The Cold As Ice Blog

View from the plane approaching Keflavik
Camera: SONY DSC-RX100M7 | Date: 12-02-2024 15:07 | Resolution: 4436 x 2773 | ISO: 100 | Exp. bias: -0.3 EV | Exp. Time: 1/160s | Aperture: 4.0 | Focal Length: 21.1mm (~57.0mm)

Andrew’s off to Iceland, again. I promise I won’t re-use the fish fingers joke, it wasn’t that funny in 2011…

While I have been to Iceland before, this promises to be quite different. The previous trip was in mid-Summer, run by an Icelandic company, and focused mainly on the highlands, and also the end of season cultural events. This is in the depths of Winter, run by Lee Frost, and focuses largely on the coast. I’m hoping to actually see a bit more ice than last time, and maybe even the aurora.

Hopefully my photographic capabilities have improved in the intervening 12 years. At the very least I won’t be trying to work with the execrable Canon 15-85mm lens, but on the other hand the kit I had on that first trip worked wonderfully photographing the puffins at Dyrholaey, so it may be a question of swings and roundabouts.

My travel arrangements worked smoothly, with the exception of the junction between the M4 and the Heathrow link road which is always a nightmare at peak hours. It’s got the same inadequate design as Junction 10 on the M25, which is currently being reworked at enormous expense into a proper cloverleaf interchange, but I suspect the Heathrow one will just have to soldier on.

Once at the airport I had a couple of very pleasant surprises. The first was that I used the trial of the new security scanning – you literally just dump your bag and coat into a tray, and that’s it – all the messing around with liquids, laptops etc. has gone. At the other end they did divert my bag and inspect a couple of items, so I suspect they are still training the system and its users on what some things look like on the X-Ray, but overall a good experience. Then as I walked into the shopping area I was approached by an elderly man in a volunteer’s outfit who offered me a "random act of kindness" and gave me a £5 voucher which covered the cost of a cup of coffee. Very welcome.

The flight was full, mainly due to the presence of a couple of groups of teenagers obviously on a posh school trip. The entertaining element was that a number of the youngsters, especially the girls, had clearly ignored the notes on weather. I would love to have seen the expression on the face of the young lady with a bare midriff on contact with the Icelandic wind!

As we came in towards Iceland the heavy cloud cleared, and I got a couple of great shots of the coast, covered in snow and lit up in wonderful late afternoon, edge of cloud light.

View from the plane approaching Keflavik (Show Details)

I have opined at length about alleged airlines who as actually running a bus service. I didn’t expect Icelandair to be one of them, but after taking us off the plane through a proper air corridor, they then guided us down the steps and out into the freezing cold to get on a bus to the terminal proper. I don’t mind walking a bit or getting a bus in tropical temperatures, but I’m not impressed when that actually involves walking on frozen slush and snow. Not impressed.

The hotel was a short walk from the airport, but not all clear of snow and ice which made it slightly more of a challenge than expected. On a positive note they had sent a warning that the heating had been affected because the volcanic eruption had cut the geothermal power pipes, but repairs have been made and it’s warming up nicely.

The rest of the group arrives overnight, so we get cracking tomorrow.

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