365/365 365!!!

So here it IS! 365 Days of Blonde comes to an end! We are finishing our Icelandic trip walking around Reykjavik today, and I will come back home an engaged lady to start wedding planning! We had lunch in Reykjavik today in a cool restaurant called Geysir, and I so remember vividly having lunch there this time last year, and I reflected to myself that a year later, I feel healthier, happier and even more in love with my wonderful man -  now my fiance, Ryszard, which is a GREAT thing to realise, and I am confident that every year together will bring nothing but more and more love and adventures (both Icelandic and other) along the way. Our favourite phrase and life motto now, is one which I think I first saw on another blog "An inconveiniance is only an adventure wrongly considered" Which I think is SO us :) Here's to engaged life and married life to come, and more adventures along the way always! And a thank you to Rysz for everything, and being the reason for all my happiness over the last 2 and a bit years, and not least the continued support, and especially for getting me back into photography this time last year, which was the birth of this blog, which has brought me SO much pleasure along the way and is also now the record of an awesome year :)

And blog wise? I am going to take a little break, I will still be appearing every week to two weeks on Two Views, and will be back here ASAP with either another 365, or maybe a 52... you'll have to wait and see!

364/365 The Golden Circle tour

We had already done this tour last year, but it's such good fun we decided to do it again, it consists of Geysir, which is self explanatory! Gulfoss waterfall and Thingvellir - the first and original Icelandic Parliament plains, and the tectonic rift between European and American Tectonic plates, which is growing by a few cm every year!

363/365 Glaciers, Waterfalls, Punctures (!) and Log cabins!

We found that we could get up super close to this glacier, I love the blueness of the ice! Just amazing!

Coming down from it though we realised that a tyre was deflating RATHER fast, so a quick pit stop in Vik was needed for some Icelandic tyre repair work!

On we then went to two famous waterfalls Skogafoss and Seljandfoss, one of which you can walk behind which was an awe inspiring experience! (especially climbing back out again on icy rock faces, the Icelanders are a tough bunch, I dont think they HAVE Health & Safety, as there were no guide ropes or barriers at all, just an almost sheer rock face of icy rocks to climb! Thank god for snow boots!)

Then on to our own idyllic log cabin in Hella with it's very own hot tub! MAN did we spend some hours in that!!

362/365 Snowdrifts, Seals, Fjords and Glacial Lagoons!

The start of today's drive was a bit "fruity" we had to get help to get dug out at one stage and had an "interesting" sliding moment near a cliff edge! We were glad to get back to lower ground, rain instead of snow and some clear roads!

The East Fjords are beautiful! And Rysz spotted this seal! We then went on to where I have SO been looking forward to going to. and you will recognise it from a Bond film and Tomb Raider 2 - its Jokularson, a glacial lagoon. As the huge Vatnajokull glacier melts as it moves towards the sea, pieces break off in this lagoon and drift slowly out into the sea, it was HUGE! Amazing and everything I hoped it would be and more!!

The volcanic black sand beach had caught a few crystal clear icebergs on their way out to sea. (Including a surf board size one as you will see!)

And we finished up for the night in a tiny little guesthouse at the foot of the glacier (below) along with a VERY random set of other adventurers! It was hilarious, and also a bit like The Shining! If I post tomorrow, we have survived the night!! :)

361/365 Waterfalls, geysirs and sunsets over lakes

We started the day  with a very snowy and sometimes hairy drive from Akureyri to Godafoss waterfall (we only had to stop and dig ourselves out once... :)

Then onto Hverir an area of huge geothermal activity, bubbling mud pools and spouting geysirs, the water was at 80 - 100 degrees!

 Past a geothermal plant with its aqua blue outpourings.

And after about 400km we reached our amazing hotel on the edge of a frozen lake.

And in case you are wondering what my engagement ring looks like....

Its a HUGE aquamarine set in rose gold with a white gold setting, designed by Rysz and handmade by his wonderful friends Toby & Emma! Just Stunning! I am NEVER taking it off!!

Sunset over the lake, this is the view from our room.

Then on to the MOST amazing dinner I have had in years! Lobster soup and fillet steak from the very farm we were staying on! This is my practising my "Oh have you just noticed my HUGE engagement ring!?!?" face! ;)

And Rysz looking gorgeous!

He drew me a love heart on the window to find the next morning! Cute!! :)

360/365 Northern lights and LOVE!

Day two was a huge 420km trek to Akureyri  - the capital of the North, took about 5 hours across some REALLY snowy terrain, so we were both pretty shattered when we got here, and were ready for an early night, when we looked out our hotel window and saw this AMAZING northern lights show! So all thoughts of sleep gone and we rushed out camera and tripod in hand to shoot them - my first attempt and I am really pleased!

What could top that you ask? Well turning around to see my boyfriend on one knee asking me to marry him is what! :) Amazing wonderful night, I will never forget! So now for the rest of our holiday as a Mister and Mrs to be! Woooooooooooooo hoooooooooooo!

PS The last shot is of a really amazing heart that someone has made out of lights on the mountains across the fjord from the hotel, it is MASSIVE and must be the size of a field. Like someone knew it was going to be a special night for us! :)

359/365 Iceland baby!

After getting into our hotel at 2:30am the first night, we did our first 200 km the next day from Reykjavik to Grundafyodur in our rented Ford (what else!) Explorer 4x4. It's a beautiful tiny fishing village and we stayed at the coolest and friendliest little guesthouse ever! They had their own sauna and outdoor hot tub, so we alternated sauna sessions and then soaked outside in 39 degree steaming hot water while making our way to and from it across minus 1 degree snowy ground in swimwear! We felt rugged!