Author | Health Care Provider
Icelandic memory lane (a travelogue)
Authored by: Priya Pasumarthy
When we hear about Iceland, we can picture lush green nature, its mesmerizing landscapes, dominating mountain tops, valleys, ubiquitous waterfalls, glaciers, lovely campgrounds, abundant hot geysers, whale watching, and northern lights. Yeah! It was all this + a perennial experience of traveling to Iceland in a camper van for 8 days. This was going to be our very first adventure for our family to breathe and dwell in the van. We were so spellbound by Icelandic beauty. We were often embraced by the dancing mist at the mountaintops and valleys. Nature was so fresh and bountiful that nudged the person in us. Through this travelogue, we hope to share with the readers all our ecstasies over here.
Our family enjoys nature/hikes and adventures and Iceland is all that. Visiting Iceland is pretty feasible. Iceland has been our vacation destination for quite some time. After the indefinite COVID hibernation, we wanted to recharge our minds and finally were able to travel. Iceland is famous for its fantastic beauty and for being the number one safe country and friendly Icelanders. Icelandic people are considered open-minded and kind. It might be interesting to note that Icelanders are consistently rated the happiest in the world. We wanted to be Icelandic for the next 8 days. We packed enough food and other supplies(raincoats, jackets, sweatshirts, meds) for the next 8 days. We packed and unpacked, we stuffed and unstuffed our boxes. We were tired and excited and had our fingers crossed all the time. We got looped to check the COVID status and flights. And finally …we made it to the airport. There were many faces like ours with praying lips and excitement. Finally, we boarded the airplane. It has been a relaxed trip with sore tendons and an aching back. Journeying to Iceland itself was balming. Iceland…here we come!
In Iceland, we were welcomed sometimes by the Sun, sometimes by the winds, sometimes by the drizzles, sometimes by the fogs, sometimes by the dancing mist, sometimes by the chills, sometimes by the foliage, sometimes by the mighty mountains, sometimes by the rainbows, and sometimes by their natural inhabitants. I recollect one such encounter with an Icelandic inhabitant. He was like,” Yo ’enough of that gawking? Come on get outta here.”
Iceland – Journey & the Campervan
We started our journey in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. We traveled in the campervan via the golden circle highway to cover our spots for the next eight days. The highway is well maintained and the driving speed is 60 km/hr. There might be times on the road when one might be followed by their vehicle’s shadows at a long stretch. My first impression of the camper van was a comparison to a Gastropod, but for the luggage and other things we stuffed in. I was skeptical regarding its pick-up. In our minds, we needed to transition from living in a 2000+Sq foot home to a very compact one. The van had impressively all amenities including a mini refrigerator, cooking heater, etc. We started to enjoy our journey once we crossed our barriers.
Beautiful – Campgrounds and Scenic places
We traveled during the light and camped at the scenic campgrounds by late dusk. It meant we unpacked at dusk and packed ready for the next day. Each day we camped at different locations. We cooked food at the campground facilities. We eventually adjusted to the late sunset. After having been cradled by the fogs at night, it was so rejuvenating to wake up at lovely scenic campgrounds. It just made our day. We were able to create “Starbucks Moments” at each site during our coffee. We sauntered through the vicinity and captured several random shots. For me, the campsite Saeberg stands out as the best out of all as it was ethereal and absolute in its existence.
Adventures/Hikes & More…
We planned our first five days adventuring and hiking for several hours at a stretch including the mountain tops, several waterfalls ( Sko’gafoss, etc.), Canyons, volcanoes(Hverjall), Caldera(Krafla), and Geothermal parks to hear their stories time and again. It was such a humbling and enriching experience. There were times when we felt like being on Mars while hiking the Hverjall volcano and Hverir Geothermal park but for its striking semblance with the martian topography.
Akureyri/City Whale Watching
Akureyri is the second largest and busiest city with a population of nearly 20,000. We enjoyed
the Whale Watch tour. Although the Whales shied away and nearly after two hours we were
able to spot them. It was quite interesting to know about the extensive research on whales.
Due to schedule constraints, we had to compress our last-day visits time around Sun Voyager,
Harpa Concert Hall, Hallgrimskirkja modern cathedral, Temlasarund, Bingvellir National park,
Thingvellir church, Stokkur Geyser( it was anticipated to be warm and on the contrary, it was
bone chilling and cold), Kerid crater( it was so and a hike-able crater), Ho’psnes lighthouse, and
our last destination was Blue Lagoon. Our family chilled and bid adieu from there on.
If you are a nature lover, hiker, and adventurer, Iceland is the perfect vacation spot. Our Icelandic memory lane allowed me to unleash all those sweet memories that I cherish. We had a fabulous vacation in Iceland during the summer of 2021 and have been blessed with a beautiful experience to carry on. This would be one of our all-time favorite spots to visit in the future.
About Priya Pasumarthy
Priya Pasumarthy is an author and a healthcare provider. She holds a Master of Science degree in Marine Biology. She lives with her family in California. She loves adventures; so far, her favorites include bungy jumping in New Zealand and hiking the Hverfjall Volcano in Iceland. Her hobbies include cooking, shopping, reading, writing, watching films, and horseback riding.