A little over a year ago I went on one of the most incredible adventures of my life. I’d like to share a little bit of my experience with you.
At three o’clock in the morning my fellow adventurer, Steph, and I landed in Keflavík, Iceland. The landscapes seen from the airplane and bus shuttle to Reykjavik showed us right away that coming to Iceland was like stepping into a different world. For starters it was three in the morning and we could already see because it only truly got dark from about 11pm to 2am. Other than the single road to the capital city of Reykavík signs of life were scarce throughout the miles of untouched moss fields. I honestly couldn’t stop smiling in anticipation for the week ahead of us.
Our first day was spent exploring the capital city of Reykjavik, which at 7 in the morning was a bit empty. Calling it a city is a bit misleading as it was about the size of most suburban towns in the States. It is a very colorful place with lots of character, and you can walk from one end to the other in a little over an hour. Top sights to see would be the Hallgrimstorg cathedral, the concert hall Harpa, and all the street art scattered around the city.
The next day we said farewell to the comforts of “home” and started the real adventure in our very own mini camper van. The perfect size for two, our hotel with wheels had a bed, heater, mini kitchen, and a whole lot of miles ahead of it.
The following days were filled with sights that left us speechless, experiences that photos will sadly fail to fully capture, and extremes that we had never encountered before. Rather than go through each day I’d rather give you a few short snapshots of our time.
The Blue Lagoon was extremely touristy in the best way possible. Operating much like a ride at a theme park, we followed the lines to the locker rooms and got into our bathing suits; this seemed like a bad idea as it was only 38 degrees outside. After a quick rush to the water I was proven blissfuly wrong by the shockingly warm, 100 degree mint blue water.
Driving Iceland’s Golden Circle is an amazing ride, one that I truly believe everyone needs to experience at some point in their life. We survived hurricane level winds on the continental divide, witnessed the power of the original geyser, and found ourselves lost for words at the most jaw dropping waterfalls.
I’d have to say my favorite day of the trip was our fourth day. We had parked our van at a campsite at the top of a mountain very late the night before, the coastal fog having made the drive unnerving, and the poorly lit campsite in the middle of an unfamiliar country did nothing to settle our nerves. We woke up very early and quickly left our creepy campsite, still shrouded in fog. Despite the rough start, as soon as we reached the bottom of the mountain and began our drive along the coast the skies opened up and we began the most wonderful drive of my life. Mountains on one side, the ocean on the other, we passed through town after town that couldn’t have had more than 50 people in them. The temperature began to rise and from that morning on we were graced with perfect weather.
A few hours into our drive we found ourselves staring down at the town of Seydisfjordur. For those of you that don’t know, this is the town featured in the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, in which Ben Stiller skateboards down the road to the city at the bottom of the hill while a volcano is erupting; I was extremely excited to be there as that is one of my favorite movies. Also happy to report no volcanos erupted during our stay.
The perfect day ended at the top of Iceland in a town called Hofsós. We parked on the side of the road during sunset and made ourselves some pasta. While we might have almost burnt down our campervan, and though the pasta was not good at all, it was hands down the most unforgettable sunset at what seemed like the top of the world.
Actually writing down all of the things that we did almost feels like writing something of fiction. Being able to say things like we swam in a hot spring river on top of a mountain, explored an abandoned plane crash on a black sand beach, or lost the feeling in our toes while staring at an iceberg lagoon is surreal.
Like I said before this is just a snapshot of everything we saw on our adventure. I hope you enjoyed my story and I encourage you to buy the next ticket to Iceland and go explore this beautiful country for yourself. Trust me you won't regret one second of it.