In general, I like to think I’m not too influenced by the media, but in this case, my need to go to Iceland stems from watching a movie called The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour, and go watch it.
So, more than three years after watching the movie in the cinema, I’ve finally booked flights and will have three full days of adventure in Iceland!
After some bad weather, my flight’s landing into Keflavik was delayed by about 5 hours, meaning I didn’t getting into my hostel until 5am! So the first day was little bit of right-off as far as adventure goes, but I still wandered around Reykjavik and enjoyed some dreary Icelandic weather, haha.
Day two was amazingly sunny, the complete opposite to day one. So I decided to hire a bike and ride for the day, after speaking with the guy who hires out the bikes, I established that I should head south towards this nature reserve. As I always, I got lost and ended up riding south for about three hours before reaching this reserve… which was quite a long time to be riding for someone who is not a cyclist! But I made it there, found a gorgeous little lake called Hvaleyrarvatn, and some deserted roads I could cycle around without worrying about cars. I wan’t to ride further on but the only road I could find was a massive highway, not exactly safe for little old me on a push bike.
Also, can I just take a moment to comment on the cost of things in Iceland. I was told that Iceland would be expensive, and they weren’t wrong. I got a coffee and sandwich one day and it cost me £15.42 pounds ($25.99), then hiring the bike for 24 hours cost £37.97 pounds ($64.08)!
That night, I found myself in one of the most random situations I’ve ever experienced. That is, sitting in a hot tub, in Iceland, with two brothers from the UK, two guys from Iceland who looked like mafia and a girl from America who had been enjoying birthday drinks all afternoon. These are the sort of moments I absolutely love about backpacking and staying in hostels, you meet so many interesting people and create these diverse groups, learning about each others lives and cultures. Love it.
I actually got sunburnt while riding all day too. I’m almost ashamed to say I’m Australian, haha.
Another unexpected experience in Iceland was the sun setting at midnight. I knew it wouldn’t get dark over night, and the first day was so cloudy/rainy that I didn’t even think about it!
Day three was completely unplanned and I woke up worried that I’d waste my last day in Iceland not knowing what to do with myself. Fortunately, I’d met a guy from Boston who already hired a car for a few days, and another from California who was heading to the Gullfoss Falls with him, so I jumped in too. We stopped by the see the Geysers, then onto the falls, which were massive!
Then after a quick airport drop-off, we we’re headed back to Reykjavik, detouring past he Blue Lagoon and Krisuvik (a lake I wanted to ride to the day before). I had no idea Krisuvik would be so beautiful. This was definitely the highlight of my trip, the views, the colours, the calmness of it all. Don’t get me wrong, it was rainy and blowing a gale, but it was so peaceful and calming.
I think we stood at the top of this cliff overlooking the lake in complete silence for a solid five minutes, just taking in the view, enjoying the moment. A completely comfortable, silent moment with someone I’d just met hours earlier.
Iceland is definitely somewhere I want to go back to, but next time, I would like to hire a car and drive around for a couple of weeks at least.