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Old 29th March 2017, 20:06   #1
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Default Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

A grand adventure is about to begin !

Iceland, a faint Nordic country in the world map has been suddenly hitting the headlines.

A country of sharp contrasts is now the bucket-list destination for many travelers worldwide. The only reason has to be the spectacular landscapes along with the serenity, energy and the forces of nature that have combined to make a visit to this Viking country a never-to-be-forgotten experience.

This hidden gem of Europe is a mysterious land of fire and ice, the magical Northern Lights, black sand beaches, gushing geysers, waterfalls, rumbling volcanoes, glaciers and the incredible wild landscapes.


A country with spectacular landscapes
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With a riot of colours
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Of natural splendors
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And the lashing waves
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Of amazing floating Icebergs
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And magnificent glaciers
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Of special moments
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With a treasury of diamond crystals
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And first snowfall of the season
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With mighty torrents
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And autumn colours
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Of colours in the sky
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And reflections in the sea
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Promising a great voyage through many discoveries
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Iceland is not just a destination, it’s a therapy !

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Old 29th March 2017, 20:36   #2
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Default re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

INDEX :


Last edited by //M : 5th April 2017 at 18:21.
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Old 30th March 2017, 18:41   #3
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Default re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

The Plan


Just before the Christmas Eve on a lovely December evening of the year 2015, I was gulping down some Ale with couple of friends in Mumbai. It was basically to celebrate our successful summit on the Kedarkantha Peak in Uttarakhand earlier that month.

A general discussion with my travel-crazy friends ended up with the question “Where next?”

Each one of us had a list of dream destinations and we finally zeroed down to Ozora as our next destination. The psychedelic festival of Ozora in Hungary is a one-of-a-kind gathering of trance lovers. A few days at Ozora coupled with a week-long relaxing vacation at the Dalmatian-coast in Croatia and a few days of hiking around the Julian Alps in Slovenia was our perfect idea of a holiday.

The research part started soon thereafter and somewhere during this phase, I casually expressed my desire to witness the phenomenon of Aurora Borealis. My friends, who were equally ecstatic about the idea of witnessing the magical Aurora, jumped with excitement on hearing my wish to visit Scandinavia.

Suddenly the holiday plan to Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia was flushed down the gutter and we were already looking for new destinations – Norway or Finland.

After we had done fair amount of research on Scandinavia and the Northern Lights, we came to a conclusion that this is going to be way beyond our budget. Scandinavia is bloody expensive.

Back to square one, we started looking for other destinations but plenty of mouthwatering pictures of other Nordic countries all over the web had us in fix. We knew we can minimize the expenses, travel as backpackers, hitch-hike, camp-out and survive on bare essentials.

Finally, too much of inspiration from the popular TV Series ‘Game of Thrones’ had made us finalize our destination – Iceland.

The real catalyst was moderator tsk1979’s travelogue and various other articles about the beautiful Nordic country of Iceland that had cemented our decision.

As expected, flight fares were expensive. We planned to visit Iceland during the shoulder season in late October 2016 and started tracking flight fares from January 2016 itself.

After a lot of permutations and combinations, we decided to fly from Mumbai to Paris, explore Paris, fly to Iceland, take a self-drive rental car and explore the country for 10-11 days. For the return journey, we had 2 extra days so we thought of covering Amsterdam as well before we head back to Paris.

We discussed the plan with few more like-minded friends and soon got a Yay from three of them. So totally we were six people. We realized we would need two vehicles in Iceland so we decided to have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Jeep Patriot as our travel companions, both petrol automatics. We got a fat discount on only these two particular vehicles. The discount was too good to be true, so much so that it made a Suzuki Jimny rental car look expensive.

By September 2016, we had our Route Plan finalized, flight tickets booked, self-drive rental vehicles booked, Visas done and all stay options booked.

We were all game for Iceland.
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Old 30th March 2017, 19:00   #4
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Fast Forward to 14th October 2016 :

During the planning phase, we realized that it is going to be seriously expensive to feed our taste buds in Iceland so we carried a lot of dehydrated food from Mumbai which was home-cooked, light-weight and dirt cheap.

Along with that we booked all our stay options with the facility of kitchen so that we can cook our own meals atleast for breakfast and dinner. For lunch, we could try the local cuisine. For a group of 6 people, renting out independent houses/apartments with kitchen facilities worked out to be cheaper than hotel rooms.

Bags packed with all essentials in check, I left from Pune late in the evening to catch my flight from Mumbai in the middle of the night.

During the entire journey from Pune to Mumbai, I kept on wondering how will we read out the names of the Icelandic cities in case we get lost and we need to ask a local.

I could imagine myself having an expression similar to that of Steve Harvey in the pic below.
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Old 4th April 2017, 19:28   #5
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An evening in Paris


We boarded our Doha-bound Qatar Airlines flight in the early hours of 15th Oct. As soon as we landed in Doha, we could see the skyscrapers at the lovely Pearl Qatar shining in all its glory washed by the golden hue of the first rays of the sun.

The Hamad International Airport in Doha is massive and beautiful. Every single square meter reminded us that we are in the land of the oil-dipped Sheikhs. Oh and for the supercar enthusiasts, there was a McLaren MP4-12C displayed at the Tag Heuer store. Not only that, a brand new Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 and a Porsche Cayman were parked at a porch alongwith a Ducati Monster 821 Dark. Apparently these were the prizes for some lottery. Phew – mind blown !

After a brief stopover at the Hamad International Airport, we boarded our flight to Paris – an Airbus A380. This was my first experience in an Airbus A380 and needless to say, the Airbus was humongous!

After an eventful journey, we reached CDG. With only a few hours of daylight left in Paris, we wanted to make the most of it. We quickly rushed to our hotel, dumped our luggage bags, freshened up and headed straight to Trocadero, the nearest metro station from the Eiffel Tower.

I usually hate crowded places and I am far from being a romantic at heart, so the Eiffel Tower was not the ideal ‘must-see-place’ in my books. But what I saw in front of me left me spellbound. I now knew why this architectural marvel is often regarded as ‘One of the most romantic places on Earth’.

Romantic or not, the Eiffel Tower is beautiful and spectacular. We had pre-booked tickets to the summit of the Eiffel Tower so without any further delay, we rushed towards the elevator. It was crowded and packed with people from around the globe. After reaching the 2nd Level, there was an even longer queue to the summit. We waited in anticipation, the lovely evening breeze and the view of the Paris skyline was a sight to behold.

In the meantime a German bloke argued with me that the yellow convertible at a distance, visible down below, was a Porsche 911 while I was adamant that it is a Ferrari California. My car-fanatic friend whispered in my ears “Bhai kya kar raha haar jaega bet wo Porsche hi hai” (Brother what are you upto, it is a Goddamn Porsche). I stressed my eyes, second time, and exclaimed “Ferrari California”. I took out my zoom lens and clicked the car – it was indeed a yellow Ferrari California. Bet won, yay !

Soon we boarded another elevator which took us to the summit. The lovely city of Paris with its beautiful period buildings and modern skyscrapers like the Montparnese Tower looked stunning in the dusk. With light fading away, we took as many pictures as we could and savored a toast to the grand beginning of our fortnight-long trip.

From Trocadero, we headed to Bastille. We had pre-booked a boat tour on the river Seine that evening. The boat tour took us through the Notre Dame cathedral, the administrative quarters of Paris and the Eiffel Tower (again).

The Eiffel Tower, now lighted up, looked surreal from the Seine River. The glitterati and the splendor of the Eiffel Tower cemented the fact that it was indeed a very romantic place.

Our boat tour ended at Bastille and we were quite amazed to see the crowd around the Opera. The area around the Bastille Opera had many eateries and cafes. The Saturday-evening young crowd around the Opera made it a very lively place. I was particularly amazed to see a Royal Enfield Continental GT amongst the sea of motorcycles and maxi-scooters. We hoped around Bastille, had a sumptuous dinner and post-midnight, headed back to our hotel to catch up some sleep before our flight to Keflavik next morning.


A few supercars on display at the Hamad International Airport, Doha
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The magnificent Pearl Qatar
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Probably the Pamir Mountains !
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Supercars spotted in Paris
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The spectacular Eiffel Tower
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In and around the Eiffel
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Old 4th April 2017, 19:35   #6
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Default re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

We boarded our Iceland-bound Wow Air flight from the Charles de Gaulle airport and soon we touched-base at Keflavik, the only international airport in Iceland. From Keflavik we booked bus tickets to Reykjavik downtown. The one-hour bus journey through small villages and beautiful landscapes was spectacular.

We reached Reykjavik, transferred our luggage to a mini-van and headed towards the Galaxy Pod Hostel – our stay for the night.

We had a gala time meeting other like-minded travelers from around the globe at the Galaxy Pod Hostel. In the evening, we took a stroll around the very beautiful city of Reykjavik. Some pub-hopping and sight-seeing later, we reached the massive Hallgrímskirkja Church. The architecture, inspired from Basalt rock columns, was jaw-dropping. Soon it started drizzling and it was very windy, so we made a quick retreat back to our hostel after a sumptuous dinner at one of the many restaurants in the Downtown area.


WOW Air flight to Keflavik
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The pod-beds at the Galaxy Pod Hostel
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Downtown Reykjavik
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The stunning Hallgrímskirkja Church
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Old 4th April 2017, 19:38   #7
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Driving in Iceland

  • An Indian Driving License is valid in Iceland as long as it is Card-Type, has the driver’s photograph and is in English. No need of IDL/IDP.
  • Iceland is a LHD country. The traffic is disciplined, speed limits are followed and pedestrians are given the first priority.
  • Most of the highways in Iceland are two-lane roads. The speed limit is 90kph for highways, 80kph for Gravel roads and it varies between 30-50 kph within city-limits.
  • N1 and Orkan are the two most widely available gas-stations across the country. It is better to get a fuel card from either of these outlets so as to avoid swiping the credit card at gas stations frequently. Maps of N1 and Orkan fuel outlets across the country are readily available.
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Old 4th April 2017, 19:51   #8
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The Golden Circle


Bags packed, we bid adieu to the other hostellers post-breakfast and left to pickup our vehicles from the rental agency. We rented a Wi-Fi router and also got Gravel Insurance, Theft Protection and Collision Insurance for both the vehicles, a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Jeep Patriot. We also received a Garmin GPS device alongwith a 20-liter Jerrycan from the rental agency at no additional cost.

We drove past the beautiful city of Reykjavik and headed towards the Pingvellir National Park. On the way, we took a short detour to Sellfoss - a small Viking town near the Golden Circle.

We then headed to the Silfra Fissure. We had pre-booked a snorkeling tour in the Silfra Rift so we quickly suited up for the show. The water was freezing cold but we all were game for it.

The Silfra Rift is the only place of Earth where one can touch both the Eurasian tectonic plate and the North American tectonic plate simultaneously.

After a 20-25 minute snorkeling tour, we swam out of the rift. Our feet were numb and hands were frozen, but there were no complains as we had an experience of a lifetime.

We then hiked to the Silfra view point which is supposedly the highest point in the Pingviller National Park and enjoyed the lovely panoramic view.

We found a nice place to cook our picnic lunch. We had bought essential food items from a supermarket in Reykjavik and had also carried a small foldable stove for such occasions during the trip. After a nice lunch, we proceeded towards the famous Strokkur Geysers.

Strokkur erupted every 5-6 minutes approximately and it was a sight to behold. Never ever before had I seen a geyser erupt in front of me so I was very excited to see this natural phenomenon.

By the time we left Strokkur, it was already dark. The daylight was limited in Iceland to approximately 9 hours a day during our travel days. We camped at a small Viking village after a sumptuous Icelandic dinner - lots of fish and seafood plus pulses and boiled veggies.


Beautiful roads to the Golden Circle
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Diving in the Silfra Fissure
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Pingvellir National Park
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The massive Arctic vans
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The Strokkur Geyser
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Last edited by //M : 5th April 2017 at 08:23.
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Old 4th April 2017, 20:02   #9
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To the Southern Coast


It was freezing cold at night and incessant rainfall meant we could barely sleep. At the first rays of the sun, we cranked the engines and headed towards Gulfoss – Iceland’s own Niagara.

We were at Gulfoss pretty early in the day so no other tourists were around and we had the entire waterfalls to ourselves. After spending some time at Gulfoss, we drove towards Seljalansfoss.

Seljalandsfoss is a beautiful waterfall in Iceland situated just off the Ring Road. Some sequences of the famous Bollywood song “Gerua” were shot at Seljalandsfoss. One can actually walk into this waterfall thanks to a small natural cave.

Seljalandsfoss was a touristy waterfall so after a few customary clicks, we proceeded towards Skogafoss – another famous waterfall and one that featured in “Gerua” as well.

Skogafoss is another glacial waterfall, the water comes from a glacier situated in the highlands just above the Skogafoss waterfall and is visible from the Ring Road.

Just few kms ahead of Skogafoss towards Jokulsarlon lies the Solhemiasandur Beach which is popularly known as the Aircraft wreck site. A DC-3 US Navy Aircraft had crashed at this black-sand beach and ever since, this has been a popular tourist place. Again, this is one place which has featured in the Bollywood song “Gerua”.

It is a rather beautiful 45-minute walk from the parking lot to the Aircraft wreck site and another 15-minute walk will lead towards the beach. It was a windy evening so we clicked as many pictures as we could and then slowly retreated back towards the parking lot.

We had booked a lovely cottage close to Hekla in Hvolsvollur. As expected, it was very windy and very cold at night but it was quite cozy inside the cottage. We had bought barbeque grill and coal for the night so that we could enjoy good food with wine and music.

After a nice late-night walk around the cottage, we called it a night as it was too cloudy so chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis was sadly zero.


Our American steeds
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The mighty Gulfoss Waterfall
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Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
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Scintillating Skogafoss Waterfall
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The massive Glaciers in the Highlands
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Solheimasandur Aircraft wreckage site
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Old 4th April 2017, 20:23   #10
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Black Sand & Sea Stacks


It was a very windy, cold and rainy day. We spent some time around our cottage in Hvolsvollur and then drove towards Vik. The strong winds and low visibility meant we could barely do any speeds so by the time we were near Vik, it was already afternoon.

On the way, we did a short hike to the mouth of the spectacular Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, made popular thanks to the Hollywood flick, Interstellar.

We went to the popular Reynisfjara Beach. It is definitely the coolest beach in Iceland. Lovely rocky formations towards one side and small caves with basalt rock columns everywhere. The Reynisdranger basalt sea stacks looked surreal. The Reynisfjara Beach, though beautiful, is the most dangerous beach in entire Europe. The waves were very strong and unpredictable. More so because we went on a rainy day so the strong winds plus the waves meant most tourists were content seeing the beach from a distance. We waited till the weather cleared out. The local people warned everybody of the “Giant Wave” that hits the shores often on a bad weather day and can engulf almost the entire chunk of tourists on the beach with itself. Later, a Google search revealed that what they said was actually true.

Once we were near the Reynisdranger cliffs, it was a surreal sight. The black sand beach looks one of a kind. Add to that a flock of Arctic terns and some huge rocky formations, it was definitely a sight to behold.

After spending a good amount of time in Reynisfjara Beach, we headed to Vik town in search of fuel and a supermarket. Vik is a lovely small coastal town and has all essential stores so we bought a lot of packed food, some meat and wine for dinner.

On our way to Kirkjubæjarklaustur, we stopped at Hofdabrekka – a famous tourist spot now courtesy the popular TV Series, Game of Thrones.

The weather again turned bad, the visibility was almost zero so we cancelled our initial plan of camping at Kirkjubæjarklaustur and booked an Airbnb nearby. In retrospect, this was the most amazing stay option in our entire trip. We had booked the Hamrafoss Holiday Home, the bungalow is in the middle of nowhere with a lovely waterfall right in front of it. It was a proper Viking house, a cozy 3 bedroom house with an attic which reminded us of ghost stories.

Since the weather was bad, we had to stay indoors. So we played some lovely country music, had an amazing dinner, shared travel stories and played board games before calling it a night.


Our cottage at Hvolsvollur
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Mýrdalsjökull Glacier
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Reynisfjara Beach
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The Reynisdranger Sea Stacks
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Vik, a beautiful coastal town in the southern coast
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Hofdabrekka and Laufskálavarða near Katla
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Old 4th April 2017, 20:32   #11
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Winter is Coming


We got up late and it was still drizzling but it wasn’t as gloomy as compared to the last day. After a sumptuous breakfast, we left for Svartifoss.

Svartifoss is a beautiful waterfall situated in the Skaftafell National Park. The unique proposition of this waterfall is that the water gushes down between basalt rock columns. It is almost a 60-minute hike from the parking lot to the base of the waterfalls. The hiking route is well-marked and is beautiful, definitely worth the effort.

It was raining so we carried our ponchos along, the hike was beautiful and we reached the waterfalls in about an hour’s time. After spending some time there, we retreated back to the parking lot. The warm coffee tasted heavenly since we were a little drenched and our feet were numb due to the cold.

Our next stop was Jokulsarlon. It is a rather scenic drive from Svartifoss to Jokulsarlon with the massive Skaftafellsjokull and Svinafellsjokull Glaciers for company on one side of the road.

We reached Jokulsarlon and were greeted by huge icebergs floating in the lagoon and the huge Vatnajokull Glacier was a jaw-dropping sight.

After clicking a lot of pics near the icebergs, we waited for our turn for the Glacial Lagoon Boat tour. We were lucky that the weather turned sunny by the time we reached Jokulsarlon. However it was too windy and cold.

We had a 40-minute boat tour that took us through the icebergs and near the massive Vatnajokull Glacier. By the end of the tour, everyone was shivering thanks to the cold breeze so we gulped down a mug of hot chocolate post the boat tour. It was unbearably cold and the hot chocolate tasted heavenly.

Bang opposite the Jokulsarlon Lagoon lies the Diamond Beach, very famous for the ice crystals that are in abundance in the entire stretch of the black sand beach. It took us no time to realize why this beach is called the “Diamond Beach”.

We had a gala time at the Diamond Beach and then we proceeded towards Hofn, our destination for the day.

On our way, we realized that the Jeep Grand Cherokee had a puncture so we drove slowly till we reached Hofn.

Hofn is a quaint little fishing village off the coast. By the time we reached Hofn, the puncture repair shop had already closed for the day so we decided to get it fixed next morning. Hofn is a fairly big town with all amenities so we decided to get a checkup done on both the cars from the local garage.


Our homestay near Kirkjubæjarklaustur
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The picturesque hike to Svartifoss Waterfall
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Around Skaftafell near Svartifoss
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The massive glaciers along the road to Jokulsarlon
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Old 4th April 2017, 20:38   #12
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Default re: Iceland: Not just a destination, but a therapy!

Jokulsarlon, the glacial lagoon
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Huge Ice-Crystals all along the Diamond Beach
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The Jeep twins parked at a motel in Hofn, note a familiar looking vehicle
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Old 5th April 2017, 08:50   #13
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Stoned Age


We had booked an apartment near the port next to the sea. After a lazy breakfast admiring the sleepy coastal town of Hofn, we went to the local garage. We got the puncture fixed and got all fluids checked-up in both the vehicles. The garage owner refused to charge us a single penny. He was rather amazed at seeing tourists all the way from India. We thanked him for the hospitality and proceeded towards another sleepy coastal town – Djupivogur.

We took a short detour to the Stone Museum, which is essentially an artist’s home and houses some lovely creative stone-arts. It is just next to the famous Egg-Road near Hofn.

The drive from Hofn to Djupivogur is along the East Fjords. But incessant rains played spoilsport and visibility was low so we could not make steady progress.

We were also unhappy with the fact that in our last 5 days in Iceland we couldn’t even once see a clear sky at night, let alone the Northern Lights.

From Djupivogur, we took the gravel road to Hafursa (our destination for the day) via Oxi. This was an interesting route that saw few tourists. It is a long stretch of gravel road but goes through some hilly sections. Although it was raining cats and dogs, but we enjoyed the drive and also saw many small yet scintillating waterfalls en route.

By the time we left the gravel road, the weather had cleared out and the dusk was spectacular.

We reached our homestay at Hafursa, the location was perfect. A very scenic house situated in the middle of a small forest, right next to a huge lake, with acres of grassland around and snow-capped peaks at a distance.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Hafursa. We invited the owner, an elderly lady, for dinner. She was so overwhelmed by our gesture that she told us a lot of interesting stories about the farmhouse and the nearby areas. She also invited us post-dinner for a shot of coffee and amazing chocolates.

We enjoyed the stay so much that we wanted to stay there for atleast another day, but time was a constraint so we had to control our emotions.

The sky was clear to some extent, no luck with Northern Lights though.


Hofn, a sleepy coastal town
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The Stone Museum
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Fresh catch of the day
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The famous Egg Road
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The beautiful landscapes from Djupivogur to Hafursa via Oxi

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Our homestay in Hafursa
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Old 5th April 2017, 09:02   #14
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High on Sulphur


Post breakfast, we bid adieu to the owner of the homestay and proceeded towards Egilsstadir. On our way, we bought essentials from a supermarket and fueled up our gas-guzzlers for the journey ahead.

Our next stop was Dettifoss, a beautiful waterfall in the northeastern part of Iceland.

Dettifoss is known to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe as it has the greatest volume of water gushing down a rocky crag. Very close to Dettifoss lies another waterfall named Selfoss. After spending quality time at Dettifoss, we drove to Lake Myvatn.

On the way we stopped at Namafjall Hverir, a geothermal spot emitting hot sulphur gases from the ground.

Just a couple of miles before Lake Myvatn lies the Grjotagja Caves which is popularly known as Jon Snow and Ygritte’s love nest, as that particular episode of the popular TV Series ‘Game of Thrones’ was filmed here.

There are a lot of small caves near Grjotagja and what lies beneath is a natural hot-water pool. Just across Grjotagja lies the famous Jarbodin Nature Bath overlooking the massive Lake Myvatn and the Krafla Volcano.

The weather was perfect so we took a dip in the warm waters of Jarbodin.

Most hot-water pools in Iceland have water with sulphur content so although the water has a mild pungent smell to it, but it takes only a couple of minutes to get used to it.

We spent an hour or maybe more at Jarbodin and enjoyed splendid panoramic views of Lake Myvatn.

Just a couple of miles from Jarbodin, we met three hitch-hikers. An Austrian guy and couple of young German ladies wanted a hitch-hike till Akureyri.

With them onboard, we shared a lot of travel stories and quickly made friends with the like-minded backpackers.

On the way to Akureyri, we stopped at the mighty Godafoss waterfall. It is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Iceland, the spectacular panoramic view of the Godafoss waterfall left us spellbound.

After spending almost an hour there, we proceeded towards Akureyri.
Our new friends got down at Akureyri but promised to visit India soon (which they did in December 2016). After bidding them goodbye, we left for our destination of the day – Olafsjordur.

Olafsjordur is a sleepy coastal fishing village near the Arctic Circle on the banks of the Greenland Sea.

As luck would have had it, it started drizzling and soon we lost all hopes of seeing the Aurora in the sky.

We cooked dinner and enjoyed a late-night walk around our cottage even though it was drizzling.


In and around Hafursa
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Dettifoss Waterfall

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Selfoss Waterfall
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Namafjall Hverir
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The stark landscapes around Namafjall Hverir
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Grjotagja Caves
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Lake Myvatn & Jarbodin Nature Baths
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Godafoss Waterfall
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Old 5th April 2017, 09:10   #15
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The Gentle Giants



Incessant rains had spoiled our chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis so far but otherwise we were totally enjoying the roadtrip. We started from Olafsjordur after breakfast, drove back to Akureyri (the biggest town in Iceland after the capital city of Reykjavik) and proceeded towards Husavik for our whale-watching tour. We had to retreat back to Husavik as we couldn’t pre-book whale-watching tour tickets yesterday so we had to travel back towards the east.

We had booked tickets with “Gentle Giants”, one of the popular tour agencies in the area. The whale-watching tour was of 3-hour duration in the Greenland Sea, which is a part of the Arctic Ocean.

The 3-hours in the sea was nothing but a roller-coaster experience. The waves were notorious, the weather was bad and gloomy, plus it was very very cold. We had been provided cold-weather wind-proof suits but still our bodies went numb in just about an hour into the tour.

The sea was rough, definitely not an experience that people with motion-sickness or weak-stomachs would like. Our boat was sailing through the high tides in the Arctic Ocean and we were constantly reminded of weightlessness due to the crests and troughs in the waves.

We could not see a single whale in the initial 40-minutes but the next 2-hours in the sea was an experience to remember. We had Humpback Whales for company throughout the next 2-hours. The Humpback Whales came mighty close to our boat and their size left us gasping for breath.

After a good two and half hours in the sea, it was time to retreat back to Husavik. It was so cold that we could barely move our lips to even utter a single word. And suddenly the organizers announced that they will be serving us some Hot Chocolate and Croissant. I almost gulped down a mug of Hot Chocolate and could feel each drop in my body warming up my insides.
We returned back to Husavik after a successful whale-watching tour. After exchanging pleasantries with the other people on board and with the organizers, we drove past the beautiful city of Husavik.

We stopped to fuel up and buy groceries en route from Akureyri. Our destination for the day was Erpsttadir Cottage, a small lovely cottage situated on a hillock in the middle of nowhere. We drove through some gravel roads and since it was drizzling, we didn’t stop anywhere as the drive was long.

By the time we reached Erpsttadir, it was already dark and cloudy. We had a tough time to find the cottage. The owners had a huge dairy farm so we were treated with some fresh ice-creams as soon as we reached there. We also got a tour of the dairy farm thanks to the warm hosts.

Then we were guided to our cottage, the drive was through ruts and was definitely not doable on a low Ground Clearance vehicle. It was a single cottage on a hillock offering breathtaking panoramic views of the entire highlands in that region. We could see the lights at the dairy farm far away at a distance. There is only one cottage, with a nice hot tub outside, plus the amazing views of the snow-capped peaks around. I would highly recommend this stay option to anyone who is traveling in Iceland.

We cooked our supper and were enjoying the drizzle when all of a sudden the clouds gave way to glittering stars. The weather was clear, the KPI Index was high and then we saw something that our eyes couldn’t believe – the Northern Lights !

Although the Aurora was visible only for some time before it became cloudy again, but we totally loved what we saw. We were super-excited and considered every penny spent on this trip worthwhile.


The super amazing whale-watching tour
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The lovely small township of Husavik in the far north
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Akureyri, the second largest city in Iceland after the capital city Reykjavik
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Nature's charisma - the Aurora Borealis
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