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A new member of the "I Love Iceland" club! Trip Report

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Just back from a six day trip to Iceland, July 2-July 6. Please feel free to ask for details about anything.

Stayed at Room With A View hotel in Reykjavik, $145.00 per night for a studio apartment. We could have found a cheaper hotel room somewhere but we really wanted to have a kitchen so we could have breakfast in and pack lunches to take on our day trips. (We ate dinners out.) Really nice place, right on Laugavegur Street. We had our kitchenette, living room/bedroom area (divided by a screen), full bathroom, balcony which looked over the rooftops to the harbor, access to deck/hot tub. Very modern, scandanavian design.

Aside #1: The very long days. The sun goes down but it NEVER gets dark, just stays dusky. It was easy to lose track of time in the evening. We'd be out on the street wandering around, and I'd look at my watch and it would be 11PM. Very weird. I cannot imagine what it must be like in the winter.

We arrived early Friday morning, got into town on the FlyBus (about $15.00 one way), and since our room wasn't ready, jumped right into sightseeing. Went to the Culture House to see the Saga manuscripts, very interesting. The Icelandic language is pretty much unchanged since these were written around 1000-1200. Had a very tasty soup and bread lunch in the cafeteria there, then wandered the streets. Weather-wise it wasn't a very nice day, cloudy, cool and drizzly, so we just bided out time til we could get into our room. Picked up some groceries (I love skyr!) unpacked and took a little rest. Late in the afternoon we took a bus to the Blue Lagoon and soaked in the pool for a couple hours. I enjoyed it very much--the water is comfortably hot (not too), there are big tubs of silica mud around to smear on your face and all in all it's very relaxing. Got back into town, made ourselves a little dinner in our kitchen and called it an early night.

Aside #2: I love skyr! I brought three containers of the stuff back with me. Does anyone know of a source in the US? Amy?

Got up bright and early on Saturday, picked up our rental car and did the Golden Circle. Started at Thingveller, wandered around a bit, hiked between the two tectonic plates and tried to picture the area as it was when parliament was held there. It was another gray and drizzly day so we didn't explore as much as we might have if the sun was shining. My BF is into alternative energy sources so we detoured down to the nearby power plant for a tour. They make electricity and hot water there, the majority goes to Reykjavik. It was interesting and off the beaten path--we were the only visitors. Next we stopped at a neat crater lake (I'd list its name, but I don't have all the proper letters-Icelandic has a few additional ones!) with otherworldly blue water, then on to the biggies--Gullfoss and Geysir. Gullfoss (Golden Falls) is a huge, spectacular waterfall. I've never been to Niagara, but I'm guessing this rivals it. There are paths down quite close to it so you can really get a good look (and get soaked with the spray.) Geysir, the geyser has been dormant for a while, but the nearby geyser, Strokkur erupted every five minutes or so. It was funny to see everyone poised with their cameras, waiting for the thing to erupt to snap a picture. On our way back to Reykjavik, we stopped in the tiny lakeside town of Laugavatn and had an excellent meal at their only restaurant. I was surprised by the elegance of this little restaurant in the middle of nowhere, I think it's because so many of the buildings are clad in corrugated metal and look like garages. Found our way back to Reykjavik, had no trouble driving in and finding a place to park and called it a night.

To be continued...

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