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Some Iceland travel tips

Just spent a great week in Iceland, and Rick’s guide to Iceland was an essential resource. We even spotted a copy in some of the places we stayed. Here are a couple of travel observations.
1. Highway 36 northeast of Thingvellir NP is closed. The detour is on 361 through the park. They have upgraded the road some, but it is narrow and down to one lane, with turnouts, at points. So watch out for the tour busses.
2. While you have to pay for the bathrooms off the parking lot at Gullfoss, the ones in the gift shop are free.
3. There were long lines for the shuttles for off site car rentals at Keflavík airport. We rented from an on site company and just walked out to the car.
4. Diesel fuel is about 5% cheaper than gasoline.
5. The paved roads are generally in great condition, but expect some construction delays.
6. Rick’s guide discusses the far southwestern coast, but doesn’t give it high marks for scenery. We drove from Thorlakshofn to Grindavik on 427 and while perhaps not as scenic as many other drives, it was “other worldly” with just moss covering jagged lava fields. Never have seen similar landscape anywhere. This area is devoid of the lupine, which seem to be taking over the south coast. The lupines are amazing when in full bloom, but they are also invasive and displacing the natural mossy landscape. This route is also devoid of traffic and a good way back to Keflavík that bypasses Reykjavík.
7. Iceland seems to have a unique security process that involves being interviewed while you wait in line to check in for departure. Lots more questions than going through customs when arriving.
8. You truly do not need any cash. Credit cards are taken everywhere for everything.

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