First Impressions of Iceland

Everyone asked, “Why did you start your adventure in Iceland?”. My reply was always “Well, I like to be outside”. Outdoorsy? Come to Iceland. Iceland is a jaw dropping haven where hikers can hit the trails and explore for days. The sheer cliffs, cascading waterfalls and utter ruggedness found here is quickly stealing my heart. I don’t know if I would ever choose to live here but, I would certainly return. Here are some of my thoughts on Iceland so far:
Turbulent Weather
Four seasons in a day is an understatement. I know how to be safe when it comes to dangerous weather – I had about seven hours before snow was expected.  The day I arrived was magnificent. The sun was out, a little windy, a bit chilly but overall pleasant. Forward two hours I was gripping my steering wheel praying to Odin that I was going to outrun a snowstorm brewing in Þingvellir National Park. Arriving at the Airbnb the storm finally cut loose dumping about five inches of wet snow. Cozy in my room I watched the white fluff build on the railings of the deck. It must have rained early in the morning because the snow was GONE when I woke up. Then it alternated snow, rain and sun for the next three days. When the rain stopped… the wind came. To make a long story short. Don’t depend on the weather or you will never leave the accommodation.
There are waterfalls a plenty! In the south east and south west (all the ground I have covered thus far) almost every property comes with its own waterfall. Talk about some great real-estate.

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Food is Delish, but Few and Far Between
Be prepared to spend a buck or make grocery stops. I’ve not had poor food yet. If you are traveling the Ring Road be prepared to carry food with you. Our group started out a little ill prepared but we quickly learned to buy non-perishables or food to cook on the spot.
Normal economics suggest that a bowl of spaghetti meat sauce should not be 3200ISK (around $29 USD). Just remember importing drives price levels up – especially to a relatively remote island. Opt for a grocery store run and cook for yourself. Most hostels, guesthouses or Airbnb’s have kitchens you can utilize. Do some research.  I suggest eating one huge meal a day followed by snacking.

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Food you do pay for? Fan-freaking-tastic. I’ve not had a bad meal yet.
Welcome to round about hell. Icelanders take driving seriously. Be prepared to drive at two lane circle. Outer circle exits at the nearest turn off, inner circles exit at later turn offs. Make sure you use turn signals. Those are the little knobby things on your steering wheel.
There Seem to be More Horses than Humans
If you are looking for a place of self-reflection, Iceland is the place to be. You can choose to be social or introverted. Iceland is very safe – people wise. Rather dangerous though if you plan on hiking or touring alone. Fall of a cliff? No one would know.
Fill Up
If you are used to American gas stations – you might be in for a rude awakening. It took $40USD to top off a half tank and $70 USD to fill from a quarter tank. My best advice: fill up every half a tank. Prevents sticker shock and ensures you never run out of gas!
Safe Driving
The most sobering feeling is seeing a 4X4 Jeep on its roof at the top of a barren snow-covered mountain in Vatnajökull National Park. Please, please, please drive safe. The maximum speed limit for the entire island is 90KPM (55MPH). Yes, it is slow but it could save your life. Iceland is untamed and nature gives zero thoughts to reckless behavior.
Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate

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