Wedding Anniversary in Iceland
Our 1st Wedding Anniversary in Iceland – “Young & Wild” Iceland?
I should be honest here. I doubted it. Before many people are having Iceland in their bucket list, Iceland was almost unknown to the world, including me. Well, at least, I knew there are Greenland and Iceland and they are not the same though. But honestly, that was all I knew back then. Years later, I started seeing these pictures taken from some mysterious exotic places, somewhere on earth but I had no clue. Also, we all started noticing all these hypes about Iceland, mainly originated from all sorts of social media, including Facebook and Instagram. Some of our close friends who are pretty kin on these “trends”, they started flying to Iceland. And of course, they came back with these epic pictures from Iceland. WOW. Just wow. These places looked amazing, and indeed it looked like being in a different planet. Unreal.
In late 2016, Heather and I were already planning for our vacation next year. “We should visit Vancouver to see my family”, I said. “If we can, I think we should visit Korea as well.”
“Alright, but I want to go to Iceland”, she said. “Well, that’s pretty random though, that’s good. Let’s prioritize them and make a list”, I said. We both really wanted to have Iceland as No.1 priority, we really had to plan out wisely, and then of course, Iceland fell off our top to-do list. We haven’t mentioned Iceland for months until she broke the silence.
“There is going to be a conference in Reykjavik! If it’s approved, my flight ticket and hotel can be covered!”, she said. Part of our expense can be covered, and now we have this awesome excuse to fly to Iceland. Coincidentally, the conference was scheduled in July, when our very first wedding anniversary. WOW. The waiting to get approval was tough, but we managed it and finally we booked our flights to Reykjavik.
Some people, including my co-worker who traveled to Iceland last year and did the Ring Road, simply rented a small car and stayed overnight at Airbnbs and hotels. We saw pictures of some people traveling in camper van and tents. Honestly, with all that inconvenience, they looked pretty cool. I had to ask Heather if it would be alright to spend all 7 nights in camper van. She was a bit doubtful at first. Even I thought I would need to take a good rest every 3 nights. We both were not sure whether renting a camper van would be a good idea.
We searched up literally every single camper van rental company. Comparing the vehicles, rental packages, prices and all that, we ended up booking our camper van at Rent.is. They seemed to recently purchase a brand new camper van with automatic transmission. The price was reasonable and competitive. Also, the rental package included all we would need – all we could think of. They even offered a discount on paying full price upfront rather than paying a small deposit and settling when picking up the vehicle. Flight tickets checked. Camper van checked. We couldn’t wait to leave.
After one lay-over in Toronto and 5 hours of flying, we finally made it Iceland. Keflavik International Airport seemed to be undergoing major renovation to handle this drastically increasing number of tourists from all over the world. Luckily, the airport wasn’t that crowded. We easily got out of airport, and were looking for a pick up place. As soon as we exited airport, I looked back on the left side – checked the tall brown building as described at the Rent.is website. We walked following the path to the shuttle pickup area, to hop on the big yellow shuttle bus. The rental office was at the first stop. Easy. We talked to the person working there, and were told that the person who were supposed to return their camper van was unreachable at the moment. Shoot. We understood the situation as the rental company had no control over the late-returns. They offered us another vehicle until our camper van is returned and gets cleaning/ready for us. And they promised that they would meet us where we would be. Although it wasn’t our plan to do so, we couldn’t waste our precious vacay time miserably sitting in the rental office. After communicating through emails, using the WiFi device provided by them, they actually drove to where we were and handled our camper van in a great condition. We were at Gullfoss and they INDEED drove all the way there to meet us where we were. Our journey in Iceland truly began there.
We had our plan. Thanks to Google Maps, we were able to schedule our itinerary without hassle – where to see, eat and sleep. Once we got used camping out, preparing meal and making ourselves comfortable, the camper van really became our home-away home. After a couple days, we ditched out our initial plan and decided to follow whatever the route takes us to. It still worked without any issues because there were so many amazing places everywhere. We couldn’t help but we ended up stopping at every single viewpoints – there is a viewpoint sign along the road so even if we didn’t know where that was, amazing scenery were guaranteed whenever we saw the sign. In the latter of our trip, we really had to be careful not spending too much time in one spot.
Constantly changing (never-boring) natural backdrops. Mysterious yet splendid scenery. Looking back our trip, there were so many moments I would like to share with my friends. At the same time, however, there were many more precious moments that, I know for sure, that I would not be able to share just because my camera couldn’t capture the magnificent views or even just quite times. With the midnight sun, we could silence the whole world under the bright night sky. While the worlds is asleep, we drove to the endless horizon. We had many amazing days and nights. Even we were not sure when we would come back to this astonishing place, but definitely this is the best experience we have ever had. If there is anyone in doubt whether it would be “that awesome”, he or she must come and see it.
Read more: Completing the Ring road
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