Sunday, 18 January 2015

New Year in Iceland x


We spent New Year 2014 in Reykjavik, the wonderful capital city of Iceland; most Scottish people jet off to warmer climes at this time of year but we all missed Finland and decided to head to another Scandinavian country for some fun, snowy times!

The airport in Keflavik is amazing and I loved this quote from the Bjork song, Joga.  


This was taken at the beautiful Lake Tjornin the morning after we arrived as you can tell by my unruly hair!
Lake Tjornin is in the middle of the city and is a really popular spot for families who come to feed the amazing range of ducks, snow geese and swans.  Malika and Ameenah loved feeding the birds although I found being chased by hundreds of hungry birds quite petrifying - think Alfred Hitchcocks, The Birds.






And of course the girls loved playing for hours in the snow making snowmen, snowangels, snowcats....



How amazing is this snowcat!!


We sung songs from Frozen as we built our snowy friends!


The girls were delighted with all the snow!  We haven't had heavy snow in North-East Scotland for a few years now so this was a real treat...


Lake Tjornin froze over on the third day of our trip so we had a lot of fun chasing each other across this amazing landscape....Ameenah was in the buggy for some of the trip and I could not recommend pushing a buggy in the snow - my arms ached the next day!  I wish we had gone native and bought a sledge....


Icelandic horses were a big theme of the trip...We went on an amazing trip one evening to see a horse theatre performance called the Legends of Sleipnie, at the Fakasel Horse Park.  Malika and Ameenah absolutely loved this and they got the meet the horses after the performance and go for a visit to the stables.  The performance used a lot of multi-media and told historial icelandic tales with old Norse mythology and exhibition riding to show how unique and beautiful the Icelandic horses are.


Here is a link to their website: http://www.icelandichorsepark.com/legends-of-sleipnir---horse-theater.html



Such a funny picture of Malika and one of the stars of the show!
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I'm popping in the album Takk by the brilliant Icelandic band Sigur Ros here as it was soundtrack to our trip....

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I decided after the brilliant horse theatre trip to try to organise a horse riding trek for myself and Malika.....Malika and Ameenah have such different emotional needs at 5 and 2 years old, and I often feel that my focus is on Ameenah as she, at 2, is currently into everything and full of super energy.....

Malika and I definitely needed mum and Malika time and I wanted to spend time together with Malika doing something she would remember (hopefully...)  We went out on a two hour trek with the brilliant Laxness Horse Farm who are based 20 minnutes outside Reyjavik.  Malika had never been horse-riding before (bar a few pony trips where she was led round a field) and I worried about how she would get on.

However Maika was a natural on the Icelandic pony....she rode brilliantly and showed no fear navigating across frozen rivers and across icy paths....i was so proud of Malika and so delighted I had booked us on this trip together (most of the companies only take children over 7 years old...)

https://www.facebook.com/laxneshorsefarm




I mean wow!!!!! I feel so lucky to have ridden through this landscape with my brilliant daughter...



Malika and I looking quite windswept!


 Deep winter white view across Lake Tjornin to one of Reyjavik's most famous landmarks, the Hallgr√≠mskirkja, Lutheran Church...


And the Northern Lights!  We were so lucky to see the Northern Lights again... absolutely amazing way to start the New Year...


Travelling to Iceland in the Winter with my daughters was incredible and I would thoroughly recommend it...

However it is useful to know that hours of daylight are very limited in January....The days did not get light until around 11am and started getting dark again around 3pm!  Its quite disorientating to begin with and trips definitely need to be planned to ensure the right conditions...

Despite this Iceland in the winter with kids is simply magical and full of twinkling Christmas lights which gives the city such a cosy, festive atmosphere...

As well as numerous snowy activities there is so much to do for children....

Malika loved the National Museum of Iceland which is full of child-friendly exhibitions.  They have a childrens trail to follow which explores viking graves, boats, viking costumes etc... I have a lot of photos on my instagram feed so please go there to see more!
http://www.thjodminjasafn.is/







There are also lots of local geothermal pools which are fantastic!  We loved going and swimimng outside in the warm water while snowflakes fell on us....The hot-tubs are addictive!  The local pools are really cheap and a big part of Icelandic culture;  locals go to hang out there in the evenings in the way Scottish folk would go to the pub.

Here is a link to the one that was beside the apartment we stayed in...http://visitreykjavik.is/vesturbaejarlaug

But of course we also made it to the Blue Lagoon, one of Icelands most popular tourist destinations and rightly so....it is absolutely stunning xx


http://www.bluelagoon.com/







We came back to Scotland armed with lots of great children's Icelandic books and have really enjoyed cosying up in front of the fire , reading these wonderful myths,,,,I would love to take the girls back again during the summer months (If I make some money!)...






Takk xx