We were looking for a place to go in August and started wandering around the web for ideas to visit different distant destinations like Borneo, Costa Rica and Uganda. But we wanted to keep the trip length to ten days max, so we narrowed our search to places closer to Greece. Iceland is not an obvious choice for spending the summer vacation but then this is the season to visit, the air trip from Athens is only seven to eight hours, while the fare is reasonably cheap.
Basides, Vassilis and Nana, the friends that would join us (Nana is my cousin), who are long time enthusiastic travelers had some very good feedback from their friends and agreed immediately. After some research, we decided to rent a car and follow route 1 around the island, eastbound. I left most of the planning to Vassilis and his copy of Lonely Planet and did not regret it. My contribution was limited to the demanding task of booking our lodging. Demanding for two reasons: limited availability and pricing. Iceland is, by any standards, a very expensive country – blame it on cod – with a per capita GDP of $38,000. It does not help that two thirds of the people live in the Reykjavik area, with the rest of the country sparsely populated, meaning that the lodging infrastructure is very limited. You can expect to pay €180 per night for a 15 sq.m. room in a hotel resembling a ship container.
Iceland proved the most unusual and exotic place on planet Earth, a landscape photographer’s paradise with volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers and glacial lakes, icebergs, waterfalls, geysers, thermal pools, in other words a true geological exhibition. Add the rich wildlife, picturesque villages and lively capital and you begin to understand that you are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In a single day you can see more things than in ten days in any “exotic” destination. And in fact we did. Overall, this was week I will never forget, diverse, fulfilling and refreshing. I promised to return one day to take all the pictures I missed. Here is complete list of the travelogues from this trip. Start reading here or click on any link to read the relevant post.