Iceland’s Popular Southern Coast

Picturing the “clock face” once again, we are now at a solid six o’clock, keeping in mind the starting point of Reykjavik was at around eight o’clock. Almost full circle.

When trying to decide on which direction to circle the island, it was a toss-up. If I went clockwise, I could cover the northern regions before it started getting colder. And there was a chance (or so I thought) that waiting until the end of August when vacation season was winding down would mean lighter crowds in the more popular southern region. Thus, my decision to circumnavigate the island clockwise. Given the heavy Continue reading

Iceland’s Glacial Lagoons

Once again picturing the clock face now right around four o’clock, if I’m lucky, things should start to get icy. But as I work my way south around Iceland’s Ring Road, I have a lot of uncertainty as I approach the glacial lagoon area. Now being the warmest time of the year, will there be ice in the lagoons? What about the famous “Diamond Beach?” If there are no “diamonds” (ice formations) washed up on Iceland’s famous black sand beach, it will be a serious let-down. Continue reading

East Iceland: A Lesson in Geology and Tourism

One of the many things that makes Iceland’s scenery so spectacular is its unique geology. Exaggerated textures, shapes and definition can suddenly open up from an ordinary landscape into something ghostly, foreboding, or even “other worldly.” Due to these geological formations and years of erosion of the volcanic soil, canyons appear a little more dramatic, mountains a little more colorful, and mossy hillsides are reminiscent of hobbit holes.

Of all the unique geology I have seen throughout my time in Iceland, I am most fascinated by the basalt columns. Yes, I have seen these before, but never in Continue reading

Chasing Waterfalls around the Diamond Circle

Continuing clockwise around the “clock face” traced by Route 1, Iceland’s Ring Road, Akureri is just a little past midnight. This post follows the Ring Road only briefly as I veer off headed north again along the fjord to Husavik, then zig-zag back across headed south of the Ring Road toward the Lake Myvatn area, then back north again to Ásbyrgi Canyon.

I did more bouncing around in this stretch than the others because I stayed two nights in the same campground, so there was backtracking involved. Basing myself in the Continue reading

The Northwest: Borgarnes to Akureyri

Driving Iceland’s Ring Road, aka Route 1, is every bit as beautiful as I anticipated, though I must say not as isolated as I anticipated. Yes, there are long stretches where I have the road to myself, but it’s rarely more than 10 minutes until I meet another car, or one is overtaking. While Iceland appears to be having quite the tourism boom, sources say it’s still significantly less than what it was back in 2017 and 2018, peak years. Tough to imagine. Continue reading

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Whenever you see the letters “a and e” butted up next to each other like “æ,” that is pronounced as “eye.” So the peninsula is pronounced “SNEYE-fells-ness.” It translates, to “Snow Mountain.”

My goal during the two weeks in my camper van rental is to drive the Ring Road. Most complete it in 8-10 days, but I am already wondering how I am going to complete it in two weeks. I have a day by day itinerary mapped out into a an excel spreadsheet so I stay on track to see all I hope to see. But what initially seemed like a reasonable pace Continue reading

No Lovah from the Lava

Back on the 19th March of this year, a new volcano arrived on the scene in Iceland. A recommended video popped up on my youtube home page announcing the birth of a brand new volcano, complete with a live webcam feed from the eruption site. I’m still unclear of the name. I often see it referred to as Geldingadalir. Other times, they call it Fagradalsfjall. Doesn’t really matter, as I cannot pronounce or spell either one. So I’ll just refer to it as “the eruption site.”

Continue reading

A Tale of Two Lagoons

I have heard of Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon since I first heard about Iceland as a travel destination. It’s likely Iceland’s most famous attraction. As someone who has joked before about needing a bumper sticker to say “I Brake for Hot Springs,” it’s a place that has long intrigued me, and high on my “must visit” list.

But there’s a “new kid in town,” the Sky Lagoon, just opened in May of this year. It’s getting a lot of press as being a leading attraction of its own. Neither of them are cheap, Continue reading

The Camper Van

Whenever I have thought about travel to Iceland in the past, I couldn’t imagine a better way of exploring than to do so in a camper van. My desire is to complete the Ring Road, a 1,332 kilometer, 828 mile circumnavigation of the island. Doing this trip in a camper van will allow me to “gunk hole” it, similar to how I did in the Winnie back in 2017 around Newfoundland. Drive until I get tired, then stop for the night, picking back up where I left off the following morning. Anything else would necessitate backtracking Continue reading

Valhalla, I am Coming!

To some, “Valhalla” in that subject line might refer to the Norse mythology, a realm of the afterlife that Vikings aspired to enter upon their death. A form of heaven, if you will.

However, if you are like me, a musically influenced child of the 60’s and 70’s, you will instead recognize it as part of the lyrics of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” written during Led Zeppelin’s tour of Iceland in the summer of 1970 which opened in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city. The song was written by Robert Plant while a guest of the Icelandic Government touring Iceland on a cultural mission. This visit inspired the lyrics, Continue reading