‘Finally!’ I yelled out at the top of my lungs. Not only did the day marked the beginning of my long holiday, but this was also the first time I have travelled outside of the UK ✈️ since the beginning of the pandemic. After being able to enjoy sunshine and warmth in my last few staycation trips, I decided that I needed a bit of a switch to a colder climate hence I decided on Iceland 🇮🇸, a place I have longed to visit.
Unlike the pre-COVID era, this trip certainly required a lot more preparation and research beforehand, and this did add a level of stress to the entire journey but of course very exciting at the same time! 😁 I was very lucky to be doubly vaccinated, hence making the transition to Iceland relatively straightforward (also one of the reasons I chose to come here.) Currently Iceland is allowing entry for fully vaccinated British travellers without the need of quarantine and a negative PCR test (which is ridiculously costly in the UK in my opinion.) Once I received my NHS letter to show my vaccination status (I know they are also accepting electronic copies via the NHS app but I was being extra careful 😂), the only other thing I was required to do was pre-registered for entry. (It’s almost a bit bizarre that the process for my return trip back to the UK is longer – requiring two separate PCR tests before and after arrival as well as pre-registration. 😐)
My flight was at 7:45 am in the morning (and that was probably crazy considering I was up at my end of work party 🎉 until late last night. 🤣) The 2 and a half hour ride was very comfortable (also get to enjoy WiFi on board for the first time ever in the first hour until connection was cut off! 😐) But by the time I landed I was oddly hungry, though still quite a bit before I reached Reykjavik. Passport and COVID checks went surprisingly quick and people were very warmed and welcoming. ❤️ After a further 45 minutes bus ride from Keflavík airport and a somewhat 20 minutes walk, I was at last at the centre of Reykjavik starving for food! 😂
The Rainbow Road, which was done in celebration of Pride, was absolutely beautiful (literally walking upon the rainbow. 🌈🌈) The first food stop was 101 Reykjavik Street Food by the iconic road- my first taste of simple, delicious Icelandic food. I ordered the lobster soup and Icelandic fish stew with rye bread (and honestly I didn’t think I will like rye bread but I was absolutely loving it! 😋) Staff were very friendly and funny on top of that!
I then explored the city a bit, marvelling at all the colourful, artistic touches everywhere. 🎨🎨
And I also visited Hallgrímskirkja which is right opposite where I am staying. The church tower is certainly marvelling to look at!
After a brief stop at my hotel, I then went to meet my appointment for the PCR test needed for my return trip to the UK. (I am staying here until Sunday and the test can be done three days prior to departure.) The testing centre was a bit far out (about a 40 minutes walk away) and I was shocked by the length of the queue (which spun the whole park and round!!) – however the queue did move fairly quickly (only waited for around 20 minutes for what looked like an hour long queue) and the testing was done so efficiently that it felt like a non-issue (literally less than a minute- staff was friendly and very professional- all dressed in lab coats ready to go.) I actually felt a bit embarrassed for all the testing chaos we had in the UK… 😓
After a nap following my back and forth trip from the test centre, I made use of the long daylight here to head out for some supper.
More on the next few days! 😉