Iceland 2014 Day 5 – Surprise!

Beautiful view outside our balcony!

Beautiful view outside our balcony!

Today was our last day in Iceland! We slept in after enjoying the spectacular display of northern lights the night before, and enjoyed the hotel breakfast for the last time. The food had almost no changes in variety during our past 4 days, but was more than sufficient to fill up our tummies. We especially enjoyed making our own waffles for breakfast 🙂 It was also quite hilarious that our favourite breakfast spot happened to be very near the KFC, and we kept checking in KFC on Facebook as our phones kept connecting to the KFC WiFi. So much so that our friends were wondering what was so nice about KFC in Iceland, and why we had to fly all the way there to eat KFC. For the record, we only ate it once :p

[Interesting tidbit: Apparently there is KFC in Iceland but no McDonald’s! There is also no 7-11s, or Starbucks!]

Simple lunch

Simple lunch

For remaining part of the morning was spent packing and basically just enjoying the heat in our room.

After checking out, we went to the nearby bakery for a simple lunch. We had soup bread with latte and Chai tea. We guessed that Iceland is not really famous for latte, and the tea was actually of a British brand, haha! The soup bread was quite delicious though 🙂 We enjoyed our quiet lunch in the lovely bakery before going to catch our transport to the hotel.

Simple dinner

Simple dinner

Transport came ultra early, so we had plenty of time to spare in the airport. Our early dinner was a Nordic seafood soup and sandwich, and they were yummilicious! We also did some last minute shopping at the airport before going to the departure gate early… And we were in for a surprise!

It was very festive, with a mini buffet spread and a couple of guys playing guitar and singing away… All these while, it was “last call” at our gate, and so many of us were anxiously waiting near the gate. One of the staff then told us that the “last call” was actually meant to gather the passengers here for a celebration!

Apparently we were on easyJet’s first flight from Iceland to London Gatwick Airport (we flew in from London Luton Airport), and earlier today, they had a first flight to Geneva as well! Woo! Free music, food and drinks for all 🙂 So we had the Iceland Transport Minster, easyJet CEO, etc. all making speeches, and of course, a slight flight delay…

So lucky to see aurora again!

So lucky to see aurora again!

We were seated on the left of the plane and it appeared that we were in luck, as the pilot suddenly announced that he could see the appearance of the northern lights on the left side of the plane! Woohoo! That got everyone all excited and trying to peer through the windows!! The display wasn’t as fantastic as the previous night, but still, we were so lucky 🙂

The flight went on smoothly and we touched down at London Gatwick Airport around 11pm London time, and were super tired. We quickly got ourselves the train tickets and made our way to Victoria Station, followed by a short walk to The Rubens at The Palace Hotel, where we were the last guests of the day to check in close to midnight 🙂

The receptionist had already gotten our keys ready (I guess she was already ready to retire for the night, haha…) and we retrieved our stored luggage and retired for the night too, with fond memories of aurora dancing…

Our thoughts:

  • Iceland is definitely not on many people’s list of destination-to-go; it wasn’t on ours initially. But we had been wanting to catch Aurora Borealis in Scandinavia (we still want :)) and we came across a blog that suggested Iceland instead. We thought Iceland is on its own so its ‘do-able’ as a short trip, and we will leave Scandinavia for another time. That was a right decision because Iceland has so much to offer in terms of natural landscape and beauty. We were totally in awe of the waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers and vast land of beauty!
  • Iceland is vast and big with very little population so there is not much of public transport to talk about. There are 2 ways to go about in Iceland, one is to drive on your own (they drive on the left, opposite to Singapore) and the other is to take bus tours.
  • For a more fuss-free experience, go with the bigger tour agents like Gray Line Iceland or FlyBus. They have ample resources and you are almost guaranteed of a tour, as oppose to smaller ones where you may be constrained by minimum tour size. And you get better attention as oppose to OMO driver-guides. 🙂
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