Land of Fire, Ice, and Rainbows.
Updated: Feb 3, 2019
Travels to Iceland, May 2018.
Not sure what it was, but something has always been calling me to visit this country. I knew it has been growing in popularity over the last few years and when Wow Airlines announced their new direct flight from Dallas, for a very modest fee... I decided to answer the call and my mother gladly joined me for a journey we will remember and cherish, forever.
Timing is important for traveling to Iceland, for half the year it is significantly darker and the window of light to see all the amazing beauty it has to offer is limited. Generally, the thing to do in Iceland, is drive, a lot, all around the Island. But there are many adventures along the way. Driving is something I am used to being from Texas, and this little island of fire and ice is about seven times smaller than the state of Texas. A standard journey around Iceland takes several days, but if you really want to explore every nook and cranny, you could spend a whole month or more. Something I wouldn't mind doing as I am absolutely in love with this place and definitely plan to return again.
But first, the journey starts in the capital of Iceland, a charming little town called Reykjavik. Reykjavik, is actually quite a happening little town. It is easy to get around, there's tons of beautiful street art and murals and many options for a variety of fabulous cuisine. I was expecting the food to really suck for some reason, and I was very pleasantly surprised. Everything was good. Furthermore, the natives were extremely nice and pleasant, English is commonly spoken, and it is a very clean and peaceful city.
Side note: another little secret of Iceland, it its burgeoning electronic music scene, with clubs that stay open all night, playing some of the music beautiful, melodic, interesting trance music I have ever heard. I am a huge fan of Iceland duo, Kiasmos, and although I didn't get to hear them play, I discovered many other beautiful artists with beautiful inspiring sounds and was pretty much entranced... by their trance scene.
Also, the great thing about Reykjavik, it that it is very safe, women are respected and if you stay out all night (in the summer) chances are it is still light out side. This makes checking out all the local night spots and music scenes out on your own very nice, especially when you travel companion wants to sleep and get adjusted to the hours.
Once my mom and I had our fun in Reykjavik, visited the Leaf Erikson Monument, and all the other interesting tourist sites, we set out south west to drive the island counter clockwise. This was accompanied by our "Hey Iceland" route planner app and itinerary (which is highly recommended.) While, I really wanted to stay in a bohemian van during our travels and camp out, mom was not feeling it, so our plan was to stay at a variety of farm houses that catered to tourists. Another good idea and recommendation, which later, I thanked my mom for.
Once we left the capital and headed to our first destination, we soon found ourselves in what I call "out in the country side." Vast, expansive views, and small windy, but safe roads. It was a bit dark and misty that day, however, the drive was still beautiful and again, extremely peaceful. Our main attraction that day was the Seljalandfoss waterfall, one of the many waterfalls in Iceland. This was one of the smaller waterfalls but nonetheless, breathtaking. Most sites as such are free to explore on your own, but I would advise caution as most are quite slippery and it you are taking your fancy camera to shoot, have some kind of water shield.
After visiting the waterfall we set out for food and found some delicious Icelandic soup at a gas station. Note, gas stations are very nice in Iceland, a great place to grab a "cheaper" meal and they typically serve a variety of nice foods. It wasn't long after getting to our first place to stay the night that we decided to get some rest to prepare for the next journey. Rest was needed, not just from our journeying but due to the fact that both of us were feeling a little "off" from our circadian rhythms off balance due more hours of "sunlight" than we are used to. Most hotels have black out curtains; however, it still feels a little odd when its 11pm and still light outside.