Off to the land of ice and fire… via Manchester

Will this all fit in 2 hold bags and 2 cabin bags? Ice axes, crampons, helmets, hiking boots, camera, lenses, 2 tripods, waterproofs, down jackets, fleeces, clothes, wash kit, iPad, chargers… the list seems endless!

Piles of kit for our Iceland trip
Piles of kit for our Iceland trip

And the answer is… No! We decided to pay for an additional hold bag, which has made things much easier. I’m not sure how we’re going to carry all these though!

Bag family
The big family of bags

We pottered round all morning, had an early lunch, and left, sad to say goodbye to Millie. We know she’s in safe hands with Aunty Jean though.

When we got to Manchester, we had a couple of stressful moments, and I hoped this wasn’t going to set the tone for the trip. Firstly, John’s new credit card was declined when we checked into the hotel, and we had to use another one. Then, when we’d taken the car to the airport car park, the bus took forever, winding around dropping people laden with skis and heavy bags back at their cars at various bus stops, and we were worried we were going to be late for our spa treatment… very stressful for a worrier like me!

Thankfully, the kind bus driver dropped us right outside the hotel and we were fine. And, after a phone call to the bank, it turns out that there was nothing wrong with John’s credit card; there must have been a fault on the hotel’s card machine. So we’re all set to give it a hard time in Iceland, where we’ve been warned everything is very expensive!

Things have since improved greatly. We’ve both had a lovely hot stone massage and a facial, followed by a glass of Prosecco. John was so relaxed, I thought he was going to start snoring as his breathing got deeper and deeper. After that, we had a drink in the bar. Well… it would be rude to waste happy hour! We had planned to go swimming, but I’m feeling too lazy for that, although we  did walk over to Terminal 1 to see how long it’ll take us tomorrow.


Now we’re relaxing in the room before we go down for dinner. The last time we were in this hotel we were with mum and dad, saying goodbye to Rich, Rach, Lexie and Tom, as they emigrated to Tasmania. I can’t believe that was so long ago. Or that Tasmania will be our next holiday! I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

Our flight is at about 1 o’clock tomorrow so we’ve got plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast before we check in. Once we get to Iceland, we’ll pick up the hire car and travel to Selfoss, where we’re staying in an Airbnb for a few nights. Tomorrow night, we’ve booked a trip with a photographer to see the Northern Lights. I hope they put on a good show!

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