Normally if I need to get out for a loaf of bread or a few carton’s of milk, it can be akin to planning a round the world trip for 2….well in my head anyway. You spend as long getting ready to go as you do actually on the mission. So when an invite arrived from Primark to spend a few days in Iceland with them, working out with Alice Liveing, in their new Leisure and Swimwear I, quite frankly, couldn’t believe my luck!
I brushed aside all the minor details such as “who will wash, dress, feed, care for and generally keep your kids alive when you are gone” and began mentally packing my case straight away. However the case was indeed very light travelling out there as Primark had kindly not only thought of everything we needed prior to leaving …… but they had also gone and hung them all up!!!! You name it, they had it. Workout leggings, crop tops, hoody’s, vests, trainers, thermal tops, thermal leggings, lounge-wear, pj’s, slippers, gloves, furry insoles for my hiking boots, silk pillowcases, their new range of PHr make up and even a selfie light for the top of my phone! All of the essentials and more.
My (long suffering) parents were called upon again!! I strongly suspect that I may not see them again until next Christmas after this. As luck would have it my husband was away so it was full on chaos. But it took an army and an army I had. Like nearly everything in life, if you want it badly enough you just make it work. But there were skid marks on my driveway following their departure on my arrival home.
With visions of dried fermented fish, glaciers and skyr (the most misunderstood food type to emerge from this wonderful Island. It is in fact technically a type of soft cheese, made from gelatinous milk curds rather than a yoghurt), off I set on my very merry way. Onwards Jeeves, to the land of no surnames as we know them. Google it, it’s worth the 30 seconds it will take and who knows, it may prove you to be a hero at a table quiz coming to you soon.
We stayed in Hotel Húsafell, a contemporary hotel 130km from Reykjavík Airport. Outlaw country as our tour guide informed us. The scenery was quite breath taking. It was as if someone had morphed Connemara and the surface of the moon into one and dusted the resulting landscape in snow. The cold was intense but not bitter. It didn’t seep into your bones with quite the same vigour and strength as the damp cold does here.
A brisk 7am workout ensured all cobwebs were dusted off our sleepy heads. Alice Liveing took this session – it was fun, challenging & gave us a chance to test our Primarks New Range of Leisure Wear. Plus it also gave us a chance to work off the amazing food we had eaten the night before. When I say the food in Iceland is amazing I am not exaggerating.
Dinner was a starter of hot smoked goose leg, with duck breast, wild mushroom barley and blueberries. How does a main course of Beef Tenderloin, with rosti potatoes, sunchokes purée, pickled sunchokes and red wine glace sound? That is just to give you all a taste of what to expect should you be lucky enough to be planning a trip.
The light was scarce. 10am in the hotel’s geothermal pool would have us believe that it was still 6am on a winters morning in Ireland, such was the dark sky. 6 hours later it was dusk once again and so the cycle continues for the duration of their winter.
A trip to the Cave was next on the agenda. Cave Víðgelmir is one of Icelands mightiest caves. It’s glistening lava walls have to be seen to be believed. Believe me, it gave us ample opportunity to road test the thermals. I was certainly glad to have them – let’s put it that way!
The high light was of course The Blue Lagoon. You simply cannot visit Iceland without stopping off here But learn from me, do not get your hair wet. It will be tempting to….but I promise you this…. it will be like straw for days after if you do. The Lagoon almost has the opposite effect on your skin as it was on your hair. Donning a bikini at -1C was not something I thought I would be doing, however, it really was no hardship on this occasion.
And of course in the blink of an eye it was time to stuff all the thermals, trainers, lycra and bikini’s into my case once again. Thank you Primark so such a wonderful experience. Whilst the Northern Lights may have alluded us, the experience was second to none.
Your’s, loving the Primark leggings with the see through strips on the legs,
All in Penney’s/Primark stores now.