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How many adventures can you squeeze into 6 weeks?💕



Good Morning and Welcome to My Atlantic Life 🥰


The last time I posted I had just arrived in Scotland and was ready to celebrate an early Christmas with my Mom and Dad. It's hard to believe it's already the beginning of February...

A lot has happened since then, so I’ll try to catch you up on My Atlantic Life! (Don't worry, this post will be split over a few days, as it's too much for just one, and yes it will be much more enjoyable if you read this on the blog website as there are loads of photos and a video 😉)


So, just how many adventures can you squeeze into 8 weeks, with 2 of those weeks spent at home unwell with cold/flu???


Let me think, there was:


Raleigh(NC) - Reykjavik(Iceland) - Glasgow(Scotland) - Ayr(Scotland) - Back to Glasgow - Back to Iceland to include all my mini adventures: Christmas concerts, a National Park, Cathedral/Churches, Geysers - Tectonic Plates - Frozen Waterfalls - Volcanic Craters - the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis, Exploring and Christmas shopping around Reykjavik - Back to Raleigh - Home to Hatteras - Drive across country - Asheville(NC) - Knoxville(Tennessee) - Nashville - Memphis - Little Rock(Arkansas) - Tulsa(Oklahoma) - Kansas City(Kansas) - Hastings (Nebraska, to spend a couple of weeks with JB's awesome 94yr old Dad 💕) - and then all the way back the way we came(stopping at some really cool places)..Nebraska - Kansas - Oklahoma - Tennessee - North Carolina - Home to Hatteras 🥰 


Here's the start of my adventures...


My time with Mom and Dad was super special, unlike my last visit in February when Mom had been quite ill, and my trip revolved around her surgery and recovery - this time both my parents were in good health, which made for a wonderful few days with them. This time I didn’t spend much time exploring Scotland on my own (I was saving my exploring for my upcoming Iceland stay) as I wanted to spend as much time as possible just hanging out with Mom and Dad in my Scottish home. Although my trip was a relatively short one, we had an absolutely fantastic time together…and I wouldn't have changed a minute of it💕




An early, traditional British Christmas Dinner with Mom and Dad....complete with turkey, gravy, stuffing, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, bacon wrapped sausages and peas - makes me hungry and homesick just typing this up!!!


Below is my Scottish candy shopping haul (Cadbury's chocolate tastes so much better in the UK)




*Digression Alert

(if you’ve read previous blogs, you know I can sometimes get a little wordy when I digress….hence the warning!)

 









Time... what a profound and elusive concept, one that, as we journey further along the path of life, reveals its true, invaluable essence ⏳This ethereal force - Time, operates beyond our grasp, its quantity for each of us shrouded in mystery. Despite our best efforts to try to estimate life spans, throwing in variables like geography, climate, living conditions, healthcare, and more....the reality remains—a myriad of unpredictable elements and influences will affect our longevity on this little blue planet of ours.


This realization, that our moments are finite and largely uncertain, has recently been running around my "little lady brain" (along with a bazillion others thoughts🤪), and been the topic of many conversations between JB and me.

Needless to say, I've got quite a lot to say about this particular subject (nothing new there, I always seem to have quite a lot to say😁), and will definitely be devoting a blog or two to this very subject.


*Digression over...





My time with Mom and Dad simply wasn't long enough and before I knew it, I was touching down in Kevlavik Airport in Iceland, and it was time to find my transfer bus. Now this really was a classic example of "Solo Travel"! (click to see solo travel blog)


My booked transfer was awaiting...


On the road to Reykjavik


As I had never been to Iceland before and I had booked everything online (after loads of research!!), this was the first time I had seen my hotel, and I wasn't too sure if I was going to like it 🤔


With only 60 hours total in Iceland (and that had to include time to sleep), to see and do as much as possible, a little forward planning helped immensely.....and this was the list I had come up with:


I wanted to...

  1. Attend a traditional Icelandic performance in the Harpa Center, Reykjavik

  2. See a volcanic crater

  3. Witness the Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights in person

  4. Stand in the place where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet....or should I say, move away from each other

  5. Hike to a giant frozen waterfall

  6. Stand near to a geyser when it spouts hot water and steam

  7. Attend an Advent concert in a beautiful cathedral

  8. Drink coffee in a cozy Reykjavic coffee ship

That's was quite the list to experience in such a short time....Do you think I managed to get through my list?




Well, let's see...


As I arrived in Iceland around 3pm in the afternoon, it was 5pm before I reached my hotel...I was a bit tired and wasn't sure if I'd like the hotel that I had chosen online. One of the keys to successful solo traveling to somewhere you've never been before, is doing some research and planning before you set off on your trip. So, I had already found out that Iceland is a safe place for women to travel on their own (having traveled to quite a few cities/countries that are not particularly safe for women to travel on their own, this is definitely a plus 😊), I had some criteria in choosing my accommodation for this stay:


  • Close to, or in the old downtown area of Reykjavik

  • A restaurant in hotel

  • Breakfast available (even better if included in cot of room)

  • Within walking distance of some of the sights and sounds that I wanted to experience (as I wasn't hiring a car)

  • Dining options within walking distance

  • Free wifi

  • Bus Tour pick ups in close proximity (especially with some to the times the tours started!)

  • Multiple good reviews from several sources (TripAdvisor, Google etc.) Poor reviews are few and far between, with no common threads indicating an ongoing issue)

  • Room with a view...yeah I know, it's classic request and one that I only adhere to if it doesn't drive the cost up crazily. In this instance, I really wanted a view of the harbor and surrounding landscape


Fortunately, my research paid off and my hotel was great....😊like much of Iceland it was more practical than cozy, but that was absolutely fine with me. As a person who loves to feel "comfortable and cozy", I always carry my "cozy" with me (for more on how to make your cozy space, please click below:



After checking in to the hotel, it was only minutes before I was showered and unpacked....my fave travel blanket on top of the bed complete with my comfy loungewear (which for me is my Ripcurl supersoft toweling poncho, which yes I know is supposed to be for drying off and getting changed, after playing in the water....but it also makes for awesomely cozy lounge wear and is ideal for your hotel room😉),


Not the most flattering of clothing (as JB often likes to remind me), but it's soooo cozy and comfy 💕


my journal and pen, a couple of Icelandic guidebooks that I had picked up in the hotel reception, and the latest edition of Bella Grace magazine. As I was tired, I set the alarm on my phone as I knew I would fall asleep for a little while (which indeed I did!), and had a planned trip later that evening that I didn't want to miss......


Unpacked and ready to relax for a bit...


-It was the first experience on my "Things to do in Iceland" list, and the performance began at 9pm


  • Attend a traditional Icelandic performance in the Harpa Center, Reykjavik


I could not have planned this any better....luck would have it that this year there was to be a special concert held in the Harpa Center celebrating the "Frostrosir" a series of concerts that had been held from 2002-2013


The Harpa Center (concert hall and conference center with restaurants and bars) is an incredible structure that sits on Reykjavik Harbor, and just happened to be across the street from my hotel 😊 As you approach the building, the architectural elements are awesome - the use of so many windows with distinctive colored glass, it's shape and form inspired by the surrounding basalt landscape, are quite mesmerizing especially when seen at night.

Harpa is home to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera, along with many other Icelandic performers.


Walkway to Harpa (yes, that was ice on either side of the walkway 🥶)


On reaching the second floor, my eyes were drawn immediately to the great use of the large set of stairs to the 3rd level.....each step had an area to stand or sit, with increasing space on each step the further up the stairs you went, (high top table and chairs on the lower steps, higher up to sofas and coffee tables)...and all next to that incredible wall of windows - You could stand/sit, drink, have a chat or simply watch the city below.




Another pic of Harpa Stairs (During the day)


The concert I attended was spectacular - Music from the "Frostrosir" (or frost roses in English) which is the Icelandic term for the beautiful often flower-like patterns that form on frosty windows in the winter (of which I've seen some awesome ones on a window recently....more on that in a later blog 😁❄️)


From the program:

"The amazing singers Hera Bjork and Margret Eir will perform the greatest selection of Christmas music from the Frostrosir repertoire at this unique Christmas concert.

They will be accompanied by a large band, strings, heavenly choirs and special guests, including the Grammy winner Dísella and Ari Ólafsson, an amazing young tenor.

Frostroses (Frostrósir) was Iceland's most popular music event during its time from 2002 until 2013 or for 12 years straight. During its biggest years around 10% of the nation attended the concert series or over 30 thousand people each year.

Hera & Margret were the two singers that graced that stage most often and are interconnected with the project."

It was obviously all conducted in Icelandic, which as you know is not a language that I speak, but I am always intrigued listening to. Hearing songs and Christmas carols that I was very familiar with being sung in Icelandic was truly enchanting 💕 It was an extremely popular event with the Icelandic people, and I felt extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to be there for this one night only performance.


If you are reading this blog on my website: https://www.myatlanticlife.com/home-1

you not only see the photos that I took, but also see/hear the videos I attached below:


Pics of Performance...





Apologies for the distortion in this photo, I just wanted to capture the audience, and this was the only pic


Video of one of the performances...you might know this one 🎶


So now it was almost midnight, as I walked across the road to my hotel to catch some zzzzz's 😴 before my next Icelandic Adventures which were to include:


  • See a volcanic crater

  • Stand in the place where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet....or should I say, move away from each other

  • Stand near to a geyser when it spouts hot water and steam

  • Hike to a giant frozen waterfall

Fortunately during my research I had found a bus tour that would take me to all 4 places in one day, although the tour did start a tad early.


As you can imagine, I was rather sleepy when I went for breakfast the next morning - I had to shower, dress, eat, and be at the bus stop across the road all before 7am


Breakfast Time 😋


As there is no daylight until around 11am, it was super dark whilst I was waiting on the tour bus pick up, but I felt completely safe in this environment (although it was super-chilly - so glad I had packed some of the warm clothes I would normally only take if we were going snowboarding!!!)


This was the weather on my phone at our first stop


First stop was the place where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet - Thingvellir National Park.


This was the sight that greeted me when I walked to the edge of the viewing area


Thingvellir, which is in the southern part of Iceland, is where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet or rather move away from each other. The tectonic plates make landfall in the Reykjanes Peninsula and stretch towards Thingvellir and further northeast and east. Iceland is the only inhabited island in the world where tectonic plates and ocean ridge are visible on land. This area looked almost other-worldly in its uniqueness, one created by the incredible forces of the tectonic plates tearing apart, and quite honestly, just took my breath away.....the astounding and stunning beauty of nature right there in front of me!


I fell in love with this magical place...




Interestingly, this UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its rift valley, was also the location of Iceland's first general assembly back in the year 930




The tour spent quite some time at Thingvellir, which was an incredible way to start my day....and not that different from the magical time I spend before the sunrise on my Hatteras beach 💕


My magical Hatteras Beach this week...

Hatteras Beach Feb 2nd, 2024


Next stop was the geothermal area of Haukadalur, which is home to the Geysir that named all other geysers!


Do you think I managed to catch the geyser spouting water and steam on video? Join me on my next blog to find out.....and also to see much more of my adventures in Iceland.


For now, after much traveling, JB and I are back in Hatteras busy working on projects around our beloved Atlantic Inn 💕 and of course I'm writing (or should I say typing up all the writing I did during my latest adventures 😊).




Until next time,

Take care

Love and Hugs,

Pam 🥰








PS. Bitmoji have changed my little avatar's face and I don't like it as much as the previous version, I may have to find another avatar!


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303 views8 comments

8 Comments


I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog and listening to the video. It makes me want to go visit Iceland myself. Thanks so much for taking the time to share it with us.

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pam
pam
Feb 06
Replying to

Thank you so much for your kind message, it so good to hear when someone finds and enjoys my blogs...I hope you'll join me on other blog adventures 😊

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Speechless! Fantastic pics! What a trip! Smooches!

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pam
pam
Feb 06
Replying to

Hey sweetheart - Iceland is definitely a magical place, I absolutely loved it there. I can wait to plan another trip there 😉 More pics to come in the next blog. Love and hugs!!

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WOW! what an amazing story so far. I loved looking at the pictures while listening to the song being sung at the concert. Added a deeper depth to looking at them. I particularly love the image where it looks like the sun is partially covered by the moon. Gorgeous!

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pam
pam
Feb 06
Replying to

Hey Debi - Great to hear from you, Thanks so much!! It really was an incredible trip and I will most definitely be going back 😊 I'm so glad you enjoyed the video too!

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You never fail to amaze me my darling daughter. So glad you enjoyed your trip. Lots of love, xxxx

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pam
pam
Feb 06
Replying to

The absolute best part of my trip was being able to hug you....Love you Mum xxx

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