Arrived at Keflavik airport and went to buy wine at duty free and exchange money (both tips picked up on here!!)
We picked up our hire 4x4 and set off for Hotel Ranga that was to be our home for the next 4 nights.
I was amazed by the beautiful scenery on the drive, and it started to snow
A 10 foot tall polar bear greeted us on our arrival and we were efficiently registered. Our room was fine, but overlooked the car park, although this turned out to be OK as the Northern lights appeared on this side of the hotel, so we could wait for them in our room.
We were lucky enough to see them on two nights of our stay
Next morning we set off in the snow to drive down the coast to Vik, stopping to admire the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls that were enhance by the snow. By the time we reached Vik the snow had turned to driving rain and it was very windy, so we didn't see it at it's best!
That night we had an amazing meal in the hotel restaraunt and a soak in the hot tub under the stars when the weather cleared
Next day we did the Golden Circle Tour and again hit the snow when we got to Selfoss. We were very glad we had a 4x4!!
We drove to the almost deserted Þingvellir plains, located on the north Atlantic rift that splits Iceland between the North American and Eurasian continents.
Thanks to the directions from the lady in the cafe we found a partly frozen waterfall cascading over the edge of the snow covered North American tectonic plate - a truely magical sight and the highlight of the trip for me
We saw the geysirs and then the waterfall at Gullfoss which was incredibly beautiful in the snow
The next day we drove around the Þjórsá river area and saw more waterfalls, the most notable being Hjálparfoss where there are amazing basalt rock formations and stunning flora. We drove through stunning barren lava fields
On our way back to the airport we did the obligatory Blue Lagoon trip
I always say I don't want to revisit a holiday destination as there is so much world to see - but I have to make an exception for iceland - there is just so much we didn't see on this trip
We went in the winter hoping to see the Northern Lights and I was delighted that they put in an appearance, now I would love to visit in summmer, which I feel would be a whole new experience.
Many thanks to the contributors to this forum from whom I gained much helpful advice when planning this trip