Setting off in January
I’ve been booked into a hotel in Reykjavik for 4 nights from the 10th of January. I’ll be flying from Manchester airport and one of my daughters is taking me in her car and picking me up on the return. They have everything sorted, airport transfers in Iceland, excursions, bus tickets, the lot!
All I’ve had to do is to sort some decent clothing suitable for the Icelandic winter weather and turn up on the day! I’m going alone as they wanted it to be a photography trip for me, I’ve told them all a million times before I would love to go and do some photography over there, so they decided to arrange it for me!
As I’m there for 4 nights, I’ve got a lot to cram into the time I’m there. I’ve got three organised excursions booked, I plan to spend as much time with my camera as I can but I also want a little time just to relax too.
On the photography side of things, I’m hoping to take advantage of the fact that in January Iceland only receives about 4 hours of daylight by getting plenty of sunrise and sunset shots. That’s dependant on the weather though, which is said to be extremely changeable and it’s mid winter when I’m going.
With the trip being 4 nights, I’m not going to get everything that Iceland has to offer fitted in but it will give me the incentive to return!
I’m leaving home late afternoon tomorrow (Monday 09/01/2023), travelling to Manchester airport by train and staying overnight in a hotel at Manchester airport. My flight is at 0710hrs on Tuesday morning and I land in Iceland around 1000hrs.
I’ve got a night shift to complete tonight (2130 – 0600hrs) so I’m going to try and grab a few hours sleep before I set off. I’ve been playing it low key until today, now I’m buzzing and can’t wait to set off.
- Day 1
Arrive in Reyjavik in the morning, wander around Reykjavik with the camera and then a Northern Lights Tour in the evening. This is a late trip, from 2000hrs to 0100hrs.
- Day 2
Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Kirkjufell day trip, with pickup from my hotel for the 11 hour trip. I’m getting picked up around 0730 – 0800hrs from the hotel, so I’ll be pretty tired. Plenty of time to sleep on the minibus though I hope, between stops. I’ll be taking in some of the scenic spots in Western Iceland. There are 6 stops on the trip, each giving me enough time to get some shots.
- Day 3
Another full day excursion, this time following the Golden Circle, this trip will be taking in the scenic spots on the famed circular route near Rekyjavik. I’m getting picked up around 1000hrs and I’ll get back in plenty of time to find somewhere for a nice meal in Reykjavik.
- Day 4
Nothing planned as yet for day 4. I think I’ll end up having a good explore of Reyjavik and try some local food, just an easy wind down for the trip home. Plenty of photos to be had around Reykjavik too. I may end up looking for a half day activity for the afternoon though.
- Day 5
Got an early evening flight back home, so will have till around 1600hrs to kill time. I am looking for a 2-3 hour mini activity I could do in time before I have to head to the airport for the journey home.
Kitting up for the trip
So I’ll be going to Iceland in mid winter, the average temperatures are around -5°c to 5°c but the windchill can make it feel a hell of a lot colder. Then there is the fact that the weather is very unpredictable so it can have torrential rain, snow blizzards or be cast in glorious sunshine all in one day.
Then to compound that further, January is one of the darkest months too, with just 4-5 hours of daylight. I’m hoping the lack of daylight will work in my favour though, I should be able to get some good sunset and sunrise shots on the two day trips I’m on, hopefully!
Taking the weather into consideration, I’ve had to splash some dosh on clothing for the trip, with a waterproof down jacket, merino wool base layers, winter trousers, gloves, socks and hat. I’ve also bought a decent pair of insulated snow boots too. I’m going to be stood about with the camera in whatever the Icelandic weather is going to throw at me so the last thing I want to be is cold, wet and miserable.
I’m hoping that the weather is good enough for me to get some great shots while I’m there. Even if it isn’t great weather I’ll still be snapping away with the camera, with a location such as Iceland and its natural beauty, I’m sure I’ll be coming home with plenty of shots!