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Old 6th April 2017, 00:50   #31
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Just one word AWESOME.
Most of us dream, but very few live their dreams and you are one of them.
The narration, the pics every thing is brilliant.
Rated a very deserving 5*.

Last edited by Samba : 6th April 2017 at 01:10.
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Old 6th April 2017, 09:35   #32
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Awesome is the word! 5 Stars from my side!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoshashi View Post
Mesmerising pictures. I'll be drooling over them for days to come. Thanks for sharing.

Rating this travelogue a well deserved 5 star!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
What a stunning log this is! And unbelievable pictures. Loved the way you have titled the posts. What an amazing journey this would have been. And great display of your outstanding writing abilities.

Really happy that despite all the odds you guys made this trip a success.

Rating 5 stars!
Regards,
Saket.
Thank you so much for your kind words.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Amazing pictures of an enchanting trip! Thanks for sharing with us. Definitely one of the best on the forum. I never imagined Iceland would be so scenic. The Northern Lights were fantastic!

By the way, i could not pronounce any of those places except the capital. Could you? And how did you speak to the locals and hosts in the homestays?
Thank you sir. It was quite a plight to pronounce these tongue-twisters but after 5-6 months of dedicated practice sessions of spelling out each name (with its correct pronunciation) to myself in the mirror, I kind of mastered it !

Speaking to the hosts and locals were not so difficult as most of them are quite fluent in English. However their accent and pronunciation of some words is a little different. For example - June becomes Yoo-Nee, July becomes Yoo-Lee, Husband becomes Hooos-bund and likewise.


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Originally Posted by prasadee View Post
Keenan Thompson of SNL impersonating Steve Harvey. Funny none the less.
http://www.steveharveytv.com/snls-kenan-thompson/
Lol. This is funny !


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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Amazing.

I never thought that the wonderful big-cat pictures from some of your members could be rivalled, but you have brought us... Whales!



Thank you so much Thad.


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Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Just one word AWESOME.
Most of us dream, but very few live their dreams and you are one of them.
The narration, the pics every thing is brilliant.
Rated a very deserving 5*.
Thank you so much Samba Da. A lot of inspiration comes from fellow travellers like you !
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Old 6th April 2017, 10:26   #33
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Superb travelogue. The pictures could well be a part of Iceland's tourism campaign. I so want to do this.

Could you give rough estimate of how much it cost you per person.
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Old 6th April 2017, 11:06   #34
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

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Originally Posted by croupier View Post
Superb travelogue. The pictures could well be a part of Iceland's tourism campaign. I so want to do this.

Could you give rough estimate of how much it cost you per person.
Thanks a lot sir.

Regarding the costs, I would say we got great deals that saved us a lot of moolah.

Our Mumbai - Paris - Mumbai return fares pinched us by INR 29K per head, the Paris - Keflavik flight ticket was approximately INR 14K per head and the Keflavik - Amsterdam flight ticket was approximately INR 8K per head.

Stay options were chosen with priority to kitchen facilities and locations. We were lucky to get stay options from INR 8K to INR 25K per day for 6 pax during the entire trip. Some of them were pretty amazing and truly VFM deals. All stay options were booked either on Airbnb or Booking.com and not even a single experience was bad.

For example, we got two superior rooms in Novotel Paris for INR 9K a day (exclusive of breakfast). INR 9K a day for two huge rooms in Paris was truly a VFM deal. The receptionist went in shock when we told her about this deal.

We had been tracking prices of hotels/homestays from 4-5 months and had shortlisted 5-6 properties in each destination based on multiple reviews. Whenever we got good offers, we made the bookings.

We carried dehydrated food which saved us a lot of money. Light weight, dry packets, easy to cook - the dehydrated option was perfect for a backpacking trip. Additionally we used to buy meat, bread, milk, nutella, butter, fruits, beverages and essentials from supermarkets so we had restricted eating out at restaurants. However, we used to eat out to taste the local cuisine once in a day or two.

We got a great deal on our Car Rental as well. We basically got a Jeep Patriot and a Jeep Grand Cherokee for 11 days at a Special Offer Price, which was less than the rental cost of either of the cars otherwise. Infact we were so shocked and surprised after getting the quote that we repeatedly asked the Car Rental guys if what they have mentioned is actually true. Additionally, we got a Garmin GPS and a 20-litre Jerrycan free.

Petrol was priced at INR 185 per litre during our travel dates.

Our entire trip was self-planned, no travel-agents involved anywhere. So again we had the elasticity of saving costs as per our convenience.

Since October is a shoulder season in Iceland, we got even sweeter deals which would not have been possible during the other months of the year.

Hope this helps in planning your trip.
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Old 6th April 2017, 11:35   #35
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Simply Awesome

The Govt. of Iceland should pay some share of its tourism revenue to Tsk1979 and yourself ( Am sure lot of Tbhpians are already planning for a visit coming oct)

I shared your Travelogue with a cousin of mine who went to see the northern lights in Finland( (spending a bomb staying in glass igloos )same time around ( his immediate feedback was 'I should have gone to Iceland instead'))

On a side note ,I pass a Nizam Era ruin to work everyday and wonder if a plane wreck can be of a tourist potential (made famous with the Bollywood song and your log now) why cant this be as well ?

Iceland now is surely on my things to do before I die ( my only connect so far has been listening to their local band Sigor Ros)

Lastly With Iceland Krona being like half to INR ,How expensive was say local food and entry fees to the attractions ?
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Old 6th April 2017, 12:44   #36
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

What a great travelogue. Well planned, well narrated, great destination and awesome photographs. You have opened many T-BHPians minds to new possibilities :-)
Thanks for sharing. 5 stars.
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Old 6th April 2017, 14:26   #37
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

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Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
Simply Awesome

The Govt. of Iceland should pay some share of its tourism revenue to Tsk1979 and yourself ( Am sure lot of Tbhpians are already planning for a visit coming oct)


Thank you sir !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
I shared your Travelogue with a cousin of mine who went to see the northern lights in Finland( (spending a bomb staying in glass igloos )same time around ( his immediate feedback was 'I should have gone to Iceland instead'))
Whoaah Kakslauttanen Glass Igloos are a pretty darn expensive stay option. But I am sure the experience would have been priceless.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
On a side note ,I pass a Nizam Era ruin to work everyday and wonder if a plane wreck can be of a tourist potential (made famous with the Bollywood song and your log now) why cant this be as well ?
Food for thought ??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
Lastly With Iceland Krona being like half to INR ,How expensive was say local food and entry fees to the attractions ?
Although ISK is almost half of INR, but everything is very expensive there so in terms of INR also everything seems expensive. This is because most things like grocery items and packaged food/beverages are imported into Iceland. Only fish and dairy products are 'relatively' less expensive.

There is no entrance fee, parking fee or camera fee in any of the attractions. There is one toll-booth between Borgarnes and Reykjavik, the one-side toll fee is ISK 2000 which is INR 1000 approximately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang_shelby View Post
What a great travelogue. Well planned, well narrated, great destination and awesome photographs. You have opened many T-BHPians minds to new possibilities :-)
Thanks for sharing. 5 stars.
Thank you so much !
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Old 6th April 2017, 15:18   #38
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

You belong to a league of storyboard writers, as you made me glue to this. Very well articulated & written. Every detail about each place can be considered as a reference for future travelers. Almost 8 months of planning paid of so well which surely lasts your lifetime.
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Old 6th April 2017, 15:41   #39
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Amazing.. Mesmerizing.. and many other words to add to this thread. What a great travelogue and at a great place. No more than 5 stars available here to vote
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Old 6th April 2017, 16:00   #40
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

An excellent travelogue and thank you for taking us through an experience. It was truly amazing.
It must have been all the more special being able to travel with like minded friends who are also travel enthusiasts.
Iceland looks like it is a land where one can really appreciate nature in all its gritty intensity and grandeur- the glaciers, the geysers, hot springs, volcanoes and the rift between the tectonic plates. Some of the vistas reminded me of Scotland. I could almost feel the damp cold feeling on my skin.
Being able to see the northern lights must have been the icing on the cake. They look truly spectacular and it is one of those things on my bucket list.
Paris and Amsterdam pictures brought back memories of my visits there a few years ago.
You mentioned that you were tracking the flight deals and room rates for 4-5 months, can you clarify on this please. What did you mean by tracking rates and how does one do it. I am sure the information will help lot of us in getting good deals and planning travels like this.

Cheerio!
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Old 6th April 2017, 16:21   #41
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Thanks for the post. There is just one word (if such a word exists) to describe Iceland according to me. Outer-worldly!! I had been to this cold paradise this January and like you, I was mesmerised by the natural ruggedness of this place. Rolling lava fields, geysers, glaciers, ice capped hills, lagoons, rainbows and double rainbows, warm people. You name it, Iceland has it. Just the landing at Keflavik feels like we are landing on a different planet.

The cherry on the Pudding is ofcourse the Northern Lights. No words can describe it as you rightly said and no camera can do justice to the beauty they present. Its best not to try spending time with all the settings in your DSLR trying to capture them if you are an amateur. If you don't have a tripod, then don't even try. That was the advice of our host at the hotel in Reykjavik and he was definitely right, atleast in our case.

Just a small correction though, Iceland would come under the Nordic region and is a superset of the Scandinavian region which comprises Norway, Sweden and Denmark. And just in case you plan to visit any of these places again, then don't miss the Igloo stay in Finland. They are pricey but are absolutely worth the price.
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Old 6th April 2017, 16:44   #42
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by venkikewl View Post
You belong to a league of storyboard writers, as you made me glue to this. Very well articulated & written. Every detail about each place can be considered as a reference for future travelers. Almost 8 months of planning paid of so well which surely lasts your lifetime.
Many thanks for the appreciation sir. We are glad that the intensive research and planning paid off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by informmaha View Post
Amazing.. Mesmerizing.. and many other words to add to this thread. What a great travelogue and at a great place. No more than 5 stars available here to vote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
An excellent travelogue and thank you for taking us through an experience. It was truly amazing.
It must have been all the more special being able to travel with like minded friends who are also travel enthusiasts.
Iceland looks like it is a land where one can really appreciate nature in all its gritty intensity and grandeur- the glaciers, the geysers, hot springs, volcanoes and the rift between the tectonic plates. Some of the vistas reminded me of Scotland. I could almost feel the damp cold feeling on my skin.
Being able to see the northern lights must have been the icing on the cake. They look truly spectacular and it is one of those things on my bucket list.
Paris and Amsterdam pictures brought back memories of my visits there a few years ago.
Thank you so much !


Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
You mentioned that you were tracking the flight deals and room rates for 4-5 months, can you clarify on this please. What did you mean by tracking rates and how does one do it. I am sure the information will help lot of us in getting good deals and planning travels like this.

Cheerio!
We tried all kinds of travel hacks - went incognito, deleted cookies, used different IPs and tracked multiple websites.

For flight tickets, we used to track multiple websites and different routes. We had evaluated Mumbai - Keflavik - Mumbai, Mumbai - Paris - Keflavik - Paris - Mumbai, Mumbai - Frankfurt - Keflavik - Frankfurt - Mumbai, Mumbai - Amsterdam - Keflavik - Amsterdam - Mumbai, Mumbai - Brussels - Keflavik - Brussels - Mumbai, and I am sure you get the drift.

We even checked prices via Helsinki, Oslo, Moscow, London and via many other cities. Then we replaced Mumbai by Delhi and repeated the entire exercise. This continued for a couple of weeks.

Finally, we zeroed on to the Mumbai - Paris - Keflavik - Amsterdam - Paris - Mumbai route as it was the most cost effective. Plus Qatar Airways and Wow Air both had very good reviews. So we booked our tickets on Skyscanner.in for the above route.

The booking of stay options, however, took us 4-5 months. We read reviews of homestays/hotels on various travel websites and finalised our route plan. Based on the route plan, we shortlisted 5-6 properties for each night's stay. Then we used the travel hacks to track prices. Based on the best deals available, we used to confirm our bookings.

Plus, Airbnb was offering INR 1500 cashback if one refers a friend and he/she does a booking. So the six of us (A, B, C, D, E, F) made a strategy. A referred B, B referred C, C referred D, D referred E and E referred F. Then F made the first booking and E received an INR 1500 cashback. Then E made the second booking and D received an INR 1500 cashback and this continued. So we saved INR 7500 through this hack.

Plus the Air Miles accumulated on Credit Cards were used to get access to Airport Lounges and get discounts.

We also used to regularly check offers on Booking.com and as soon as we used to find a good hotel with a fat discount, we used to confirm the bookings.

Although we saved a significant chunk of money through these tricks, the overall savings looked minuscule in front of our total trip budget. Nevertheless, we were happy that the money saved on bookings can be used during the trip.

We do this exercise before every trip and needless to say, some of the deals we have got in the past were too good to be true !


Quote:
Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post
Thanks for the post. There is just one word (if such a word exists) to describe Iceland according to me. Outer-worldly!! I had been to this cold paradise this January and like you, I was mesmerised by the natural ruggedness of this place. Rolling lava fields, geysers, glaciers, ice capped hills, lagoons, rainbows and double rainbows, warm people. You name it, Iceland has it. Just the landing at Keflavik feels like we are landing on a different planet.

The cherry on the Pudding is ofcourse the Northern Lights. No words can describe it as you rightly said and no camera can do justice to the beauty they present. Its best not to try spending time with all the settings in your DSLR trying to capture them if you are an amateur. If you don't have a tripod, then don't even try. That was the advice of our host at the hotel in Reykjavik and he was definitely right, atleast in our case.
Absolutely true. Awaiting your travelogue with great interest, sir !


Quote:
Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post
Just a small correction though, Iceland would come under the Nordic region and is a superset of the Scandinavian region which comprises Norway, Sweden and Denmark. And just in case you plan to visit any of these places again, then don't miss the Igloo stay in Finland. They are pricey but are absolutely worth the price.
Point noted.

Last edited by //M : 6th April 2017 at 16:50.
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Old 6th April 2017, 16:56   #43
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Absolutely stunning vistas... Your beautiful narration of it makes the place come alive to the reader!

I'd like to draw a faint comparison between Iceland and Nova Scotia (a place I've lived a few years), they're almost alike in the way the landscape dictates the beauty of the place - quaint, simple yet stunning and majestic in its own way!

Iceland has now been added to my must-visit list. Thank you for this wonderful travelog.

Thread rated 5 stars.
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Old 6th April 2017, 17:55   #44
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Excellent, well written travelogue with beautiful pictures //M. The best part I liked about this log is it is a complete log written from start to end in one single shot. With many travelogues it so happens that the writer loses motivation in between or gets busy with life and couldn't devote any time to it and it remains incomplete leaving many readers high and dry.
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Old 6th April 2017, 20:15   #45
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Default Re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Absolutely stunning.
Adjectives will fall short to describe the beauty of Iceland.
And the beauty is enhanced with the apt narration.
Iceland is already in my bucket list now.
I am really impressed by your meticulous planning and think it is worth every penny spent.
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