Iceland in Words – Conclusion
So this is it, I’ve come to the end of my twenty part retelling of my journey to Iceland. Just in case this is the first article you’ve read about my adventure, the trip consisted of a ten day self drive tour of the island. For the most part it consisted of driving Iceland’s Ring Road and seeing countless landmarks along the way.
Why did you decide to go to Iceland of all places?
If you’ve viewed the photos from my trip, I should be asking why you don’t want to go there (if you haven’t viewed them, get on that and start planning your next vacation). On just about every vacation I’ve been on, my favourite part of the trip has been taking in the natural wonders that the countryside has to offer. Sure it’s fun to spend time relax by a pool (or in Iceland’s case, geothermal baths), but it is something else entirely to experience the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Iceland has waterfalls aplenty, a number of which are truly breathtaking. Having been on a couple road trips across Canada, and much of the landscapes of the two countries seem similar, the main difference being Iceland’s volcanoes and hot springs. The other difference being that Iceland squashes all of that geographic diversity and beauty into an island only a little larger than Lake Superior. Truly amazing.
What was your favourite part of the trip?
Of all Iceland’s natural wonders, Jökulsárlón was without a doubt the most amazing of them all. I spent half a day there and easily could have stayed the rest of the day if given the time. You apparently agree, as at the time of this post, the pictures from Jökulsárlón have received 52 views. This is second only to the pictures from day one in Reykjavik.
To me, Jökulsárlón is a must see sight and I’ve said as much to anyone who asks. Unfortunately, due to its location on the southeast coast of the island its not easily accessible to those only visiting Iceland for a couple of days. I highly suggest making time for the glacier lagoon if you can, which I reckon could be a five day tour of Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, and the south coast.
How did you decide where to stay, book your car, etc?
Take my five day tour suggestion above with a grain of salt, as I’m far from an expert on Iceland. As such, I chose when I wanted to go, how much of the island I wanted to see and left most of the planning to the Icelandic based company Nordic Visitor. I talked about the company prior to going on my trip, but I can’t express enough how helpful they were in putting together my adventure. They looked after booking all of my guesthouses, my car, and other things I may not have even thought of. Before going on the trip, I also received a few guidebooks and maps from them that proved helpful in preparing my days and feeling comfortable all along the way.
Would you go back? (Would you recommend it?)
Perhaps the most common question I’ve been asked, and also one of the harder ones to answer without further explanation. Would I go back? Absolutely … well, eventually. As mentioned previously, there are many other places on my list of places to visit and I would like to experience some of them before making a return trip to the Land of Ice and Fire.
If you can’t already tell, I highly recommend everyone visit Iceland at some point in their lives. Whether you take a journey similar to mine, or spend a couple days touring Reykjavik and the Golden Circle while on a stopover to/from mainland Europe (they encourage you do that, by the way) it is well worth the time.
Is there anything you would change about your trip/wish you had done differently?
Looking back on my trip, I have no regrets. I was extremely fortunate with the weather I experienced and wouldn’t change anything about it (except maybe to have an opportunity to see the Northern Lights, but I realized that was out of my control a long time ago). Perhaps the only thing I wish I had found time for was to experience horseback riding on one of the famed Icelandic horses. There were likely opportunities for it on the seventh day of my trip, however it didn’t occur to me until it was too late and in hindsight is something I probably would’ve booked in advance if given another chance.
Now if I were to tie this question into the previous one and were to return to Iceland for a second visit, there are a couple of things I would approach differently in my planning. First and foremost, I would likely go at a different time of the year. If you look at pictures of the Iceland’s various landmarks they can differ greatly from day to day, much less season to season. Seeing them all them again in a new atmosphere would be a fresh look on several sites that I have already grown to love. Other than that, I would avoid the Blue Lagoon the second time around, though you probably already knew that from the rant in my last post.
All in all I couldn’t have asked for a better trip, and am glad everything worked out the way they did.
While I do have a dozen far off and exotic locales that I wish to visit sooner rather than later, I think my next trip will be slightly closer to home. It will still be a foreign country, only it’s simply that of our neighbours to the south. The destination? Yellowstone National Park. It was actually an idea I got from some of the people I met in Lake Mývatn, though haven’t really looked into it too much. I haven’t decided just how extensive a trip it will be yet, or whether I will incorporate other American landmarks into the trip.
I hope you all have enjoyed hearing about my trip and I’d love to hear about any you’ve taken as well. Until next time, another adventure is just around the corner.