Quote Ally. And yes, Iceland in one word is “wow”. Or maybe “majestic-as-fuck”, though slightly cheating.
So I’m on the plane and putting together some general reflections of my trip.
Thehighlight: Saltvik and the wonderful people there
My favourite experience this trip was my time at Saltvik. I absolutely loved it. The family atmosphere, the scenery, the horses, how could you possibly go wrong?
Freyja of course is best horse, such a sweet soul.
Best non–horse experience: Fjallsárlon
This was the zodiac tour of the glaciers lake. So much fun, so much stunning, and the guys running were good lads, Nicolas knew so much about the area!
Best museum: Njalls Saga museum
Award for best museum goes to the Njalls Saga. I guess there were no expectations as we didn’t know it existed until I followed a random sign. And all the sagas are pretty cool. But this one was fun.
Best hot pot: Drangsnes or Vatnajökull
Tricky to decide. They both had stunning views, choices in temperature, and super hot available. Neither were very sulphurous either.
Best meal: Dinner at Pakkhüs in Höfn
This meal included more duck than I’ve ever seen on one plate. It was so scrummy. The tiny piece of pork belly spoke to the availability of the different meats.
Best night out: pub crawl Reykjavik
Many thanks to Guđmundur and Gudny for the great tour of Reykjavik including local gossip, knowledge, beer, and Brennivin.
Best town: Stykkishólmur
This town is very very pretty. It has won awards for it, so I guess many people know it, but the setting plus the work they do to keep it looking great all a win.
Best waterfall: Kolugljúfur Gorge
I think this was the prettiest one I saw. There were two falls, no people, a rainbow, and a great troll story!
Despite its small size, this place has seriously remote areas. And we didn’t even get into the mountains. There are about 340 000 residents of Iceland. Reykjavik and surrounds have close to 200 000 of them. Akureyri, second biggest city, has 20 000. Now I know I’m not great at math, but that feels like about 120 000 people in an area half the size of Victoria. Small towns are 20 residents, and many of those will be in the surrounding farms not in ‘town’.
Tome of most knowledge was our map for the drive. It was all marked up with the suggested travel route and the hotels and some of the things of interest that we should consider. It got quite beaten up by the end. Thanks to Nordic Traveller for that one, helpful! The day Travis lost it was hilarious. Turns out he’d put it in the pocket of the car door and had multiple boy looks. Many swear words were yelled…by him. There are plenty if maps around so I just sat and let him sweat it out.
Note to self, travel with non snorers. I guess I’m not used to sharing a sleeping space so it made it worse. Trying to sleep near a freight train is not conducive to a good night’s rest.
The cars, oh my god those big ‘jeeps’. They seem to call the beasts jeeps. They’re only really used for glacier and highland driving. They really are beastly.
The supermarkets keep what I consider strange hours. They’re often not open until ten and close at six. Even the Reykjavik Bónus had these sorts of hours. On Fridays they opened until seven or eight. No late night shopping for snacks.
Oh, and the Bónus symbol…totally a drunk pig, just look at those eyes, no way he’s holding it together.
So I like driving, and that’s what I did this trip. Travis drove twice. I guess I would have done about 5200km of the 5634km total. There are many single lane bridges and tunnels. Even a tunnel with an intersection in it. But I have never seen so many blind hills. If you’re lucky they put a sign up. If it’s super blind, and they have room between the rocks, they widen and put a tall keep right post. I gave up slowing for all of them, I’d still be driving if I did.
So I guess now on to the next adventure. I hope this Denver gig comes through and I can take a long weekend in winter. I’d love to see the northern lights and what the place is like in winter. I guess I should also go to the Blue Lagoon. I couldn’t bring myself to after all the amazing other hot pots we visited.
Yep, Iceland. Love it (in summer).