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Iceland Trip Report - Part Three

We also toured the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Unfortunately it was rainy and windy so it was a bit difficult to photograph the beautiful icebergs just offshore and the ice strewn black beaches. But we managed. We were thankful for our waterproof coats, rain pants and waterproof hiking shoes. We then headed to Hof to see on of the few existing turf roofed churches remaining in Iceland. We then headed for Skaftafell to get up close and personal with a glacier. On the way we stopped at the Svinafell Glacier. You can take a short drive (hard packed gravel road) up to this glacier, park the car and then walk a short distance to see the glacier up close and a glacier lagoon. It was beautiful. At thispoint in the trip, the weather gods were with us and the weather was lovely, sunny with a few clouds. After this, we went to the Vatnajokull Glacier. The weather changed again and a strong wind had picked up. We walked the 1 1/4 mile to the glacier and the wind increased exponentially. By the time we reached the glacier the wind was nearly 70 mph and I could barely stand up against it. So while the view of the glacier was beautiful, it was not the most pleasant experience.

Our hotel for the night was the Nupar Fosshotel. This hotel is fine but is in the middle of nowhere. Our only option for dining was in the hotel restaurant. Luckily the food was good as well as the service.

The next day we drove towards Reykjavik and made stops at the Skogafoss waterfall and the Seljalandsfoss waterfall which you can walk behind. We made a quick stop at Eldrhaun to see and photograph the moss covered lava rocks. We then drove to the Hertz to drop off the car. The rental agency provided us with a ride to our hotel. We stayed at the Skuggi Hotel. This is a lovely, lovely hotel. We spent time the next day touring more of the city. We went to the National Museum and walked around Lake Tjornin.

Our final morning before our flight, we went to the Phallological Museum which is a must see according to Lonely Planet. Not exactly my cup of tea but my family wouldn't let me come home unless I went there. The Flybus Plus picked us up at the hotel and took us to Keflavik airport for the flight home.

So that's it in a nutshell. We loved Iceland. From mid June to mid July there are lupines everywhere and sometimes fields of them as far as the eye can see. There are also the beautiful and unique Icelandic horses and sheep everywhere you look. A warning about the sheep. They are not always behind fences and can be seen along the side of the road and in the road so drive cautiously. If you love nature and photography this is the place for you. The people are the nicest and most welcoming you will meet anywhere. One other thing is that food (and drink) is ridiculously expensive in Iceland and will blow your budget. We hope to get back to Iceland as there was so much more to see and explore and do.

Posted by
334 posts

Regarding the lupine, while beautiful, they are a nuisance there. They are a foreign species that has taken over much of the natural vegetation. What to do about the lupine is one of the big issues in Iceland these days.

I enjoyed your report. It reminds me so much of my trip a few years ago. My wife and I will be back one day. :)

Posted by
1857 posts

Yes, the lupine are invasive but beautiful nonetheless. I can't imagine what it would be like without the lupine there.

Iceland is now in my blood. I cannot wait to go back. Maybe if we had not been blessed with such great weather when we were there I would feel differently.

Posted by
115 posts

Thank you for your detailed report on Iceland. We were there for only a day but loved it and you have given us some great ideas for a future visit.

Posted by
1857 posts

To kbachtell

We only had 10 days in Iceland. We mainly traveled the ring road with a few offshoots. We barely scratched the surface of this other worldly country. For a tiny island, it really packs a punch.

Posted by
334 posts

My wife and I have Iceland in our blood too. Perhaps I should write my own trip report (not to compete with your wonderful write-up, but to compliment). My wife and I are talking of trying to do a return trip to Iceland, but combining it with the Faroe Islands. After being blown away by Iceland, we started looking at other places with similar features and naturally the Faroes and Norway turned up, and one of the two, if not both, will be destinations at some point.

Posted by
1857 posts

Mike,

The Faroe Islands look marvelous, too. They're on our radar as well.