Iceland – A book worth reading

 So there we were, ready to start our road trip and full of expectations. Me, my husband and our three children of 12, 14 and 16 years old. We waited anxiously in the office of the camper rental company for our camper to arrive. We wanted to rent a real mobile home, but since we were late deciding and planning our vacation, as usually, we ended up with a camper, suitable for five.
The rain was pouring down on us, and even though we expected that and didn’t mind, we are a Dutch family living in Tuscany, still it was the first reality check. It was cold, colder than we expected, and wet. Our clothes we wore weren’t warm enough nor suitable for rain. And all though we had high temperatures for the last three months, sunny days are easy to get used to. And then, the camper arrived! Is this going to be our home for the next week!? Looking inside the camper we had  our second reality check…. It was so small. As I said, we are a Dutch family: tall parents, and tall children. How could we sleep or eat in there, with the five of us?
Camper van rental company in Iceland
We decided to put our worries a side and look out for a supermarket to get some food inside our hungry bodies and inside our camper, before starting our trip. As it must happen to most people seeing the prices for food, this was reality check number three! Specially fresh and healthy food, which we normally choose: How expensive!
We tried to embrace the new reality and got on the road. We had planned to make the trip all around the island. We knew that we could never see everything, but we wanted to get an overall impression and see as much as we possibly could in a week. We would get our sleep again when we were back home. (That was a good choice, since we still had to find out , where to put five bodies in this camper…)
We had checked some highlights at home and because we where cold and so close to the blue lagoon, it seems the best way to lift the spirits up. But planning is sometimes necessary: in case of the blue lagoon it is. You definitely need to plan a visit a head ; and so we did for the next week. We had something warm to look out for at the end of our trip…
Then we really started our road trip. We had good music, we had internet, which is quite important for a family like us and we had our camper full with diesel and food: nothing was going to stop us now!
And then, in the following hours it happened… Iceland unfolded itself as the most beautiful book. After every corner we experienced the beauty of it. We were overwhelmed by the surreal nature. And like a good book it was so easy to read and we couldn’t stop reading. At our very first day we saw our first, and definitely not our last, waterfall.
We experienced the power of a real geyser and we walked around the most beautiful blue, crater lake and like a cherry on the cake, we met two curious seals. Everywhere we looked we saw nature at its best: without human interference. And although the rain kept falling down on us, we stopped at every point worth seeing, to take pictures and to experience the power of nature. By the time we parked our camper, we where so tired and blown away that finding a place to sleep in the little camper wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be. Wherever we would have put our heads, we would have fallen a sleep! Only 10 hours on the island and already a experience of a lifetime!
The crater lake Kerið in Iceland
One week later, the moment I am writing this story, we really saw all the best of Iceland. Every now and then we felt like we were the only person on the road, the only person walking towards the most spectacular waterfall, the only persons in Iceland.
Looking back on this week I asked everyone what they like most about the trip. My 14 year old, immediately responded: hiking on Hekla! And he was right. We have been walking for 8 hours, surrounded by lava field, with the sun on our faces. (After one and a half day of rain, we were so lucky to see a lot of sun and didn’t get wet any more). And although not everyone liked hiking as much as he, we all enjoyed this beautiful day!
On the road in Iceland
My youngest, our girl, had a hard time choosing, it was all so beautiful: the seals, the waterfalls, the ice lake, but then she decided: the walk at Mývatn. Again in the sunshine, a wonderful walk, in a very quiet surrounding. With my camera around her neck, she decided that she definitely wants the be a photographer in the future!
The Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlón
My oldest son really felt at his best when he enjoyed the hot water at Mývatn nature bath in the north, at the middle of our trip. The luxurious feeling in the 41 degrees bath was indeed wonderful. But Dettifoss, he really liked most, with its tremendous power!
Europe's biggest waterfall
And then our driver, my husband, he drove safely for approximately 2000 kilometers. Fortunately he likes to drive and still has an eye for the sheep, the horses and places worth seeing. He really likes to drive, more than he likes to walk. So for him the highlight was not Hekla, and the walk by the lake, he passed that one and took a nice nap in the sun.
His most beautiful experience was the glacier. We came so close with the car, that we only had to walk to the Langjökul for ten minutes. The ice was so beautiful blue and the water freezing. Even more beautiful than the Mýrdalsjökul, at our second day, where we were all alone, only accompanied by the most amazing rainbow that was like a picture frame in the environment.
Camping around Iceland
And that leaves me: what did I like most about this trip? Of course I agree with everything that my family mentioned, and like them for me  it’s hard to chose as well. The overall experience, being in a country where nature beats human, where nature is so powerful (sometimes used by people for electricity or warm water as at Deildartunguhver thermal spring ) and impressive.
But as a mother of three, up growing teenagers, the thing I liked most, is to experience this really together! In the small camper eating, sleeping and driving together. And even if the camper was small and we didn’t  fit in the beds, we started to love our little driving home after a few days.
The thing I really liked best about the trip is the feeling that we found our way through this book together, reading  it at the same time.The thing we not often can do anymore, since we normally don’t like the same book….
After this life time experience of we are only left with one question :
Why are all free sheep in groups of three?
Sheep on the roads in Iceland
Happy Camping!  #CamperStories

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