The steaming milky-blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, Iceland beckoned. Wearing just my swimming costume I took a deep breath and pegged-it through the biting chill of Iceland’s February weather. Wading into the hot, mineral-rich water felt all the better for the minus degree dash. I laid back and soaked blissfully as the piping hot water relaxed every muscle in my body. Heaven…
Reviewed – the North Face Resolve Jacket for women. The perfect lightweight jacket for Spring and Autumn walks and hikes to keep you warm and dry.
The Mister and I have been dog-sitting for the past couple of weeks so we were more than happy that the day Havana came to stay the rain stopped and the sun came out. Havana (aka Princess Yum Yum) is a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier and not a sheep or teddy bear (if you were wondering). Cute isn’t she?
It was excellent timing that Blacks had just asked me check-out out a North Face Resolve jacket – perfect for dog-walking in the Sussex countryside in this fresh, breezy spring weather.
The Resolve jacket is waterproof, breathable and seam sealed for wet weather and it’s made from a durable Ripstop HyVent™ fabric. The jacket comes with 60g Heatseeker™ synthetic lightweight insulation for extra warmth. It allows your body to breathe whether you’re trekking, walking the dog or even out in the snow.
There’s an adjustable stowable hood, brushed chin guard and mesh lining. The centre zip has a Velcro storm flap for added weatherproofing, two zipped pockets and tailored styling and it weighs just 410g.
What’s to Love?
The jacket is totally waterproof so that when it rained the water just rolled straight off, without soaking into the fabric, keeping me completely dry.
The hood is adjustable so didn’t blow down in the wind and kept my hair dry too. My hair frizzes and doubles in size in the slightest drizzle so that was a big plus and it wasn’t really cold enough to be wearing a hat. When not in use the hood stows neatly away in the back of the collar without being bulky.
The funnel necked chin-guard looks great and had the added bonus of stopping the wind whipping around my throat. There’s a cinched hem so no unwanted drafts there either.
I love that this jacket is tailored for women to give a neat fitted look and is light enough to slip into a rucksack or bag without being bulky. Despite being very lightweight the jacket kept me really warm and as it’s breathable I didn’t get hot and clammy. Basically this jacket has the cold, wet weather sewn up.
What’s not to love?
I wasn’t keen on the elasticated cuffs. An adjustable cuff with velcro or fastener to keep wrists snug would have been preferable and would give the sleeves a more structured, finished look. But that was just a minor point in what is otherwise a really good walking and hiking jacket for spring and autumn.
I took the North Face Resolve jacket with me on a trip to Iceland in August. It was perfect for the changeable weather and light enough to squeeze easily into my bag when the sun came out.
Disclaimer: My ‘North Face’ Resolve Insulated Jacket was kindly provided by Blacks. However, all views and thoughts are entirely my own.
Reykjavik has a distinct vibe going on. It has a small-town feel; traditionally built wooden houses, shops packed with local design, café culture, restaurants serving amazing food, all built around a working harbour. But there’s a definite edge. Reykjavik is an intriguing capital full of creatives, culture, off-the-wall architecture, art and, of course, nature’s stunning backdrop over Faxaflói Bay to Mount Esja. So, what to see and do in Iceland’s capital city? Here are my tips for visiting Reykjavík, Iceland’s oh so cool capital.
If you’ve only got time for one tour on your trip to Iceland make it a tour of The Golden Circle. Why this tour? You’ll experience three forces of nature in one unforgettable day – Gullfoss, geysers and geological rifts. This has got to be the best Iceland tour.
Iceland’s Golden Circle route in Southern Iceland, covers about 300 km starting in Reykjavík, before panning into central Iceland and back again taking in en-route the rugged beauty and power of mother nature in all her Icelandic glory. Ideally I’d like to take an Icelandic road trip but if you don’t have time this is the next best alternative.
The sky was still deep blue when we left Hotel Ion at 9am, around dawn, on an icy February morning. Visiting Iceland in winter has its bonuses though – you get to see the sunrise without having to get up at silly o’clock!
Þingvellir National Park
Our first stop was Þingvellir (pronounced Thingvellir) National Park, home to the world’s oldest parliament where the Alþingi general assembly was founded in the year 930 AD and carried on convening until 1798. Þingvellir means ‘Parliament Plains’ and the views across them are breathtaking; even on a dusky morning when a vicious wind whips your face and a weak sun struggles to light the landscape their beauty shines through.
The whole area is part of a fissure ribboning through Iceland where you can clearly see the drifting in the tectonic plate boundaries of North America and Eurasia – The Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The rift widens every year by a few millimetres and the faults in the earth’s crust filled with deep crystal-clear waters are clearly visible.
Great Geysir, Strokkur, Litli Geysir
The powerful river tipped over the first step and roared towards me thundering and foaming, hints of turquoise shining beneath the surface, before pitching over the crevice and exploding into the canyon below leaving me feeling completely alive and invigorated. And very, very tiny.
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I had a very brief taste of Iceland and fell in love with its wild, rugged beauty, the contrasting textures and colours of the landscape, diversity of experience and the extreme forces of nature. The Golden Circle encompassed all of that, and more, in one unforgettable day
Check out my video (below) with some Iceland highlights including a helicopter ride over the black sands of Vik and some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and glaciers. Excuse the wobbly bits – it’s a bit tricky in a helicopter!