Iceland – land of fire and ice. Which is visible already from the air. Our first impressions of the Icelandic Landscape: Incredibly wide, clear air and farsighted. Rough, stinded and beautiful. And volcanoes everywhere.
|How I got there||Icelandair, return flight from Duesseldorf|
|Where I stayed / Recommendations||We stayed at the Laugarvatn HI Hostel: great sea view and nice staff. However: at check-in they’ll tell you that breafast starts at 7:30 – the next morning you’ll figure out that it does NOT start before 8
|Restaurants||Lindin: next to the Laugarvatn Lake; a bit pricey (but hey, we’re in Iceland!), decent food|
|Things to do||Thrihnukagigur volcano: et insinde a volcano (we didn’t, but it’s certainly a great experience! You’ll just have to pay a few hundreds of Euros/Dollars. Per person, of course.)
Raufarholshellir: Visit a Lava tunnel (only available for groups, requires booking in advance)
Visit the Reykjaladur Lagoon area: hot water, sulfur and a lunar landscape
…and in this area you’ll also find the famous “Blue Lagoon” – we skipped it and went to the Myvatn Nature Bath instead: less crowded and less expensive, but equally nice!
Stop for the Kerio crater and hope for a little bit of sunshine
Explore the Laugarvatn Lake area
|Recommendations in a nutshell||Try the smaller dirt roads and you’re just on your own|
|recipe||Hot Apple Cake, coming soon|
Arrival in Iceland
Our first trip to Iceland. The weather forecast promised low temperatures between 10 and 13 degrees maximum, but at least only little rain for the upcoming 8 days. We started with a direct flight from Duesseldorf airport, which takes you to Keflavik airport in about 3 1/2 hours. They’ve got on board entertainment, but you should bring you own earphones, otherwise you’ll have to buy them. Non-alcoholic beverages are free, for everything else (e.b. food) you’ll have to pay.
The approach to Keflavik gave us the first highlights: interesting colorful reflexions of the airplane on the clouds:
and a nice view of the row of volcanos just next to the airport.
And an impression about how ample and stinded the landscape is:
First impressions of the Icelandic Landscape and Flora
After having picked up the rental car from “Goldcar” rentals (they upgraded us from the tiny Kia Picanto to this larger specimen…
thanks! – we started into the direction of Laugarvatn, our first overnight stay. Instead of the “highway no. 1” (the ring road), we went through the Reykjanesfolgvangur national park and got a pretty good impression about landscape and vegetation (sparse!).
And road conditions: once you’ve legt “highway no. 1”, the pavement stops soon and changes to gravel. Although the stones striking on the car souns a bit creepy, driving is a lot of fun.
Our first gravel road trip was short – maybe just 10 km – but quite nice. And we were completely on our own, no other car in sight.
The landscape is amazing: lava stones everywhere, covered by lichens and smaller plants. A mixture of grey and green and blue.
Kerid Crater – a pretty typical Icelandic Landscape
From there we took the express way to Laugarvatn, and our first sightseeing stop, already close to Laugarvatn, was the Kerid crater, a volcanic crater filled with water. Depending on the sunshine, light and daytime, you’ll see it in different shades of blue. At our stop, there was – unfortunately – no sunshine, but even with cloudy sky the blue is still fascinating:
And looks pretty different from the other side of the crater:
Laugarvatn Lake Region – another typical Icelandic Landscape
After this quite freezy stop (temperatures already below 10 degrees and windy!), we went non-stop to our hotel, the “Laugarvatn HI Hostel”. The “icelandic standard” (which means a bit basic for central European habits), but nice. And with a perfect lake view from our room):
Being quite hungry, we just dropped our bags and went down to the lake to the highly praised “Lindin” restaurant, wherd be we had reserved a table. The restaurant had been divided into a cheaper “bistro” and a more expensive “restaurant” part, but upon arrival we were told: just one menu for all. The prices were quite high compares to “central European standards”, but we knew that in advance. So, no surprise to pay around 80 Euros for a soup, a fish, a beer, a glas of wine, a peace of apple cake and two coffees. Anyway, the food was really nice
After a short stroll at the lake we fell into our beds – looking forward to the next days!
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