My next adventure: Istanbul/Eskişehir (Türkiye) – April 2024

Iceland – February 2015

Day 4 in Reykjavik – Whoopsies!

So it’s the end of another trip, it always goes so fast! Oh well that’s another country off my list.

Anyway, returning to last night we went on a hunt for an accessable restaurant in the City center when I had an ingenious idea. They are building a new area of Reykjavik with skyscrapers and all that so the theory was that the resteraunt there would all be accessable and that worked. After going into a few restaurants where there was no one there we settled for a burger place a bit like Gourmet Burger Kitchen. I think it was everyone’s birthday in Iceland as they were shouting out something in Icelandic and then everyone started clapping, so we joined in clapping (not knowing why we were clapping) then we retuned to the hotel to pack our stuff and be ready for the flight.

After a 6:30am start our taxi driver drove us back to the airport in plenty of time. And in that time I figured out that I’m a total numpty! We got to the checking desk with our boarding passes and then was told that the tickets I booked were for the 8th March not the 8th February. it was fine though because I knew that there was loads of flights back to the UK albeit to London or Manchester in case the flights was fully booked however, we were very lucky in that, after a lot of conversation in Icelandic between the management, we were allowed to book seats on the flight that we intended to get, with time to spare to get our last souvenirs from duty free. After all the commotion, the flight was delayed anyway.

The flight seemed to pass very fast and I was surprised that Keflavik had actually looked into what you they needed to do with super bunny, so there was no issues getting off the flight at Bristol.

In the summer I am planning a month long European road trip around Scandinavia so key an eye out on facebook or Twitter for development on this. But first we have work to do at the education show in March

Day 3 in Reykjavik – Lots of salty water

So we found the do not disturb sign but still managed to wake up at 8am in my new accessible room. We decided to give up on trying to swap rooms with the hotel and, like I said, luckily the walkie  talkies worked between floors so now I’m on the third floor and my PAs are on the fourth floor. I don’t think hotels will ever get the idea of needing rooms together but we can live in hope!

After breakfast, we headed out into the centre once more to buy souvenir and lunch before returning back to the hotel to get ready to go to the Blue Lagoon. As usual by now, I had to wait outside the supermarket whilst my PAs went in to get food which isn’t fun if it is raining but luckily it wasn’t!

After we had some lunch, our taxi driver awaited us to take us down the only motorway in Iceland (I have a weird obsession with motorway?) and into the mountainous area where the spa was situated. The views were stunning…

And we saw how the energy generated was being transferred to Reykjavik which was fascinating…

We we soon arrived at the Blue Lagoon where our taxi driver told us to return in 90 minutes otherwise he would charge us an extra 30000 krona which is about £150 and I wasn’t going to pay that!! However we soon discovered that there was a massive queue to get there but one of the benefits of being disabled is that we skipped the queue with the help of a guy who was serving coffee to people waiting in line. The bue lagoon has a massive accessible changing room in which we got ready to go outside in the freezing cold into the spa. The staff were very helpful came up with an ingenious idea to put a rubber ring around me which, with the support of one of my pa’s helped me stay afloat. However, it is worth noting that they have a hoist in the indoor area to help the disabled people to enjoy the spa in comfort but we decided to stay outside to get maximum benefit. We decided to stay in for around half an hour to avoid paying the taxi driver the extra fee but we could have stayed in for much longer!

Overall, the blue lagoon is a really good place for disabled people and, as I said the staff are really helpful.

We returned to the hotel after driving back down the motorway and this is the second time I am writing this blog as it seems not to like me and the wifi keeps cutting out, a great combination! After posting this we are going to hunt food again hopefully not having takeaway 3 nights in a row.

Tomorrow there’s another early start back to the airport to catch our flight back to Bristol, let’s see if super bunny gets tied up in Nordic rope again…

See you tomorrow

Day 2 in Reykjavik – Rain and snow and a bit of sun!

So we decided to have a Chinese take away last night, actually that’s a lie because it was the closest take away to the hotel and we were starving! It’s worth mentioning that as I type, bits of grit or something are just randomly falling off of super bunny but I will explain that later!

After a good night sleep I was woken up by housekeeping like America at 8 o’clock, for some reason there are no do not disturb signs which is rather intriguing. Anyway we went down and had breakfast and, like I said yesterday, the plan was to go whale watching in the afternoon and the northern lights tonight but this is me nothing ever goes to plan! As you might have seen on Twitter it has been raining and blizzarding so subsequently the whale watching boat tour was cancelled so we had to come up with a new strategy for the day.

We devised a walking route around Reykjavik that included the rest of the buildings on my to do list. I haven’t talked about accessibility in and around the city yet but as Iceland is renown for its snow and ice I was expecting it to on the pavements and wasn’t wrong! The pavements in the centre are fine as they are gritted but as soon as you go down the side streets there are massive lumps of ice for your delight.

Anyway, back tour our strategic walk, at this point it was now blue sky and sunshine so we enjoyed a walk through the park and super bunny got to play in the snow….

To get to this building called the Valsvollur, we had to navigate through housing estates (my favourite thing) and across the only motorway in Iceland. After getting rather lost, trying to find a safe point to cross we began our assent up a massive hill which I think is some kind of energy plant. Super bunny had a had time getting up there due to the path being made up of black volcanic grit but it was worth it as the views from the top were awesome…

…oh and saw some weird statues…

We then then made our descent through the forest on a hill taking the most suitable path that we could find, however, when we reached the bottom the motorway was separating us from the city centre so it was time to go through some more housing estates. We returned to the hotel to pick up my camera that I accidentally left on last night. The one thing that I noticed whilst trying to find a restaurant for lunch is the amount of shops that have steps leading in to them meaning that if you are in an electric wheelchair, you are kind of screwed! It’s kind of weird though because everything else seems to be accessible.

We ended up at a fish bar where I tried some lovely traditional crab which was lush! Whilst we were waiting to hear if the northern lights trip was going ahead we decided to go along the sculpture trail on the sea front which was is pretty pants because there was just three sculptures, however super bunny got to chase some snow so that was fun!

We returned back to the hotel windswept from the Atlantic Ocean and discovered that the northern lights boat tour wasn’t on again and looking at the forcast it won’t be on tomorrow either…! The search for food then commenced, resulting in us having Dominos in the hotel which was much easier than it was in Cologne two years ago as we couldn’t find an accessible restaurant with anywhere to sit.

The hotel saga continues as someone went down this morning but the managers still said that there was no room available next to the only accessible room in the hotel, luckily the walkies talkies work between floors 🙂

Tomorrow we should actually do what we planned to do which is to go to the Blue Lagoon and there is a slim chance that we will go to see the northern lights.

See you tomorrow,

Nath 🙂

 

Day 1 in Reykjavik

Why do airlines make flights so early? I’m sure they do it on purpose just to annoy you! Anyway my alarm went off at 4.10 although I was awake before then like you normally are before catching a plane.

After my two PAs came and we packed the van we headed to Bristol airport leaving plenty of time before our flight because we knew something would go wrong! We managed to wrap my manual wheelchair up in masking tape so it would go through the baggage area. At the same time I was trying to avoid the special assistance team because they annoyed the hell out of me last year and I couldn’t be bothered to go through it again at 6.30 am. We managed to go through security without any major issues but I have a bone to pick with my welsh PA who is hopefully reading this. She was adamant that my bag would be fine to use as hand luggage when she packed it but because of security complained to my PA that it was too large and next time it wouldn’t be allowed through so thanks for that!

As a result of the hold up at security we were rushed on the plane and it’s worth mentioning that I hadn’t eaten since I got up so I had a easyjet breakfast if there is such a thing? The flight, which was 2 hours 50 went rather quick and soon we were landing at Keflavik International Airport with no sign of super bunny as we left the plane in my manual, however I had an idea that it would be in the baggage hall which it was, when we found him, we were greeted by an unusual sight of, what looked like some Nordic rope out of a Viking movie wrapped around the chair with no idea of how to unwrap it:

After successfully untying super bunny from his lead, we headed for the exit and were greeted by our taxi driver who was holding up my business name, oh well you never know what could happen now….

Keflavik airport is around 50 km from the city of Reykjavik so we enjoyed a drive through the lovely Icelandic landscape taking in the nothingness that was there. We arrived at the hotel expecting more drama as usual, even though I rang them last week to ensure two rooms were adjacent to each other which they confirmed, however this seemed to have got lost as we now have two rooms a short walk along the corridor and one on the floor below, the drama is still carrying on as we speak trying to resolve this!

As we had a small breakfast, we headed out in search of an accessible restaurant. Iceland is meant to be one of the coldest places in the world however it was actually warmer here than in Bristol today which is disappointing as I specifically went to Bridgend to buy winter stuff. However it is meant to snow tomorrow so it might prove useful in the end! For lunch, we had the traditional Icelandic meal of an Italian pizza and then headed for a walk around the city to visit some of the places that were on my to do list. During our walk we came across some commotion where people were standing in the middle of the road taking photos. At first I thought it was some Chinese tourists as I know they like to take photos of everything, even cows, as we turned the corner we were greeted by this:

Although this was exciting, the real reason for going up this hill was to see Hallgrimskirkju in all its glory :

After a wander inside we proceeded to be proper tourists and ask for directions to another building so that I can tick it off in my book ‘A Thousand an One Buildings’ which is a real book as it includes some random buildings that they claim you must see before you die. After all this excitement we headed back to the hotel for the rest of the evening to eat takeaway and chill out for the rest of the evening, hopefully there will be a takeaway somewhere around here! Oh and just to let you know that if you are on tinder you can of course find Icelandic women on there!

Tomorrow we are planning to go whale watching on a boat leaving Reykjavik harbour and there is a small chance we are going to see the northern lights in the evening however it is planning to snow all evening so let’s see what happens, the mobile network in Iceland is really weird as it won’t let me tweet anything it’s like being back in America again so I have to wait until I get wifi to do so.

See you tomorrow,
Nath

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