I’m typing this blog on the plane to Vancouver. Below us we can see Greenland with beautiful snow fields, glaciers and floating ice floes in the sea. Last Thursday (July 18) we left for Iceland. From Rheden we took the train to Schiphol and it was a bit exciting to see if we would be on time because the direct train from Arnhem to Schiphol had had a collision and was out of service, so we had to go all the way via Den Bosch. But it went well, just in time. With 2 hours and 45 minutes flying you can already be in Iceland! You can even go there by car if you take the ferry from Denmark. We spent the first night in a guesthouse on an industrial site. Not the most romantic place but chosen because it was close to the rental company and so we didn’t spend too much time the next morning picking up the camping car. The Guesthouse was great. Simple room and shared bathroom and kitchen. There were especially many Asians of whom I think work in the area.. The falafel salad from Iceland air on the plane was really dry so we went to the dominoes and had pizza in our room. The water smelled of sulfur, but that is normal there. Especially that morning when everyone had showered, the entire guesthouse smelled like rotten eggs haha. anyway there is a bit of sulfur air all over the island, but I’ve got a cold from the air-conditioning so I could no longer smell it.
Picked up the camper van on day one. It all went smoothly, and there was a giveaway shelf where people left their unused products. Super handy hehe! Off the bat I got half of my shopping list in the bag, that saves, Iceland is definitely not cheap. The car was a kind of volkswagen caddy (but then from Dacia) with a bed in it and a kind of self-built construction that we could cook on. That is actually all you need, especially if you only go for a few days. Exceptionally, I had already mapped out the route in advance. We only had a few days and you don’t want to have to figure out everything there. The great thing about Iceland is that if you love nature, you can see lots of fantastic things in a few days. Everything is relatively close together and usually a 5 to 10 minute walk from the main road. Driving a car there is easy. After filling the car full with groceries, we first drove to Thingvellir NP. There is the fault line of the North American and Eurasian continent. Then we drove to Geysir … you know, that huge geyser! Very touristy but fantastic to see. Entirely in a crack because we were unable to take a selfie with the spitting Geysir in the background without looking surprised. Then to Gullfoss. The most fantastic waterfall I have ever seen. In Norway and Morocco we already saw very high and beautiful waterfalls, but this one was mostly very wide and wild. At the bottom, the water disappeared into a huge gap. After Gullfoss we drove south to Kerid. A collapsed volcano with a beautiful crater lake and lava in all sorts of colors. Then off to watch puffins fly up and down the top of a cliff to get fish and occasionally landed just a few meters next to us. There were also beautiful black beaches and basalt columns in the sea. We slept in Vik. Which, according to a friend, should be a bustling city where you can have a drink in the evening. We have seen only a campsite and a few cottages. Somehow we missed Vik or we didn’t drive far enough. We made food there, completely covered in a sweater because of the flies. Anyway, sleeping there also went well even though it was not really getting dark. We were far too tired from all the impressions to be bothered by it. All those little walks start ticking at the end of the day. My pedometer (yes, yes) counted 16,000 steps (about 12km) at the end of the day.
The next day we drove back along the same road and saw that we had driven past a beautiful glacier that we had missed the day before because of the clouds! Because it was sunny, We revisited the puffins so that Erik could take more pictures. Then to another huge waterfall, Sollfuss. Where Erik took off his shoes and walked into the icy water to find the most beautiful place to photograph (what did I write about a hobby that got out of hand?) He entertained a number of Japanese tourists with it haha . Drove on, to a glacier with a beautiful lake where ice floes floated. Very tempting to canoe in, but of course that is not allowed without guidance and so on (due to pieces of ice breaking off). Very impressive to see. And of course bathed in a thermal bath. Not the blue lagoon because we thought it was too touristy and expensive (and Erik secretly doesn’t like mud haha), but a pool recommended by the same girlfriend somewhere in the mountains. You had to make a short walk but you get rewarded, that the worn dressing-room looked like a hovel actually made it even more beautiful. At the end of the afternoon we went to a thermofield with more geysers and I could take a foot bath in the warm mud. You could also cook an egg in the geyser and eat bread baked in a thermal oven. At the end of the day, completely exhausted, perched on a beautiful (free) campsite by the sea, amidst a colony of terns that attacked Erik when he came too close to photograph them hihihi.
What a country Iceland, so beautiful! For all people who think “oh I always want to go there again” Just do it! Just to drive through alone is fantastic. Lava fields with flowers, mountains and cliffs with waterfalls everywhere, the landscape and vegetation are constantly changing along the way, and we have actually only seen a small part. Yes it is expensive and touristy, but if you search a bit further there are always affordable ways. If you go for longer than a week it is probably cheaper to go with your own tent / car or camper because renting is quite expensive. And of course you don’t have to go in high season, shoulder seasons are nice and not that cold.
This morning before we flew we took a quick coffee in Reykjavik, but the city actually isn’t too exciting. Maybe it was because it was a Sunday morning. The coffee here is not that great either by the way, that’s a bit of a shame. Everywhere it is a weak cup of coffee, some looked even more like tea than coffee. After days of drinking saggy coffee, we had turned our hope to the hip hipster coffee bars with overly friendly American waitresses in Reykjavik, but even there it wasn’t much better haha. Fortunately we received a free refill, jeej ahum. Off to Vancouver!