I was so excited to go to Iceland.. and wasn’t in the remotest bit disappointed. One thing I guess I was surprised by was how expensive it was. I thought it was going to be cheap after their banking collapse.. but no.
Here you can see a picture of our sadcar.
Not actually that sad at all really (that’s just the name of the company). It had over 300K on the clock. Rust, dents, scratches and chips pretty much everywhere… but it did us fine. It also cost 744 Euro to hire it for 13 days ~ 60 euro a day. That’s not cheap in my book, but it was pretty much the cheapest thing we could find. Still, it did us proud and it did mean we didn’t really need to worry about scratching it up on the roads..
First off, we got slightly lost on the way through town which turned out to be a great thing as we found a large supermarket. This was key to success as basically no one lives outside of Reykjavik so buying bulk foods is a good idea to do in town. Maaike had also had the very sensible idea of buying what we could in the UK and bringing it over. Another very good idea. We should have bought nuts! (very expensive in Iceland for some reason).
Anyway, shopping done we stayed in the campsite in Reykjavik (we actually camped every night in Iceland), which was also a good idea. People leave all sorts of stuff there which you can just take. So we picked up some drying up cloths, foam squares to sit on, a couple of small chairs (which we never used), cleaning utensils etc. We also bought Methylated spirits for the Trangia stove I use.
Very very expensive stuff as it’s alcohol.. which is taxed really strongly in Iceland. I think that bottle ended up costing us the best part of 30 Euro. I never saw it in supermarkets so it was very handy to buy it in Reykjavik before heading out into the unknown.
Anyway, the first couple of days was spent in the Snaefellsjokull National Park mostly going “ooh” and “aah” and seeing the completely weird geology as the lava?! I guess, hits the water. You really do wish you’d studied geology when you’re in Iceland.
Here are some pictures (some of which are Maaike’s)
Finally, two other things worth commenting on.
Firstly – the signage is excellent. Every major new area you enter there’s a big sign listing points of interest, and a map. Dead handy
Secondly, and I’m afraid I don’t have too much on this… is the Icelandic Sagas. For example, this gorge was inhabited by (I need to get the guidebook for the name). And there’s obviously a whole story about it. To the Icelanders, the sagas are far more worthy of note than the scenery. I’m afraid I was far more concentrated on the scenery!
One thing which… concerned us, was how often we said (especially in the first few days) “well, this is beautiful, but so is New Zealand. We definitely are spoiled living in NZ, and it is honestly hard to find a place more scenic in such a small area. Certainly moving on from Snaefellsjokull National Park we did find ever more scenic places.. but yes, it was a thought. i.e. how spoiled we are in NZ – and how … inured you become to some otherwise very beautiful places. If I’m making this sound like we weren’t stunned… we were.. and definitely more of that to come – but it was something that we noted.
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