Posted on: 05 Feb 2019

This time two weeks ago, I was on my way back from the frozen North (very literally frozen it was) after my few days in Iceland. I wasn't equipped for running, but tried to fit in as much walking as possible over the 4 days. My new Salomons certainly earned their keep! No Northern Lights, alas - thick cloud cover meant that the tour was cancelled, and so was the re-booked one the next evening. I harboured a final hope of seeing something from the plane on the way home, but there was only a shiny gold coin of full moon........ The other tour, though, the Golden Circle, was wonderful, despite heavy snow. I had my doubts that morning about whether it would go ahead, looking out at total white-out, but when I enquired  at the hotel reception, she just smiled and assured me "Oh yes - we're used to this!" The tour didn't get off to the best of starts, when I was asked to move from my carefully chosen window seat to make room for two people who wanted to sit together. Moved to an aisle seat - well, really only about half a seat, next to a large man in an enormous jacket - I decided for once to be assertive and told the tour guide I was not happy with this. She offered me the option to go on a later bus, which also didn't please me; then finally said, well, there IS one seat, but it has no leg room. It was the one right behind her. I looked, and reckoned I would fit, so I accepted this offer. In fact, it was perfect - not only did I have the side window, I had a really good view through the front window too: very adequate compensation for being a bit cramped and skewed. As an aside though, I do have the feeling that solo travellers are sometimes penalized: situations like this; the worst table in restaurants; and don't even get me started on the odious 'single room supplement'...... This hiatus aside, though, the tour was great. First stop: Thingvellir, site of the original Icelandic parliament, and the continental divide between two tectonic plates, marked by a cliff of black volcanic rock.