Land of Fire & Ice
The Icelandic wilderness is like nothing else I’ve experienced, that’s for sure. We had only a few days to cram in as much of the country as we could. It wasn’t enough (when is it ever?), but we certainly got to see some sights, and experience some of the most bizarre weather phenomenons.
After collecting our rental car (4wd Subaru Legacy, spiked tires! – more on that later), the trip started with an eye-opening drive, in the dark, in a blizzard, up over the mountains on a sheet-ice motorway to our first hotel!
Now I like my driving, and am not averse to getting a car moving about (who doesn’t like a bit of opposite-lock), but this was something else. Rentals always come with those hefty insurance excesses, and combined with the unknown roads, sheet-ice, blizzard-limited visibility, it made for a somewhat tense introduction to Iceland! Still, we made it to the hotel in one piece, and the sunny days to follow made getting used to driving on nothing but packed ice much more enjoyable…
We racked up some mileage over our few days, winding along the coast from Reykjavik all the way round to the iceberg lagoon at Jokulsarlon, before looping back inland (swapping ice for snow as a driving surface!) via some of the classic sights of Geysir, Gullfoss & Thingvellir amongst others, and then on up the west coast a bit, crossing the fjords.
We’d hoped to see some Aurora whilst up there, but the weather wasn’t playing ball, and some faint green smudges were about the most we saw. It’s always advised not to plan a trip just to see the Aurora though, and we weren’t disappointed in the slightest by the amazing scenery Iceland has to offer.
We’ll be back one day, I’m sure… hopefully with time enough to do the full coastal circle, or maybe go SuperJeep’ing through the interior!?