Dreams of Iceland
Our camper van experience was one almost impossible to leave behind. Travelling to Iceland was a years’ long dream so we had difficulty to believe our eyes when the plane landed on the Keflavik Airport on a sleety and freezing May afternoon.
A guy from the company gave a warm welcome at the arrival lounge, then drove us to the rental place and introduced us to our fellow travel mate, which was to be a white, pretty Nissan NV200 camper van. Despite the cold outside, the heating in both seats have made our day.
Off we set on our way then. Starting with the amazing Blue Lagoon seemed to be a logical choice. Chilling and relaxing in the blue geothermal water was exactly what we needed after a long flight. Following a few hours’ time there, we came across a pleasant campsite in nearby Grindavik and spent our first night in the back of our camper van. Having turned on the heater in the back and curling inside our sleeping bag on the neatly prepared bed, we could easily feel the comfort of home, setting all the questions concerning comfortably aside.
Waking up the next day, the hardest part was to leave the warmth inside, embrace the more-than-chilly morning of oceanside and walk to the bathroom. But after a strong breakfast, we started maybe the most famous road of Iceland, the Golden Circle. Comprising of nearly 300 kilometers, the drive was filled with lovely attractions, the hugely impressive Þingvellir National Park, the surprisingly timid Geysir and the gigantic Gullfoss. Hoping on and off and taking long walks was great but also a bit exhausting, especially taking the strong wind factor into account. Therefore a hot and nutritious cup of soup, after getting in the van tasted unbelievably delicious. I would have to confess that we were not lucky to see the Geysir explode, which was supposedly bursting only twice a day so had to settle with the little Strokkur, do its dance.
On our way to Selfoss, we stopped by the lovely and colorful Kerið Crater. Despite the entrance fee, it was worth every Króna. The second night was in another campsite in the cute Selfoss downtown, which provided enough facilities such as a clean and extensive kitchen and tidy bathroom. We cooked some pasta in our pot, which also existed inside our camper van with tasty tomato sauce, accompanied by ice-cold Icelandic beers, thanks to our little but functional fridge. As a small advice, provided that the infamously unstable weather of Iceland happens to be cold during your visit, then you wont even need to switch the fridge on, whatever inside should stay cool.
The next day, on our way towards Vik, we stopped at an earthquake and volcanic center, named Lava by chance in Hvolsvöllur. It was one hell of an experience. You could see the historical movements and explosions of the volcanoes around Iceland, most of which were nearby and also the past earthquakes in the country with lots of simulations, even with a cinema and exhibition part. You could even create your own volcanic burst. Definitely worth a visit. After that, we went for a hike to Skógafoss which was one of the nicest waterfalls of the country and then came possibly the most difficult assignment of the trip, the 7 km round trip to Sólheimasandur Plain Wreck! Sitting just beside the Atlantic Ocean on the impressive Black Sand Beach, it takes quite a strong will to accomplish this easy-looking trekking, especially towards a hurricane-like wind blowing off the ocean.
Then came Vik, the tiny but lovable seaside settlement with a picturesque wooden church uphill and panoramic views all around. The camping site, however, was a bit under-heated and ill-prepared. So while cooking food in the overly-crowded kitchen, we were almost freezing) Again, the warmth of our lovely second-home, camper van, saved us and ensured a comfy sleep. You don’t even need to put the heater on full power as the temperature inside can increase quickly.
The 4th day was when we drove all the way to the colossal Vatnajökull National Park, made an energetic hike in Skaftafell and up to Svartifoss. The beauty and devastatingly high summits in Vatnajökull leaves the impression as if the mountains will never come to an end) Afterwards, we arrived at Höfn, another enjoyable ocean side village, tagged as the langoustine capital of the North, so it would be unfair if we hadn’t tried some seafood there) Following a scenic and crooked road through the eastern fjords, we reached Egilsstaðir just before midnight, which looked almost like midday due to the never-ending sunlight.
Waking up next morning in Egilsstaðir, we followed the uphill and downhill road to the affectionate Seyðisfjörður. On the roadside, we have seen so much snow that it was like an illusion on a sunny May morning) After having a short walk in Seyðisfjörður, we left the eastern Iceland for some sightseeing in the Lake Mývatn Area. Witnessing mud puts, some lovely hot springs, a natural bath, caves and craters, it was definitely out of this World. And finally seeing a windless, sunny day has made it unforgettable.
Spending the night in the beautiful Akureyri, we were ready to drive all the way to the capital, Reykjavik. Having noticed the strong-wind warning in the West coast, we drove carefully and slowly but still in the parts close to the ocean, it was hard not to realize the strength of the wind. Having finally reached Reykjavik and found a very nice camping just beside the national football stadium, Laugardalsvöllur, we set our foot in the cute and unassuming streets of the capital, discovering the city and having some really quality time with lovely food and beers)
On the very next day of leaving the country, we were upset to part with this delightful country and also our beloved camper van. We had formed such good company together. We already hope to revisit Iceland soon, it was such an enjoyable life-time experience. We would also like to thank Rent.is family for providing us this lovely camper van.
Hope to see you again guys…
Read more: How we did Iceland in 7 days
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