Iceland

At some point in 2012 we got it in our heads that we wanted to go to Iceland and we wanted to rent a camper and drive around the island on the Ring Road. Naturally, we became obsessed with the idea which led Alexis to liking a ton of different Iceland camper rental companies’ Facebook pages. One of them, Camper King of Iceland, happened to be running a contest for a free weekend with one of their campers. Alexis entered and suggested I do the same. Not thinking very much of it, I entered the contest by posting this message on their Facebook page: “I should be the King because I promise to have the most fun possible without breaking your campers.” On Christmas morning 2012, Alexis woke me up and just kept saying, “You won! You won!”

We claimed our prize in May 2013 and used our free camper for 3 nights and 4 days to drive the southern part of the Ring Road. After we had to return the truck, we spent a couple days in Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital. Click here to skip ahead to that part of the trip, or keep reading for the full account of the road trip.

Road Trip

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Just before reaching Þingvellir National Park (B): an upside down rainbow (aka circumzenithal arc)

Snorking in Silfra, a fissure between the North American and Eurasian techtonic plates. Located in Þingvellir National Park (B)

Snorking in Silfra, a fissure between the North American and Eurasian techtonic plates. Located in Þingvellir National Park (B)

Geysir (C)

Geysir (C), pronounced “gay-sig,” is part of the “Golden Circle” of Iceland. It erupts regularly, every few minutes or so.

Gullfoss (D)

Gullfoss (D), another stop on the Golden Circle. If you only have a short time in Iceland, the Golden Circle is the way to go.

Sellfoss camp ground. We stayed here two nights, once on the way out and again on our last night with the camper. (E)

Sellfoss camp ground (E). We stayed here two nights, once on the way out and again on our last night with the camper.

Iceland felt so raw and free. These horses running alongside the road captured that essences quite well. Somewhere between (E) and (F), just before...

Iceland felt so raw and free. These horses running alongside the road captured that essences perfectly. Somewhere between (E) and (F), just before…

We stopped at a gas station in Hvolsvöllur on our way to Seljalandsfoss (F) and our truck broke down! Although we were stranded there for a few hours, this turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of our trip. We eventually got another truck very similar to this one that held up perfectly the rest of the trip.

We stopped at a gas station in Hvolsvöllur on our way to Seljalandsfoss (F) and our truck broke down! Although we were stranded there for a few hours, this turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of our trip. We eventually got another truck very similar to this one that held up perfectly the rest of the trip.

Seljalandsfoss (F). You can walk behind the falls too. Hands down one of the most amazing sights we've ever seen.

Seljalandsfoss (F). You can walk behind the falls too. Hands down one of the most amazing sights we’ve ever seen.

Skógafoss (G). Massive, absolutely massive. I got soaked, but it was so worth it.

Skógafoss (G). Massive, absolutely massive. I got soaked, but it was so worth it.

The tiny town of Vik (H). This church sat atop a hill overlooking the incredible cute and quaint town below. We camped here on the second of three nights with the camper.

The tiny town of Vik (H). This church sat atop a hill overlooking the incredibly cute and quaint town below. We camped here on the second of three nights with the camper.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (I). We renamed it "So-cool-sárlón" because we're awesome. This was as far west as we made it.

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (I). We renamed it “So-cool-sárlón” because we’re awesome. This was as far east as we made it.

Alexis and our new truck at Reynisdrangar beach (J)

Alexis and our new truck at Reynisdrangar beach (J).

Dyrhólaey beach (K). The access road closes at 7PM, but what's the point of having a truck if you're not going to pull some off-road maneuvers?

Dyrhólaey beach (K). The access road closes at 7PM, but what’s the point of having a truck if you’re not going to pull some off-road maneuvers?

Blue Lagoon (L), the last stop on our Iceland road trip. We honestly weren't expecting much because we had read it was so touristy and doesn't live up to the hype, but we absolutely loved it. The water and silica mud really did feel so rejuvenating and relaxing after four days on the road. A perfect end to our road trip.

Blue Lagoon (L), the last stop on our Iceland road trip. We honestly weren’t expecting much because we had read it was so touristy and doesn’t live up to the hype, but we absolutely loved it. The water and silica mud really did feel so rejuvenating and relaxing after four days on the road. A perfect end to our road trip.

Reykjavík

Transportation between Reykjavík and Keflavík International Airport is best done through Flybus. For $15 a person, they will take you between the airport and the BSI bus terminal (A) in Reykjavík, which takes about 45 minutes.

We stayed at AR Guesthouse (B) for two nights. We had no complaints other than the shower water smelling like sulfur, but from what we hear that’s common in Iceland, seeing as how it’s a volcanic island and whatnot. On the bright side, we got another nickname out of it — now, whenever something smells bad for whatever reason, we say it smells like “Reykjavík eggs.”

The harbor has a few cool restaurants and coffee shops and serves as the launching point for tours like the “Life of Whales” Tour we signed up for. You wouldn't believe it from the picture, but sadly our tour was cancelled because the sea was too rough that day. Alexis has yet to see a whale to this day :(

The harbor has a few cool restaurants and coffee shops and serves as the launching point for excursions like the “Life of Whales” Tour (C) we signed up for. You wouldn’t believe it from the picture, but sadly our tour was cancelled because the sea was too rough that day. Alexis has yet to see a whale to this day 😦

Hallgrímskirkja (D). Free to enter, but it costs a few bucks to go to the top bell tower. We highly recommend doing so though as the 360 degree views of Reykjavík are spectacular.

Hallgrímskirkja (D). The church is free to enter, but it costs a few bucks to go to the top bell tower. We highly recommend doing so though as the 360° views of Reykjavík are spectacular. The road leading up the church, the one the map above highlights, is also the main shopping street in Reykjavík.

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The only activity we did the entire trip that was perhaps not worth it was walking an hour each way in the freezing wind to the lighthouse, Grótta (E), in Seltjarnarnes, which is a suburb of Reykjavík. Be aware that access to the lighthouse is closed during the summer months, something we only realized…upon arrival at the lighthouse.

Iceland in a nutshell? Amazing. Like a different planet. Like nothing we’ve ever seen. We’re dying to go back. A must see.

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7 thoughts on “Iceland

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    • Thanks! The whole roadtrip experience was the best part. I wouldn’t recommend any other way to see Iceland. The camper allowed us so much freedom which was perfect for a country so different than everywhere else. But if I had to pick one best part, I would say Seljalandsfoss.

      Yeah, it was expensive (gas was like $8 USD a gallon), but not terrible. Definitely not as bad as London 🙂

      Like

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