…or how I randomly ended up in Hengill in my Nike running shoes, in snow up to my calves, and a skirt that was inside out.
Today I was at home taking a short break from work with a very enlightening documentary when I got a phone call:
“Hi, this is [insert name] from Norðurflug. Just how close to the airport do you live? We just got a cancellation for a tour that leaves in 10 minutes and we’d love to have you on it!”
I’ve never been on a helicopter before and it’s been a dream of mine forever. In my mind helicopters are for the rich and famous (the scene with Jordan Belfort crashing into his garden comes to mind) or really important people like presidents. Not for bloggers that up to recently were mooching off their boyfriends. Maybe it is because there’s not a big helicopter culture here in Iceland or maybe I’ve just watched too many Hollywood movies. Whatever it is it never really crossed my mind until recently that I might some day find myself inside one of those awesome metal birds.
As it happens I live quite close to the domestic airport here in Reykjavík but not close enough to make it there in 10 minutes by foot. The boyfriend was still at work and if I had to take a taxi just waiting for it would take that long. “If you meet me halfway I’ll come in pick you up so you can make it“. And so it was settled.
What the person on the other end didn’t know is that I had just come out of the shower a few minutes before and although I was not completely naked I was not quite dressed either. Since I had no idea where I was going or what was going to happen on this tour I just put on the first clothes I saw, jumped in the first shoes I found and ran out the door. On the way to meeting the Norðurflug staff member I called the boyfriend.
Me: “Uhhh, I’m going on a helicopter tour, I’m supposed to meet this guy at home in 40 minutes, can you take care of it?”
The boyfriend (sounding a little too surprised for my liking): “Auður, are you running?”
Me (huffing and puffing): “What gave it away?”
No more than 15 minutes later I was up in the air. In my Nike running shoes. And a skirt that was inside out. Naturally I didn’t figure out that last part until I was back home.
The tour I went on is called Waterfalls and Valleys and it’s a 70-90 minutes tour that takes you over Reykjavík, into Hvalfjörður where you get to see Iceland’s tallest waterfall Glymur, over Þingvellir national park and into Hengill geothermal area before you fly back to Reykjavík.
Somewhere over Faxaflói bay I remembered that I’m actually quite afraid of heights. For a fleeting moment, as we headed towards mount Esja, I was convinced my days were numbered. I thought about the fact that in my last words to the boyfriend I had been bossing him around and I could see the headlines of tomorrow’s paper: Local bossypants blogger killed in helicopter crash. Until I gave myself a mental slap in the face and decided to enjoy this amazingly beautiful day that I was lucky enough to get to enjoy from this completely unique place.
Here are three things that I learned on today’s tour:
1) Helicopter tours are not just for the rich and famous and and helicopters are surprisingly not scary (this may have been influenced by the fact that I didn’t really have time to get scared as I was more concerned with just making it there in time).
2) Turbulence in a helicopter is really different from turbulence in an airplane (when I found this out is about the same time when I started thinking I was going to die. I got used to it quickly though).
3) Reykjavík and the surrounding areas are BEAUTIFUL from above and the fact that the helicopter can kind of hoover over places makes it a really interesting way to enjoy that.
I know you’re probably sick of me being so damn corny all the time but I can’t help but express how blessed I feel right now. Sometimes I just have to pinch myself because of all the amazing things I get to experience. Today, somewhere over snow covered volcanoes and waterfalls, was definitely one of those moments. Takk Norðurflug!