Iceland04 Nov 2016 6 mins
I had heard so many good things about Iceland so Danielle, my mom, & I decided to go for four days to check it out. The first noteworthy thing is a round trip flights on WOW Airlines to Reykjavik only costs $300, for international travel, it is a steal! The flight we took was an overnight, leaving at 6:20pm, in the air for five and half hours, & getting in a little before 5am (damn time change!). None of us really slept on the flight so the first day was a struggle. First thing was getting the rental car. The morning was cold & pitch black as we wandered around outside of the airport for an Alamo dealership that thankfully a bus driver finally told us was managed in the Enterprise office 😑. Piling into our new “sporty” Toyota Yaris, we headed to our Airbnb that was about fifteen minutes outside of Reykjavik. After some much needed naps, we headed out on our first adventure – grocery shopping.
This was when we first saw that the language barrier here is a bit of a problem. No one there seemed to speak English but a store worker managed to help us as much as she could and we go an interesting assortment of food for the week. Prepared with lots of snacks, we started our journey on one of Iceland’s biggest attractions, Ring Road. Ring Road is a two lane road that traverses the whole of the outside of Iceland. Driving the whole thing would take more time than we had so we focused on the main section with plenty of waterfalls and hotsprings.
We headed south to our first destination, Strokkur geyser. Along the way we took plenty of pit stops to admire the beautiful & unique geography of Iceland. I have never seen anything like it, with its dark, jagged, rocky ground riddled with earth splintering cracks, it was truly a cool sight. When we finally got to Strokkur, we were amazed at how big the geyser blast was and how often it went off. I was excited because I had just gotten my new iPhone which had slow motion video recording!
We ended up seeing a bunch of waterfalls on the trip so yeah here are some pics 🙃
We spent a half day exploring Reykjavik and were amazed by the multicolored buildings, nice coastal boardwalk, & lively atmosphere. You cannot miss Hallgrímskirkja, the giant church located in Reykjavik. For something like $7 you can take an elevator up to the top of the church & get a great 360 view of Reykjavik.
Iceland has a few volcanoes you can visit but they are far off the main road. On our third night, after driving to see one last waterfall, we realized we were close to a volcano so decided to try to see it. Following the GPS I turned off the main road onto another normal road & after about 10 minutes it suddenly dropped a half foot to a gravel road riddled with giant potholes. Perhaps I was driving too fast but it was so dark & by the time I saw the road change it was too late to stop. What seemed like a whole minute of skipping & skidding later, I brought the Yaris to a dead stop & much to my amazement the wheels were still on. Seriously, it was by far the roughest experience I’ve ever had in a car & would’ve not been surprised at all if a wheel had snapped off. Anyway, thinking the worst was out of the way we continued down this dark, desolate gravel road in hopes of seeing this volcano. After another 20 minutes I came upon a sign that seemed to suggest that if you weren’t in a giant jeep you should turn around. Stubborn & far too confident with the Yaris, we carried on only to come upon a giant puddle in the road. Having learned through previous run ins with deceptively deep puddles we decided it was best to turn around. Little did I know that on the side of the road was about four inches higher than the road and after a couple of seconds of horrible scraping sounds, the car came to rest with three wheels on the elevated ground and the front right tire dangling about an inch off the road. We were stuck. Like really stuck. Underside of the car on the ground kind of stuck. Not sure who to call, we first tried a number for roadside assistance which lead to a cycle of a guy answering, us asking if he spoke English, him saying “yesshhhhh”, us explaining our problem, & him hanging up. Luckily after 20 minutes an SUV came down the road and I flagged the driver down. Even luckier for us, the guy had a tow rope & got us unstuck. Can’t remember his name but if you are reading this Icelandic horse farmer man, thank you! Thankful to be free, we cut our losses, & went back home.
The Blue Lagoon is kind of expensive but it is a can’t miss if you got to Iceland. The thought of sitting in a hot pool with a bunch of strangers wasn’t at the top of my list but once you get in you realize it is huge. We ended up spending about five hours just hanging out in the nice, hot water.
The trip was a quick one but we managed to cover a lot of Iceland, see numerous waterfalls, hot springs, geysers, drink lots of hot chocolate, & get our car stuck.