Coffee in the midnight sun

As the plane comes in to land, I press my face against the glass from my window seat at the almost lunar landscape of volcanic rock, eerie and unexpected, like something from a science fiction film.


Gullfoss, Iceland
Gullfoss Waterfall by Chris Ayres

Iceland has already exceeded my expectations and we haven’t landed yet.  It’s a long but efficient coach journey to fabulous Reykjavik which is set on a broad bay with a backdrop of imposing mountains. Hard to imagine that most of the population live here, in a city that seems considerably smaller than Brighton.


We have plans: whale watching on Day Two, the Golden Circle coach tour on Day Three (which includes the famous Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysers and the Thingvellir National Park – nature and history).


We will get the chance to bathe in a hot natural spring at the top of a mountain, endlessly photograph glaciers and vast lakes with water as smooth as glass, explore prehistoric valleys and enjoy an al fresco lunch on the rocks.  We will visit the Thorsmork Nature Reserve and Glacier Tour, fording streams and unnervingly fast flowing rivers (and despite being teased for being unsuitably dressed in lilac fleece, long skirt and leather fashion boots instead of rugged mountaineering boots, I am the only one not to end up with wet feet).


Hallgrimskirkja, Iceland
Hallgrimskirkja Church by Jane Ayres

And on our final day, we will stop at the famous futuristic Blue Lagoon on the way back to the airport and bathe in the hot, milky, sulphurous waters. As the coach drops us at our hotel, it’s already late evening but we don’t have to worry about it getting dark, because summer here has 24 hour sunlight. So at 23.30 hours, after exploring the city, we set off with our cameras for the Hallgrimskirkja Church, awestruck by its breathtakingly graceful and distinctive architecture. My partner wants a picture with the clock hands passing midnight, outlined against a clear blue sky. Surreal.


And now, satisfied with the array of digital images we have captured, we are ready for some refreshment. We sit at a wooden table outside a popular bar.  The streets are bustling, vibrant. The people are friendly and lively. The coffee is good. It’s nearly 1.30am but the sun is still out. Night ceases to exist here. For someone who loves espresso and hates the dark, this is paradise.


About the author:

Jane had her first short story published in a UK Pony magazine when she was 14. Since then she has written many books and stories for children and teenagers, and published work has been translated into nine languages. A passionate cat lover, Jane is donating all author royalties from her e-book Coming Home to the charity Cats Protection.


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