Alexandru & Adam Take On Iceland in 4…..
This was an annual vacation and we took a chance on a warmer climate and decided on Iceland, probably the most complete opposite vacation we could have thought of at the start. To be honest, what better way to explore this amazing country than hitting the open road in a camper van, getting lost and driving with no plan other than to soak up all Iceland has to offer. Some quick Googling and Rent.is seemed to be the way to go.
Day 1: We arrived at Rent.is, reconfirmed our booking and off we went. There was no clear agenda in mind but to head down South on the number 1 and see what adventure awaited. Chasing waterfalls was the theme of the first day apparently.
Absolutely breathtaking scenery and weather. We boiled eggs in the hot springs, climbed mountains wherever possible, stopped to have lunch at the black sand beach and admire the puffins on the cliffs, then debated where we were going to set up shop for the night. We made it as far as Kirkjubæjarklaustur and agreed to camp over night. Our Kangoo Camper was well equipped with all the basics we need to enjoy a light dinner before we hit the hay.
Day 2: Up early and well rested; surprisingly the bed was comfortable and we didn’t need to keep the heater on all night long. We continued East and today seemed to be all about glaciers. WOW, We were impressed by Alaska, but this was just as remarkable. Not really paying attention but driving and singing along to our 90’s playlist, we saw the sign for a glacier to the left, thank goodness we saw it and make a sharp Louie! Svinafellsjökull was just what we needed to start the day. It was a small little hike to serenity. We just sat in awe, collected ours thoughts, took photos and were grateful to being with nature, breathing in this clean and crisp air.
Continuing the drive, we made a pit stop for lunch at Fjallsárlón, equally stunning glacier lake. One of most picturesque lunches I’ve had in a long time. The washroom facilities were top notch also. Eager to get back on the road, we jumped in the Kangoo, only having to another stop just a few minutes away. Glaciers and ice flows everywhere. We could not help but smile and just be amazed at its shear beauty. Of course the selfie stick came out long and proud. Time was a factor on this trip and we had some kilometers to cover to get to Mývatn, find a campground and figure out dinner.
Day 3: Wanting a relaxing morning, we decided to hit the natural geothermal pools for some R and R. We probably could have spent have the day bathing in the natural water pools and admiring the views, but also excited to get out and explore, we hopped back in the Kangoo to hit the road, getting to the Golden Circle before sundown was the objective we barely accomplished.
Relying on Google Maps to get us around, we committed to a route that wasn’t paved yet. Driving for what seemed like hours, we twisted and turned for kilometers without a car in site, only sheep on the road-way halting our journey. The Kangoo handled the road like a champ and we finally reached paved road and civilization. Þingvellir National Park was the long anticipated destination to explore the Golden Circle and maybe brave the Silfra Rift. Unfortunately the weather took a real turn for the worse and visibility around the park was limited. We opted to have an early dinner and hangout in the Kangoo to utilize the WiFi… What a lifesaver, to think how we use to do this without technology!
Day 4: We were excited to explore the park and the Golden Circle and optimistic that the weather would take a turn for the best, but it was cold and rainy. The Silfra Rift was one was main reason to go to Iceland and we just weren’t brave enough to face that water in the weather and being ill-equipped, we opted out and decided to head to Geysir. Time was tight and the weather was not cooperating so we forfeited Gullfoss Waterfall to head back into Reykjavik and down to the Blue Lagoon.
We reached the Blue Lagoon after battling a heavy wind and rain-storm, which made for an interesting drive. After hearing mixed reviews and not having made reservations at the Blue Lagoon, we figured we would be able to do a walk-in for two as the weather was absolutely nasty and hoped some people would not show up. Unfortunately, upon arrival, we were informed that reservations were a must and it was against policy for a walk-in. So PLEASE, do not make this mistake and make a booking! We had a great lunch over some wine and coffee facing the Lagoon however, admiring the turquoise water.
Being both city kids, we were kind of excited to get back into Reykjavik to check into our hotel for a hot shower and head out to town for a nice dinner. A little pricey, but man, the shopping was incredible in both our opinions. We returned the Kangoo the next day, had a quick inspection of the vehicle and that was it. There really was no hassle or arguing over anything, probably the most professional pick up and drop off rental vehicle experience in my life.
Iceland truly was incredible to visit, especially if you are fond of the wilderness. There really isn’t a better way other than doing it yourself with a vehicle. We are super glad we did the camper van route as it allowed us to get lost and not follow a tour group, which obviously is great in some regards, but limits your options. The roads are great, gas stations and camp- sites are everywhere so there really is no stress, especially with wireless Internet in the car to always have your back!
Thanks Rent.is, we were definitely happy campers, no pun intended.
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