A traveler friend shared his plans with me about seeing the northern lights in Iceland. When Robert mentioned Iceland a spark inside me lit up and I was ready to jump in the boat. For hikers is a dream and I was planning to see it in the summer someday, but somehow felt the right moment to be there. We booked the same day cheap plane tickets, for the beginning of March 3th till 6th. He flew from Romania to Scotland and from there to Keflavik, the Reykjavik international airport.
I have convinced him that our best bet to see more of this lovely country in a small-time is to rent a car. He was kind of reluctant at the beginning, as he said that they have plenty of ice and snow but I felt I will be able to face it and ready for the extreme challenge. I checked in the advance the parking fee and discovered that more or less is as expensive as the UK, so that was good enough.
I really must mention that the people at the car office rental were so friendly and helpful, that they win my heart in a second. I felt that is the place I will go for sure again in the summer for a camping trip. Half an hour later we were in Reykjavik and parked just in front of our hotel that was situated amazing central 100 m from the big church and the main center, 1 min away from a supermarket that we will find really handy once we checked the prices in restaurants 😀
After the fast and efficient check-in, we were ready to see the little town at night and we hoped for a mixture of a vibrant restaurant and a pub. Well, we found the pub, but they did not serve dinner 😀 So as we were not keen to find it on our own we asked for a recommendation at the bar. We were around 50 meters from our lovely expensive dinner.
We dismiss the Hákarl – Fermented Shark and we chose some normal fish and a local beer. We tried to act normal when our fish was priced at around 32 pounds, only double from the reasonable UK fish and chips price. From someone coming from UK where wages are similar is not so bad, but for someone from living in Romania is a bit over the normal European lifestyle.
It is happening to me pretty much everywhere, I mingle with locals. The restaurant was pretty empty and we only had a couple with us sharing the space. We maybe laughed to loud because at a point they invited us to their table, learned some Icelandic words that I forgot with the next sentence and asked a lot of questions on their life. He was actually Norwegian, they have met in Oslo and decided to move to Iceland where she was born. I remember that Icelandic is like the root for the northern languages, similar with my language. So easy for Icelandic people to speak Norwegian, Swedish. Ok maybe he was a little drunk, but both friendly and they offered a round of beer and hugs at the end.
I have planed for the second day a tour of the Golden Circle, so the most famous tourist attraction nearby apart from the Blue Lagoon that we decide to save for the last day. Below are some of the pictures and videos from that day. After seeing the first attraction I put a mental sticker that I really want to go for at least 2 weeks camping and seeing it a slower pace than from the rush of the car.
We went back home and decided to go later to chase the northern lights that my friend was really keen to see. Armed with an app that informed us when is the best moment and where, we drove to the lighthouse outside the center of Reykjavik to see the wonder. I have seen them in a previous journey in Norway, 6 years ago, so I was mostly sleeping in the car and he was surveying the sky. The place was really nice and quiet and we had many other cars as neighbors. I made friends a German couple that had a different app so we decided together that we are in the best possible spot. Unfortunate aurora was not friendly during our journey in Iceland, but waiting for it was a big part of fun. One picture from the lighthouse below.
The third day was a different adventure, we have decided to go off the beaten track of the tour agencies and we decided for a waterfall in NE, Kirkjufellsfoss. Remember no 4WD and the smallest possible car was our horse for this journey 😀
It took us a while to get back to the capital and I was really concerned at a point that we will be stuck in the middle of nowhere with our tiny vehicle. Luckily the police were really helpful and I might guess very used to people going sideways when they are not used to drive on this weather. My training was done in Romania and with a very small car I used to drive in the mountains, but I never experienced these winds. We did not meet with another car for km and nothingness was the best term to describe the surroundings.
We arrived on our hotel in time for dinner, I went for a fish and chips in a traditional place
Being full, I said I deserve a walk to digest my meal and just walked around the city alone. My friend was resting in the hotel room and I did my kind of favorite walk tour, where the vibe was leading me. Accidentally I arrived by the sea and I found a really cute sculpture
I closed the day with an ice-cream inspired by some Chinese pink girls and I went back to sleep and ready to find out what is our plan for the next day.
The next day was our leisure day, after we were really thinking is we should pay that expensive entrance fee. Well, as we said, once in a while crazy expenditures did not hurt anyone, so we closed our eyes and made the online reservation. I was the one that said it is overrated and we should not do what common people do, but well, life is there to surprise you. It was really nice, I really enjoyed my face mask and healthy mock-tail included in the price.
On the last day, we have decided on a tour of the capital, a city that is cute and with amazing graffiti. It was a sunny Saturday so we were ready to see the last parts before we hit the road back home. We also went inside the famous church and went straight to the tower to see the city from above.
It was absolutely delicious and I hope you took some inspiration to find your own way around this beautiful country. For me is definitively until next time.