Iceland
Iceland

Curious what backpackers do in Iceland? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

198 travelers at this place:

  • Day7

    Vanlife

    May 1 in Iceland

    Giggles and card games, inside jokes and passing the time while driving. Happily smushed in together for the upcoming four days with our own little kitchen, washroom and sleeping quarters. Cabinets to explore, luggage to cram in the hold in the back and decisions to be made as to who would sit facing forward and who would sit facing towards the back, who would sleep with whom on which bed and what game was to be played first. The division was clear: adulting, navigating and charting our path for the cab in the front and goofing around, snacks and carefree fun for the back.

    Our first experience in a motor home as a team of six began as soon as we arrived in Iceland. Well, that is to say it began after we waited for our luggage, after we took in some fresh air as we waited for the airport shuttle, after we warmed up in the sunny car rental office for the one and only attendant to help us only to then inform us that we were to wait for the shuttle to the camper van office, which was at a separate location. Once we finally arrived at the actual camper van rental spot it was time to sign papers, watch safety videos and get loaded up in our new borrowed rig. Nerves and excitement were felt as Trevor drove us out of the building and into the bright sunshine.

    As always is the case when traveling, especially with 4 kids, we were behind where we thought we would be in our estimated timeline. Groceries were the first priority. Trevor, Liam, Ava and I headed into the store to buy up what we thought we'd need for the next few days while the two youngest fellas played cards in the motor-home. Thankfully the fellas wanted to stay back to guard our rig because at this point we didn't know how to lock all the doors. We were sure it wasn't rocket science but after a long day of travel, groceries on our minds and a three hour drive ahead of us, we didn't seem to have the head space to sort this seemingly difficult problem out in that moment.

    With plans to live the decedent fancy life in Iceland, we stocked up on high brow items such as pasta, bread, milk, cheese, butter, juice and of course chips and treats. Oh, and we bought one onion and one pepper to jazz up our pasta sauce and a few apples just for good measure. ;) These fresh food stocks were combined with the stashed foods we lugged in our suitcases from Canada, which included things like coffee, peanut butter, oats and energy bars.

    As it was past dinner time, we decided to stay put and cook up a big vat of pasta right then and there in the grocery store parking lot before our drive to Vik. Hungry tired hangry's were setting in and we knew that if we didn't feed ourselves we'd be in for it soon after setting off. We were a bit clunky as we sorted out how to function in the space but thankfully the kids were patient as we cooked. After a good feed, we stuffed our dishes in the sink, tossed the food away and buckled up for our first leg of our time in Iceland.

    Thankfully, Trevor had a good rest on the flight from the Netherlands so he was feeling ready for the trek but unfortunately I couldn't say the same for myself. Exhaustion was setting in for me. Our day began very early that morning back in Friesland. Packing, cleaning, kid-wrangling, Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, a three hour flight, campervan rental fun and grocery acquiring. By the time we were setting out I was about ready to confess quietly to Trevor that I wanted to change our plans and make the suggestion that we camp for the night close by in Grindavik and make the drive to Vik in the morning. Instead, I started by asking him how he was feeling and if he needed anything. Sensing my tiredness, Trevor reassured me with a big smile that he was feeling great, was excited and was very ready to get us safely to Vik. With the kids settled and happy in the back, I sat back as Trevor took the lead. This was teamwork at its best. It's always a good idea to plan out your meltdowns to ensure only one of you is close to one at any given time so the sane one can pick up the slack and carry the load. Although my tired tears were close I settled into navigation and kid duties so that Trevor could drive us to our destination. We sipped away on Diet Coke, snacked on treats and began our drive.

    The sun shone nearly the whole way to our first campground stop. In May, the sun doesn't set in Iceland until nearly midnight. As luck would have it, the weather was brilliant. The wind was down and the sun was out. We donned our sunglasses in the front and took in the gorgeous scenery as we drove. As this was the second time Trevor and I had been to Iceland, this first drive was especially meaningful. We chatted away in the front, reminiscing about our trip a few years back and what looked and felt different, what we remembered and how fun and surreal it was to be able to be here with our four fools, who by this point were whoopin in up behind us. Strangely, our tolerance for their schenangans was uncannily high for this drive. We intermittently shouted back to them to look at the amazing mountain view, see the steam rising out of the ground or take in a nearby waterfall. These pitches for their admiration of the sights around them fell on completely deaf ears for this first drive. It was one of the loudest, funniest, craziest drives we've ever experienced. I wanted to video them at many points but knew that if I brought out my camera that the spell would be broken and their hyper giggles would fade. The kids were functioning solely on adrenaline and treats and were in their own world. We decided to leave them be and focus on the final hour of the drive.

    We arrived in Vik just before midnight, Iceland time, which felt like 2 am Netherlands time to us. As we arrived at the campground, we soon learned that our camping spot was not open as the websites listed and was under construction. However, there were many other camper vans parked in the nearby lot so we soon joined them and found a decent spot to land for the night.

    After a mad dash to find pyjamas, brush teeth, sort out who was sleeping where and wipe away some tired kid tears with some bedtime hugs and cuddles, we all proceeded to crash out for the night. Utterly exhausted and very ready for a few hours rest and recovery, we slept hard that night in anticipation for a big day of exploration ahead of us the next day.
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  • Day8

    Basalt

    May 2 in Iceland

    Early morning start after a short sleep in our rented camper van. Alarm sounds. Sleepy eyes. Wide eyes. Fellow camper van travelers waking, eating and taking in the morning alongside our crew. An understanding of quiet amongst us. Respectful nods to and from one another as we emerge from our homes away from home; as we ready ourselves for our day of travel ahead. Mainly adults in the various camper vans nearby. Smiles and connection as our four begin to rustle and stumble outside and make noise as only children can. Unfiltered and unabashed for the littles, sleepy and a feeling of newness and adventure on the faces of the bigs.

    Chilly sunshiny morning - the view of the sea to the South, busy chattery sea birds nesting to the North in the hill just beyond the campground and our full day of adventure awaiting us to the West. Rousing children stretching, wrestling, eating, dressing and questioning. What do I wear today? Is that a puffin? What kinds of birds are these? Do I have to get up now? How do I get my clothes out of the back compartment? Can we make this bed more comfortable tonight? What's for breakfast? Can I have more juice? How do I flush the camper van toilet? Where are we headed first?

    The town of Vik coming into view - a little town nestled in below the hills to the North and West. A small fishing village with the signs of tourism showing. Renovations at the campground we are staying at. Construction of a new large hotel has begun nearby with the promise of obscuring the view of the ocean for all unlucky enough to be behind it, including the campground. A different town in some ways from our last visit.

    Breakfast duties, tidying duties, first stop of our day explained - we are ready to part from our little borrowed piece of land that housed us so safely and quietly for our first night in Iceland. Thank you, free parking lot in Vik, just beside the only campground nearby that just so happened to be closed for the winter season still.

    What are basalt columns? How are they formed? What do they look like? How far away are they? How long do we have to drive to get there? Questions answered to the best of our abilities. Wishing we had researched how basalt is formed more in depth before our travels. Wishing we could explain in more detail how volcanic activity had formed where we were headed for our first stop. Wishing we had the parenting super power to answer all questions at once, most especially when they come at you simultaneously with the expectation you will answer them expediently, efficiently and correctly.

    Can I hold the camera? It's MY turn to use the camera! It's so cold, I need my gloves. No, I don't need a coat, I'm fine. It's not that cold. I'll grab your hat just in case you decide you need it. I need my hat; it's actually really cold out! Look at the photo shoot and the model in that pretty red dress. She must be freezing! She is freezing. Look how they are warming her between takes. Be very careful of the ocean waves. Tourists have been lost at this beach because they get too close to the water. There is a big undertoe. What's an undertoe? How cold is the water? Look at the black sand! Don't climb too high! Be careful! Let's take a picture. Can you take my picture over here? Can you take my picture too? Can I take your picture? No, it's my turn to use your phone for pictures now. Why can't we climb that hill? Because the sign says you're not allowed and it's much steeper than you think. Look at the sheep way up there! Look at the picture I just took! Mom. MOM! Dad. DAD! Can we go now? Where are we going next? How long of a drive is it? Can I have a snack? What can we have? Is there any more juice?

    I wonder if there is a coffee shop we can stop at on the way out of Vik. I need another coffee. Nope, no coffee shop nearby. Snapcracklefizz of the diet coke we just cracked open. A coveted diet coke to share for the next leg of our journey. Our campervan climbs up and over the steep hill as we head West, leaving Vik behind us. "Next time we're in Vik, I'd like to go for a horseback trail ride. Or, maybe we could spend two nights and take in the beach at sunset."

    A quick stop on the way out to take a picture beside the sign "Vik" for Vic. :)

    The kids settle into snacks and a card game. Trevor and I chat about next times and last times and this time and the sunshine, as we trade turns sipping on our liquid caffeine. Day two in Iceland has begun.
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  • Day3

    Blue Lagoon

    November 24, 2017 in Iceland

    Had a late breakfast and a lazy morning looking around the shops before setting off to the Blue Lagoon at one o'clock.

    This is a geothermal pool that is kept at a steady 37 degrees by adding sea water to the already hot water from the ground.

    The salt in the sea water when added to the naturally found minerals from beneath the ground are meant to good for your skin.

    However the walk from the complex to the pool when it's minus ten degrees (when taking into account the wind chill factor), especially when you are already wet having had to shower once you have changed, is certainly an experience!

    I also never thought I would ever find myself queuing up to apply a mud pack to my face!

    They also have a swim up bar!

    But once you are in.... You suddenly remember that you have to get out again!!!

    All in all an experience that we will never forget and that we are very glad that we did.

    Sorry no pictures...... The one that is included was taken this morning when out and about (at 11 o'clock!).

    Apparently come the middle of December, they only have two hours of daylight from 11:00 to 13;00!

    Off to try and see the Northern Lights again tonight....xx
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  • Day2

    Nora Magasin

    November 23, 2017 in Iceland

    So the Northern Lights tour has been cancelled for tonight..... Unsurprisingly due to the horrendous weather out of town.

    So not to look a gift horse in the mouth, we took advantage of the happy hour in the hotel bar..... Quick change and out to visit Nora's which we found in the guide book.

    They do a beer tasting tray!!!!!!🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺..... And a great burger.... What is not too like.....????

  • Day17

    Learning Islandic & dining

    June 6, 2017 in Iceland

    The most important sentence is "allt i lagi", translates to ok, awesome or are you okay if you add a "?". More over we tried lopster soup and some nice fish sticks from the grill complimentary to my nice colleagues from oose! For the German followers: berliner Ehepaar bei uns am Tisch: "hmm, lobstersoup, ich dachte die hätten hier Hummersuppe, aber dann probieren wir eben die aus"

  • Day18

    May I introduce: this is Bodo!

    June 7, 2017 in Iceland

    Bodo will take us to nice places in Island during the next days. Today he showed us the peninsula Reykjanes with hot springs, the place, where the tectonic plates between Eurasia and Nord-America split and fantastic views in a nature that looks like travelling the moon

  • Day1

    First views of Helsinki...

    November 22, 2017 in Iceland

    Deposited our bags in the hotel.... Then went out to explore the city.

    Very cold.... Flutters of snow.....

    Getting our bearings we strolled around both the old and new towns

    Some crazy people were testing the ice across the lake....

    Came across the Hallgrimskirkja Church.... Took in the stunning panoramic views of the city and across the bay from the top of the tower.

    We are then heading out at nine o'clock in search of the illusive northern lights.Read more

  • Day15

    Walk around Reykjavik

    June 4, 2017 in Iceland

    What an interesting place. Harbour, city, a lot of German, American and Asien tourists (I even managed a very asian picture pose 😉) and a tattoo convention - all in one day.
    And key learning: hot water from the tap is only for showering - it really smells like rotten eggs! The cold water is fine

  • Day2

    Pingvellir

    November 23, 2017 in Iceland

    Well that was an experience!

    We eventually stopped at a UNESCO World Heritage site which is the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates... But we couldn't see much due to the 70 mph winds blowing the surface snow everywhere, causing a whiteout.

    Obviously Icelandic health and safety laws are not as strict as those in the UK!

    Nearly lost Hilary given her choice of coat! She started to hold onto completely random men.....Read more

  • Day19

    Golden Circle tour gone hot

    June 8, 2017 in Iceland

    Today our little Bodo-ride took us to the golden circle: main tourist attraction of Iceland. Aside from the asian and american tourists, the sights were awesome! Pingvellir national park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall (better than Niagrafalls danish scientists say), Fludir secret lagoon (super relaxing and nicely hot) and Kerid crater - beautiful!

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Iceland, Island, Iceland, Ysland, Aesland, አይስላንድ, Islandia, Īsland, أيسلندا, İslandiya, Ísland, Ісландыя, Исландия, Isilandi, আইসল্যান্ড, ཨ་ཨི་སི་ལནད།, Islàndia, Islandëjô, Исланди, Gwlad yr Iâ, އައިސްލަންޑަން, ཨའིསི་ལེནཌ, Aiseland nutome, Ισλανδία, Islando, ایسلند, Islannda, Islanti, Islande, Yslân, An Íoslainn, Innis Tile, આઇસલેન્ડ, Aisalan, איסלנד, आइसलैण्ड, Islandska, Izland, Իսլանդիա, Islanda, Icelandia, アイスランド共和国, ისლანდია, Aislandi, Islandi, អ៉ីស្លង់, ಐಸ್‌ಲ್ಯಾಂಡ್, 아이슬란드, ئایسلەند, Ayisirandi, Iesland, Islànda, Isilandɛ, ໄອສແລນ, Islandija, Isilande, Īslande, Islandy, Исланд, ഐസ്‌ലാന്റ്, आइसलँड, အိုက်စလန်, आइस्ल्याण्ड, IJsland, Islandii, ଆଇସଲ୍ୟାଣ୍ଡ, آیسلینډ, Islândia, Islandya, Ayisilandi, आइसलैंड, Islánda, Islânde, අයිස්ලන්තය, Iislaand, ஐஸ்லாந்து, ఐస్లాండ్, ไอซ์แลนด์, ʻAisilani, Aislan, İzlanda, ئىسلاندىيە, Ісландія, آئس لینڈ, Ai-xơ-len (Iceland), Lisladeän, איסלאנד, Orílẹ́ède Aṣilandi, 冰岛, i-Iceland

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