Last part of our Iceland trip – Day 3

It was nice to have a relaxing morning. Reykjavic old town is such a cool place. Buildings are often painted in bright colours and there is plenty of graffiti street art to catch your eye. We stopped for a bubble waffle and a coffee mid morning and grabbed lunch from 101 Reykjavik Street Food. The Icelandic Fish Soup was a meal in itself and fueled me up for the day.

If we were to be honest, we didn’t expect to see much on our whale watching trip from Reykjavik. We hade be told that you are unlikely to see anything and it’s really, really cold. Well it was definitely cold on the boat. Fortunately we had wrapped up warm with hats, gloves, Buffs and multiple layers, fleeces and waterproof coats and trousers. We also had our portable hand warmer too

We had initially booked online a Whale Watching by RIB Speedboat from Downtown Reykjavik through Sea Trips Reykjavik. As we scuba dive, we’re used to these small boats. They can be quite bumpy, you are very exposed and you must make sure you use the toilet beforehand. They are very nimble though and can get you close to whales and dolphins without being too obtrusive. 

Unfortunately, the system had double booked us and we received a call from a very apologetic lady who offered us the standard whale watching experience as an alternative and they would refund the difference. We are glad that we went on this whale watching boat as as we were lucky to see both whales & dolphins. It was also pleasant to sit inside and have a snack and a warm drink.

Whilst it was quite late in the year and many humpback whales had already started their migration south, we were lucky to see both minke and humpback whales and had a pod of dolphins swimming alongside the boat. We managed to get close enough to a pod of three humpback whales and witnessed several dives where they lift their tail fin out of the water. The absolute highlight was a rare ‘beaching’ of a humpback whale that jumper out of the water as though it was playing.

Play Video about humpback-whale-beaching
Play Video about dolphin-watching-in-iceland

We really enjoyed the whale watching experience. Whilst the boat was quite busy, there was plenty of space. We were also pleased that the captains of the boats kept a respectable distance from the whales.

Feeling lucky after seeing the amazing whales and dolphins we decided to wait until dark and then drive out again to the Þingvellir National Park to see if we could catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis). Stocked up again on snacks and with warm drinks in our  travel mugs and our hand warmers, we parked up, dressed up in our warm clothes and went outside in the cold Icelandic night and waited for our eyes to adjust. There are various apps that you can download onto your smartphone to help you plan your aurora spotting. We use iPhones and on this trip we used My Aurora Forecast & Alerts. The forecast was very, very low. However, our eyes adjusted to the darkness and we could just start to see the shimmering presence of the aurora in the night sky. Using our iPhone with a long exposure, we managed to capture a few pictures too.

To say that we were blown away by a glimpse of the Northern lights is an understatement. It really was the icing on the cake of an an amazing short trip to Iceland. It is a country that we certainly plan to visit again. 

After one more night in out Reykjavik hotel, we checked out early to get back to the airport and drop off the hire car. The first flurry of snow had arrived and the ground sparkled in our headlights. A simply magical travel experience for the two of us.

Travel Cool Gear Summary: Arcteryx Alpha SV Men’s Gore Tex Waterproof Jacket, Berghaus Men’s Gore-Tex Paclite Waterproof Over-trousers, Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Jacket,Bodum Stainless Steel Vacuum Travel Mug, Ocoopa Hand Warmer.

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