Camper Van story in November

Hello everybody! We are Franzi, Johannes, Sven and Josh and this is our story of Iceland with Rent.is

On our winter-circle trip with the big Rent.is Renault Master 5 camper we circled the island within 9 days in November. To be honest, when we stepped out of the airport we were doubtful: How is it going to be living that close together? Will the sleeping bags be warm enough? What if there is something wrong with the car? Will we find camping places for the nights? Will we be lucky with the weather or get stuck in snow or a sand storm? Can we chase the Northern lights?

When we picked up the car, we got a short introduction of the camper equipment and special features: electricity, lights, the free WiFi and most important: the heating system!

When we started the car for the first time, there were no more questions. Just us and the adventures ahead!

The Camper van crew

The Camper Van Crew

On our trip – one highlight followed the next, but we all agreed: there was one thing that was outstanding.… But later more!

Something is missing

When driving around Island we felt something is missing. The landscape looks somehow surreal to us – black sharp rocks as far as we could see – rocks covered with a green thick carpet of moss, looking like balls of wool – steam coming out of the earth – waterfalls coming down a plateau – massive glaciers ending up in a big lake. But it took some time for us to realize what was missing: trees. Coming from Germany with the famous black forest and generally many dense forests, this was something that made us feel free but at the same time somehow more vulnerable. Difficult to describe. Surely this was one reason for the sometimes very strong wind attacking our camper. Not before we reached the north we saw little forests of birch trees. Wondering how people in former times had been able to build houses or ships.

Exploring Iceland in November

Where have all the flowers gone?

Day & Night

In winter, the nights are much longer than the days. Waiting for enough light means to get up at 9 am in the morning. Good for us because we love to sleep late. On the other hand, the sun sets at about 5 pm – giving us not enough time to see all the big and little wonders of Iceland. Hence we often arrived late at the campsites and it was always a surprise to see how it actually looked like in the morning.

Icelandic Campsite

Campsite in the morning

The mood

During the day the sun stands very low. Giving us the feeling of continuous morning or evening mood. It made us calm down and forget about all the things worrying us. What a fantastic light for our passionate photographers.

Hiking in November

Mood

Each one of us had his/her own role in Iceland: Josh was the driver (king of the road), Johannes the guide (master of maps), Franzi the optimist (princess of smile) and Sven the entertainer (knight of joy). That makes us the greatest team to face cold nights, long and empty roads, and expensive alcohol.

Happy Campers in November

Time for action

The attractions

We agree that there are hundreds of places worth visiting in Iceland. You can find them in various guide books and articles spread in the internet. Coming to Iceland didn’t mean to ‘tick-box’ all those places, but to enjoy the trip as it goes. To take our time. To stay as long as we want to. To discover the places, we find attractive. Our Camper Van gave us this unique freedom.

Road trip in November

And nothing else matters

Pure Nature

The wideness of untouched nature and the variation of colors, shapes and vegetation was fascinating. To keep this, we ask everyone not to leave any rubbish around there and to leave as little marks as possible.

Somewhere in Iceland

Somewhere in Iceland

The Power of the Earth

The eruption of a geyser, the huge crevices and the bubbling mud pods are only little signs of the giant power and heat under our feet. We felt like little children the first time we saw hot water and steam coming directly out of the earth.

Strokkur eruption in November

Eruption of Strokkur

ICEland

Our first touch with the solid water in the land of ice was at the giant glaciers in the south. At the glacier lagoon we even made it to climb on an iceberg, watching the others silently floating by.

Watching icebergs in Jökulsárlón

Sven watching the icebergs

Later in the north: Walking around this dessert of black stones and white ice it was hard to imagine that hot rock was boiling just a few hundred meters below us.

Geothermal area in South Iceland

This is not a monochrome photograph

Getting warm

Almost every day we ended up in a hot river or tub – enjoying the heat streaming into our cooled-out bodies. Relaxing in one of the beautiful naturally installed basins, surrounded by nature caused heavenly feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Too bad we do not have a hot spring in our garden at home…

Hot tubbing in November

Wellness

Unfortunately, we were running out of time. One evening in Akureyri we decided to drive a longer distance to get closer to Reykjavik. We were driving about 4 hours through the darkness. It was already dark, and it has been a long day full of things to do and see. We prepared for the ride with a coffee, connected our phones to the car, turned on the music and had a great time singing and driving through the darkness. All nights before the forecast-app for Northern lights predicted bad conditions, but this night there was a slight 25% chance to see some. During the ride we constantly checked the sky, but only the bright moon and some clouds. Finally, we arrived at the hot top of our choice and stopped the bus.

Luckily, another group was already there with their bus standing outside and looking at the sky. And then we saw it too: light green flickering lights! Amazing. We stood there, impressed and full of admiration. Then we took the few meters to the hot tub, jumped in and enjoyed the hot water and the Northern lights. For us, this was the outstanding highlight of our trip. Thanks to Rent.is we were able to choose such a remote place, away from bright street lights, enabling us to see Aurora!

Aurora in November

Finally, caught the Northern lights!

We think that pictures tell more than words, so here some more impressions of our tour:

Front of Hallgrímskirkja

Reykjavik ?

Sheep & Craters

Craters and sheep

Double rainbow by Skógafoss

One of the amazing waterfalls #doublerainbow

Our camper van for 4

Our home for 9 days

The time of long shadows in Iceland

Long shadows

The Famous outdoor shower in the wild

The surreal endless shower

Sunset in North Iceland

Amazing sunset

Destroyed bridge

That was once a bridge

Lava cracks

The crevice

At the beach in Iceland

At the beach

Reynisdrangar in sunset

Trolls in the morning

Hverir in North Iceland

Feel the steam

Jumping in Iceland

Jump

 

Read more: Winter Storm Iceland Trip

Happy Camping!  #CamperStories

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