Published January 16, 2020
Now, as the last Christmas lights are being hacked down from light posts and the Yule Lads are entering hibernation, one lucky woman in Australia has a gift she hasn’t even opened yet. Introducing: Vicki Connolly of Karratha, Australia, our Grapemas 2019 Grand Prize Winner!
The lucky Australian took home the Grand Prize of a Happy Hour Helicopter Tour provided by Norðurflug! But now that the prize is won, another challenge awaits: Getting Vicki halfway across the globe to enjoy it!
We reached out to Vicki and asked her a few questions…
I live in Karratha. It’s a town of about 20,000 people in Western Australia and is 1522 kms north of our capital city Perth. I looked up some statistics—Iceland will fit into WA 25 times and into Australia 75 times. There’s a lot of not very much here! I could drive from north to south of Iceland five times in the distance between Perth and Karratha. Most often we will fly to Perth when we have to go.
Have you visited Iceland before?
I visited Iceland in June, 2017. Visiting my partner’s family was a good reason to go. Touring Iceland and getting to know his son Kári and his sister Magga was fantastic. Magga’s knowledge of history was amazing.
Gee, favourite thing in Iceland? So many! I was struck by the contrasts. Long days in summer, long nights in winter. Watching a group of college students celebrate their graduation on Iceland Day in Akureyri at 11 o’clock at night when it was still light. Incredibly green fields and barren areas with no vegetation at all. Black pebbly beaches… with ice cubes! Geysers! So many spectacular waterfalls. When you live in Karratha where it’s hot and dry, it’s fabulous to see so much fresh water. Glacial valleys. Geologically a very young country compared to Australia. Your recorded history is comprehensive. We only have little more than 200 years of recorded history, although the aboriginal oral history is tens of thousands of years old. My visit made me think a lot about my father, who was a geologist. He would have loved the geology of Iceland.
Are you a regular reader of the Reykjavík Grapevine?
The Reykjavik Grapevine comes up on my Facebook newsfeed. I’ve found a great range of articles published that have interested me. I’m keen to understand the Icelandic life. I’m not sure how I heard about it. Perhaps I saw an article on Facebook? I enjoyed the first article, so I went to your Facebook page to read more. I’m now an avid follower of the Reykjavik Grapevine.
I was very surprised to win such a brilliant prize. I had hoped to be in Reykjavik to experience an Icelandic Christmas with Bjössi’s family, but that wasn’t to be. I was feeling a bit miserable to not be there when I entered the competition, thinking how wonderful it would be to win. Now, it’s another reason to go back—even though it may be the most expensive “free” helicopter ride. But worth every bit to drink sparkling wine on the top of a mountain (that I don’t have to hike up).
Are you looking forward to drink sparkling wine on top of a mountain?
It’s something that I hope to enjoy when we retire. I’ll have to work on my íslenska, although I can’t work out why you would want to conjugate a noun. Bjössi/Bjössa? Crazy!
Congratulations again Vicky and also to all the others who got a prize. Feel free to check out some of the awesome prizes we gave to our Facebook followers during Grapemas below and stay tuned for more giveaways in the future!