Despite all the challenges and sh**y weather most of the time, Iceland has something that makes me want to come back. Cold beauty - that's what she is.
My first trip here was in 2010, just after the blow up of Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which stopped the air traffic in Europe for weeks. Just after it resumed, the tickets were quite cheap, so I took the opportunity to give it a try. That time, I have spent 3 weeks on a bicycle, going around the island against the wind, rain and sometimes myself. Today I remember it as the toughest experience of my life, but I am also very happy I had it.
Even though this country gave me a hard lesson, I seem to feel some kind of masochistic need for more. And here we are, September 2016 and time for another visit to this 'country of ice and fire' (however I would easily replace 'fire' with 'water' or 'wind' in this quote), where chasing the rainbows starts to have a completely different meaning.
This time, no bikes involved, we have rented a car. Not a 4x4 unfortunately, just a regular city car. This restricted the drive to the main roads and took more adventurous 'F-roads' out of the equation, but I am quite sure at some point I will get to that level too 😉
The trip was rather on a budget - the only costs were tickets and car rental. I prepacked and portioned all the food already at home, ready to spill hot water on it. To be honest, this was the first time I really did it right, as usually I overdo with food and have to carry and bring back loads. This time I can be proud of my planning. Since we both enjoy camping and it's easy to find places to put up a tent, the hotel booking was not an issue either.
Trading a rare, sunny autumn in Stavanger for a gloomy Iceland seemed a bit like a looser deal on the day of our arrival. Heavy clouds made us change the initial plan right away and instead of going South, we drove to the North. After a rainy day spent mostly on a transfer, we reached Kirkjufellsfoss just on time to enjoy the view and take few pictures before going for a hot bath in a local swimming pool.
Funny thing, but during the previous trip I didn't realize how many horses there were around here! It makes perfect sense, as people come to Iceland to do horseriding as the main attraction. Somehow, it never occurred to me they just owe the island. Together with sheep.
One of the places I just passed by on bike, but did not bother cycling extra 15km both ways out of the main route... Dyrhólaey Arch - the big miss of 2010.
Some things look better in the sunshine - Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is one of them. Definitely worth a hectic drive to get there just before the storm.
And, of course, there are all these 'Golden Circle' highlights... Some of them deserve their fame. However, I still keep refusing to go to Blue Lagoon: there is just so much more to see in Iceland than an expensive hot soup of people! 😉