trip is called a ‘4 day’ trip, but when you start to look at the itinerary in detail you realise it barely passes as a 2 day trip.

Day 1 is arrival day, where we make our own way to the hotel between 2pm – 5pm to meet and greet with the rest of our group. Day 2 sounds fabulous, and is a trip to the infamous blue lagoon, followed by a (fingers crossed) northern lights excursion. Day 3 is either a free day around Reykjavik or an optional (extra cash required) trip around the Golden Circle and Gullfoss Falls with a night out to finish it off. Day 4 is a farewell breakfast at 10am and nothing more. Not quite a 4 day adventure is it. Disappointing.

So, as I’ll already be in Iceland I decided to add on two extra days to my adventure, both filled with two 11 hour expeditions. Yes. Please.






Now, I’m not the kind of girl you would look at and immediately think ‘adventure’. I wear a full face of makeup on an almost daily basis, I try my very best to make my hair presentable, and I wouldn’t be digging around in the garden without gloves on. The guys at work all jest that they could never see me backpacking, girls have made comments about it, and yet I’ve backpacked around Thailand on my own, I’ve now done Scandinavia, and next up are the biggest expeditions I’ll have ever embarked on – the glaciers of Iceland.

My first additional day will be filled with waterfall adventures, a lengthy trek across one of Iceland’s biggest glaciers (thee glacier in Game of Thrones might I add), views of volcanic landscapes, and all ending with a walk along Iceland’s amazing black beaches. My second additional day is again filled with waterfalls, but also comes the day where I’ll be climbing and winding my way through glaciers – not just scraping the surface, and it all finishes with another opportunity to see the wonder that are the northern lights.

The big part to this story is that day 2 happens to be Christmas Eve, which makes day 3 Christmas day. Oh yes. Snow for Christmas. This could possibly be the main reason as to why I’m worrying about the group I’ll be with, I’m hugely hoping that they’re a brilliant bunch and that we can seriously enjoy the festive season together with lots of laughs and late night chats. If no-one starts a snowball fight, I am on the case. At the very least it’ll be an ice breaker (no pun intended).

This trip is going to be an awful lot colder than my adventure around Scandinavia (you can read all about that here), with temperatures due to be in the minus’. Thermals are a must, and luckily I have some rearing to go, along with my pink boots (oh yes!), and newly acquired matching pink hat. I am such a knitwear fiend, so I’ll have absolutely no trouble in packing for this trip. I’m going to try and pack light, but when you love all of your cardigans and jumpers the battle to pick the best items begins.






Whilst the travel to and from the airport seems to be a lot smoother this time around, I’ve had a lot of trouble with the booking of the trip and additional nights. Wow. Topdeck have very sadly let me down on this one; after confirming they’d booked my boxing day night at the hotel (and I’d paid for it), a week later they emailed to advise they had declined booking my extra night. By this point I’d already booked the night of the 27th with the hotel and the two full day excursions. I was now roomless for one night. Exciting.

After a bit of a rant at Topdeck they kindly offered to comp the difference between the room I initially paid them for and the £40 more expensive room that I ended up having to book. I’ve luckily discussed this with the hotel who have kindly advised I can remain in the same room for the entire duration of my trip. Phew. I don’t love the idea of waking up beyond bright and early (well, maybe not bright – less than 4 hours of daylight) just to leave my luggage in reception whilst I adventure out and about on the ice.

Anyway. Issue resolved and I’m now awaiting my room refund with open arms. Because I am poor. Very very poor. Oops.






And breathe. I can now focus on the trip, though the issue and hassle of the rooms has left a bit of a dampened mood on the trip - and before I’ve even set off. I’m attempting to be positive, am tightly cross my fingers that there are no further mishaps, and am definitely starting to mentally planning which of my cardigans will be making the cut.

Some good news is that I won’t be requiring the assistance of my giant rucksack as we’ll be staying in the same hotel for the entire trip. I’ll need a day bag for all of the excursions, and so my smaller grey rucksack (read about it here) will be back in action. I found it perfectly ideal for day trips and for general use on the coach, I’m really pleased with my choice. It wasn’t cumbersome, it fit everything I needed it to fit, and there were plenty of pockets on the front for lots of easy access to smaller items. The one and only thing I would fault it for is the lack of a large internal pocket on the back wall of the bag. This would have been ideal for storing travel documents and my passport, instead these had to mix in with all the other large items and snacks.

After seeing everyone with portable phone battery on my Scandinavia trip I took the plunge and ordered one for myself. Naturally it’s rose gold, to match my phone of course. Though they weren’t entirely necessary in Scandinavia, as we had charging ports on the coach and sockets in every room, I don’t want to risk running low on battery during any of the rather lengthy excursions around Iceland. Not to be a sheep, but it really is a sensible idea. I’d hate to be out and about snapping pics here and there and then suddenly realise I’m so low on battery that I can’t use my phone anymore. I will be taking my bridge camera, but as I’ll be on planned expeditions sometimes a quick snap is easier on a phone.  I’m in two minds about buying a light-weight tripod to take with me, but as the scenery is so amazing it would be great to take some fabulous Instagram-worthy photos. I’ll test out the portable battery on my travels and report back.






With less than three months to go I'll have plenty of time to get excited, then nervous, and then excited all over again. Christmas in the snow doesn't sound bad at all, and neither does another big adventure.

Claudia xo




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4 comments

  1. So exciting! I'd love to go. Can't wait to see pictures :) x

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    1. I’m really hoping I get some amazing shots this time! I’ll have to make the magical photo moments happen. :)

      Claudia xo

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  2. Ahhh this sounds so exciting, such an adventure, I hope you have a wonderful time! Love your photos, can't wait to read about your trip :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (I would love to follow each other on bloglovin if you like! :D)

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    1. Ahh thank you Elizabeth!!

      I’m getting a bit more excited to go now, I’ve already started mentally preparing outfits to stay warm - oops!

      I’ve given you a follow on Bloglovin’ <3

      Claudia xo

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