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My dog ate my homework; turning in Iceland assignment a little late

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I never did file my trip report, and with a new one coming up I decided to catch up.

The "TLDR" version: Go. It's a wonderful place and so easy to visit.

Pros - like everyone else you know, we thought Iceland was terrific

  1. Exquisite natural beauty in a variety of forms from waterfalls, to canyons, glaciers and beaches.
  2. Excellent and innovative cuisine
  3. Daylight 5:30am-9:30pm (even longer in July) allows tourists to pack in a lot, even if you sleep a little late.
  4. Outstanding weather (in our case at least, YMMV). Most of the time we did not even need a jacket.
  5. Often, we were able to enjoy places by ourselves, with nothing but nature in our vista
  6. Easy to navigate, good roads, no traffic.
  7. Well marked tourist sites, minimal and tasteful infrastructure so as not to detract from the natural beauty
  8. Zero communication barriers (it’s almost disappointingly Americanized).

Not a pro or a con but a note — there is no need to bring anything even remotely dressy, even for fine dining in “the city.”

Sort of Cons - minor

  1. Lodging, even at the higher price point, is pretty spartan/utilitarian. And while Icelanders are warm and efficient, none of the hotels or restaurants really provided 5-star service. I think Iceland is still somewhat “new” at this, and I think it still attracts primarily outdoors enthusiasts. My kids dubbed it very “crunchy.”
  2. Though I get why, there is very little flowers/landscaping at hotels and restaurants, not even containers.I missed flowers.
  3. We had one rainy day (I know, very lucky) and there was really nothing to do; the museums were kinda disappointing (Westman Islands’ volcano museum was, however, excellent.)

Faves, in no particular order:

  • Close up with puffins on Westman Islands, including local children releasing lost pufflings out to sea.
  • 3K easy hike between the tiny ports of Arnastappi and medieval Hellnar, over a cliffside landbridge
  • Hiking with crampons inside a glacier
  • Walking a bright green mossy trail behind a waterfall
  • Gorgeous canyon hike a la Justin Bieber
  • A Wes-Anderson-esque bright orange lighthouse on the ocean cliff
  • Floating massages in the Blue lagoon
  • Burrata and heirloom tomato lunch inside a geothermal-powered tomato greenhouse.
  • Private family canyon hike at dusk to a natural geothermal pool.
  • Great walking tour of Reykjavik; including a pulled lamb and Bernaise sandwich sold from a hot dog cart!

My family had to hear “My GW friend…” a lot... My GWF said the gas station food is pretty good. My GWF said we have to drive back to Reykjavik to get to such-and-such. My GWF said you can see puffins at Dyrholaey. My GWF said to try the Appelsin.,,Thank you, SueB, Ice1, Hhireno, Idaclaire and anyone I’ve forgotten.

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