We don’t travel nearly as much as I would like, but in April we had the opportunity to visit an old friend who recently moved to Iceland to be a professional pony hugger, and of course we jumped at the opportunity! I managed to pick a still ridiculously large group of pictures out of the more than 1.5K photos we brought back home (for most of which I blame Richard, of course) to share with you. Sounds great? I thought so!
Well, we were gone for a week.
Which Ronja did not like, but we could not bring her. Another friend took care of the cats in exchange for some homemade lemon curd and the opportunity to use our PS4. So we set out early on Monday, having packed everything and the duck, for departure from Frankfurt. It’s a really big and really busy airport. As a contrast you see a view from the FlyBus, which brought us from the airport in Keflavik to Reykjavik. From there we travelled by bus to Hveragerdi, where our friends were waiting for us with a meal and a bed. Both much appreciated!
The next days were spent driving around and trying to take in as much of the country as possible in this short amount of time.
On the first day we miscalculated our schedule and so only were able to see two out of three attractions of the “Golden Circle” tour, namely Thingvellir (where they used to gather to discuss problems and present new laws in the old days), which is a huge national park these days, and Geysir – the name speaks for itself. This was the only day we had a significant amount of rain, so we were very lucky!
Wednesday was spent driving several hundred kilometers to take in the landscape and see two major attractions – the first one being the black beach at Vik. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend going there. Just don’t step too close to the water, the waves are sneaky and pull in several tourists each year. This was one amazing place, and I would have been happy to just stay there for the rest of our trip. Bundled up with a mug of coffee, of course.
The second “big thing” on this trip was the glacier lagoon, complete with seals. It was amazing, and far more so than you can see in the photos.
Thursday was a slow day. We took a walk around Hveragerdi. The hot water from the ground is used for heating, to generate electricity – and it’s the actual hot water coming from the tab at home. Oh, and we just had to buy “möffins”.
And in the afternoon said friend took us on a ride. I hadn’t been on a horse since I was eleven or so, and Richard since the age of five (I guess that doesn’t even count as riding), but we enjoyed ourselves a lot.
On Friday night we were supposed to return to Reykjavik. Before that, though, we followed some advice and hiked up a mountain. The view was amazing! And we were rewarded for our troubles …
… by taking a bath in a hot river! This seems to be a gathering place for hikers and tourists, and it was amazing! Snow on the mountains around you, the air smelling of sulphur, and pale bodies immersed in water that is, depending on where you enter, either almost too hot or just right. We took our time before hiking back down, and then in the evening took the bus back to Reykjavik.
We ended up in a funny little hostel not too far from town with stairs so narrow we had to unpack Richard’s luggage and get everything up to our room separately. It was maybe not too luxurious, but it surely did the trick, as it was warm and kind of quiet (except for the Asian guys partying downstairs).
Taking a break in our room.
The main reason for going to Reykjavik was Richard’s wish to go whale-watching. Which we did, although the sea was declared to be rough. And indeed, as soon as we left the harbor, you could constantly hear someone puking. I was feeling not too well myself, either, but once we were outside I felt better. And we were rewarded by seeing several dolphins and minke whales as well as puffins. Richard also saw a humpback whale, while I spotted only its blow.
Reykjavik is rather small, so you can see everything by walking around half a day. You can also eat amazing hotdogs. We did not visit the phallological museum, which I found kind of sad. And then we retreated for the night, as we had to get up extremely early to catch our FlyBus back to the airport at four thirty in the morning. Of course we started planning our next adventures before we were even back in Germany. ^^