We arrived at 14.30 pm local time Iceland and pick up the car in he airport. First time the plane landed in the airport and saw outside, I felt like in the other planet. Everywhere was white, there were no trees, and the area seemed really quite. I sat down in the plane next to 2 American people. Yes, I did not sit next to Damar nor his siblings as we checked in pretty late. Apparently, now there’s a stop over from or to the States. That explains why there are a lot of Americans in the flight. A tip also for WOW air, they do not have online check in, but you can reserve the seat online when you book the ticket. Else, you need to come early for the check in to have a nice seat as wished.
We drove to our stay in the centre of Reykjavijk. It took approximately 40-45 minutes driving. We arrived and took a rest.. I cooked dinner and we all stayed in bed until the next day.
We checked out before 10 am and drove to the National Park in Thingevellir. In the summer of 2000, two severe earthquakes occurred in South Iceland. Though their source lay 40-50 kilometres southeast of Þingvellir, stones fell from the ravine walls and water splashed up from the rifts. The water in the Flosagjá rift, normally crystal clear, became so murky that you couldn’t see the coins lying on the bottom. The earthquakes were a result of movement of the Eurasian and North-American plate boundaries that run through Iceland. In the south, the plates inch past each other, but at Þingvellir, they break apart and the land between subsides. In here, divers can go to the plates of 2 continents at the same time. The view there was also amazing. It’s just the weather was freezing up to minus 4.
Then, we continued to Geysir. Eruptions at Geysir can hurl boiling water up to 70 metres in the air. However, eruptions may be infrequent, and have in the past stopped altogether for years at a time. The explosion was every 5-8 minutes. Just wait there and you will get the moment 🙂
We had a little coffee break in Geysir, so far Geysir has the most convenient waiting/break place with huge store and cafetaria, and proper toilet. Afterwards, we continued to Gulfoss. Gulfoss means Golden Waterfall. It was really cold, the wind was killing. I felt like if I did not properly wear hiking shoes, I would have flown away by the wind.
We did not stay that long in Gulfoss, because of the cold. We just stayed for 15-20 mins and we came back to the car. We drove away to our next airbnb stay, the owner’s name was Magnus. He prepared some fishes at home, that’s what we ate for Dinner. Iceland is very rich with its seafood, thus we were pretty sure the salmon was something he randomly caught. We were honored! This place also has hot tub at the back of the house, Magnus said that we did not have to be careful using the water because it’s unlimited and they have plenty of water. I believe it’s because of the geothermal power that Iceland is rich with. We were enjoying the hot tub until dinner time. Feeling soooooo good! Oh btw, do not mind the smelly water, especially the hot water as it is full with sulfur. This is not drinkable, but the cold water is.
That night we saw the aurora and this is the night where I was proposed 🙂 See the story and picture here
We moved on to the next place. We drove towards Kerid Creter Lake. It is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grimsnese area in south Iceland. Again, the wind was pretty scary for a little girl for me. The trail was a little slippery too. The timberland shoes I borrowed from a friend has a proper grip to the ground, it helped a lot to walk. Damar wore just vans and he slipped a few times, more over when the canvas caught the snow, it would absorb and his feet would get freezing.
There was literally nothing in this place, but a person who manages entrance fee and the lake itself. No toilet nor cafetaria, so you better have your break before this or prepare to have it after. Almost all the places in Iceland precaution the visitors to visit at our own risks, and hospital is usually far from all these attractions. So, better be careful. Better safe than sorry!
We had lunch on the way facing the good view and continued to Selandjafoss
Satisfied with what we saw, we drove to our stay in Hvollsvollur for like an 1/2 hour. This night is the night where we saw the dancing light in the sky and second time we saw aurora. We woke up at 2 am and drove to a quite place where there were no lights disturbing our sights.
We drove from our stay in Hvollsvollur to the Sulfoss waterfall for an hour. We spent around 1 hour and took some pictures.
We then continued to Black beach which is located in the village Vik. The black sands in the side street greeted us, then we knew we were nearby the place.In 1991, the US journal Islands Magazine counted this beach as one of the ten most beautiful beaches on Earth. Its stretch of black basalt sand is one of the wettest places in Iceland. The cliffs west of the beach are home to many seabirds, most notably puffins which burrow into the shallow soils during the nesting season (source: Wikipedia).
Here Damar bought me a postcard, as I have been collecting for sometimes. You could see little cafetaria and toilet, please please optimize the toilet when you see it, because it’s not easy to find a toilet in the street. Or you have to stop and pee in the snow, it’s obviously no problem for boys, but it’s difficult for me.
After we did the routine in the stop, took pictures etc, we went to Skaftafell. We did not go to the national park, we went to Svinafellsjokull glacier instead. The Svinafellsjokull ( ” Pigs Mountain Glacier “) is a small glacier tongue of the huge Vatnajökull in the south of Iceland. The Svinafellsjokull sandwiched east of the Hafrafell and west of the mountains Svínafellsfjall . The melt water via the Svínafellsá and then Skeiðará discharged to sea . This Skeiðará flows with very many arms by the huge Skeiðarársandur. (Source: wikipedia). I suggested to arrive there before getting dark because of the quite place and the slippery mountain. When we were there, we saw a plate commemoration of 2 young people of age 23 who went missing after climbing the Vatnajokul mountain and saw the last time around the glacier area. Goosebumps got into me quickly..
We were there until sunset, it was beautiful. Not so many tourists in the area, no toilet, nothing, just the beauty of nature itself and a little parking lot.
On the way back was a little scary, because the wind was really hard and I could feel the car moved by the wind to the other side. Moreover, the snow particles that were blown to our car direction made the sight radius was not more than 3 meters. It was super dark already and it was only our car in the long road, sometimes we would see another car passing us and then gone with the darkness by the split second. I was getting sensitive thinking that anything could have happened and would be difficult especially if you were alone so a few times when we saw a car pulled over and started their hazard, we would come over and asked if they were okay. Because that’s what we would have expected to be asked if we were in a problem. I think strangers don’t matter, because in the wild road, there’s no citizenship or shame, but humanity. Luckily, we could arrive in Hofn town safe and sound at 20.30.
We had to drive back to Reykavijk and it was 4 hours distance. We had to entertain ourselves in that long journey, thankfully the road or traffic was far away from stress because the road was in a good condition and not so many cars. So Damar could enjoy the drive with his automatic engine car. We played a lot of things from charade to words guess to english dictionary. It helped quiet a bit to get us out from boredom and killed the time. On our way to Reykavijk, we made a stop over at Jokulsarlon glacier, just half an hour from our stay in Hofn.
We could see the seals swimming and we could see some frozen plates in the see surface. Very beautiful
And we continued driving and dancing in the car……………….
Until we finally arrived to the most beautiful place we have ever stayed so far. It’s in the remote area, in the middle nowhere, but nature (mountain, sea where you can see the seals in the side playing). It is highly recommended! Because of its remote area, not so many human life there, hence not so many lights. It was really dark after the sunset.. Very peaceful. And you could easily find aurora without having to drive somewhere else. You could just jump outside and witness the powerful earth beauty. That is what we did in the midnight….. Damar made a beautiful timelapse that we will share in our wedding invitation video 🙂
Here is the link of the airbnb place click
The next day, we just relaxed and did nothing in the stay. In the morning, Damar and I went to the supermarket (20 mins from our place) to buy some groceries for Barbeque night as the stay is equipped with proper electric grill in their veranda. We went back and enjoy the hot tub until the sun was set. What a relaxing last day.
We get ready to go to the Blue Lagoon, a must go place in between the airport and Reykavijk. We had to drive like an hour to get us to the lagoon. We got the timeslot at 10 in the morning, just when it’s open. Note: Always book the entrance ticket far away in advance, don’t risk and buy it there, the chance for sold out is incredibly high. The price is 55 euro, I just noticed I did not put this on the expenses. Oops! We took the comfort package contains towel, a drink, complimentary silica mud and algea masks. While standard was really only the ticket to get in. Comfort package is definitely worth it!
Reserve the ticket here
Another tip is to not wear lenses as the sea salt water could melt the lenses and got you a sever eye irritation. I read this before I went there, and it was worth to know, because even with bare eyes it very hurts to have a contact with the water. Also, bring a bottle of water for drinks to prevent from dehydration.
Blue Lagoon is the best way to close this trip, we went off happily and relaxed!
Off we go home!!!! For me, this is a very memorable trip. Not only because I came back engaged, but also because everything I experienced in Iceland was like no others.Up until recently, Iceland had been off the radar! With tourism on the rise, GO NOW before too many travelers find out about it! All weather are amazing! What is also fantastic about Iceland is connecting with other nationalities from all over the world, which gives Iceland a true international flavor.. It is one safe and convenient travel where everybody speaks english properly. Do not worry for a thing, Iceland is very developed and rich.
Read a nice Huffington Post 12 Things I love about Iceland article