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Trip Report Iceland Trip Report

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With the help of many Fodorites and our guide, I was able to plan a fabulous trip to Iceland. My husband and I and our 23 year old daughter traveled.

Wednesday August 24th

We arrived in Reykjavik airport at 615 AM . My colleagues uncle by marriage grew up in Iceland and has been a tour guide for 15 years so we hired him for the entire trip. His name is Sigurdur (Siddi) Sigurdsson (354) 694 5762 sids.sig@gmail.com. He picked us up and drove us to the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica Hotel. Since the room was not ready we went to the Spa and showered and changed and had breakfast. Siddi picked us up a couple of hours later. We drove to the Solfar-Sun Voyager sculpture on the Atlantic Ocean. We then grabbed a hot dog at the famous hot dog hut Baejarins Bestu They were quite good. We then went to the Pearl and walked around the top and saw beautiful views of the city. We then walked the shopping streets Laugavegur and Skolavoroustigur. We did not buy anything but was tempted to buy Icelandic sweaters but they itched too much!! We then drove to the Presidents home and walked around there. Hard to believe one can do that. We went back to the hotel to rest and go to the spa before dinner. The Hilton is fine. Not in town and not high luxury. Siddi indicated that hotels in town can be quite noisy so he recommended the Hilton. We had dinner at Grill Market. Fantastic!!! The drinks were great and the chocolate signature dessert was amazing along with the meals. We taxied back to the hotel and went right to sleep.

Thursday August 25th

We had breakfast and then headed out at 845. We headed to the south coast on Route 1 towards Vik. We got on to The Golden Circle and stopped at the Pingvellir National Park.to see the tectonic plates that separates North America And Eurasia. We saw the Almannagua rift and the Parliament site. The fissures were fascinating with rivers and waterfalls.
We then stopped at Seljalandsfoss Falls.
We then stopped at Skogafoss Falls. Just beautiful.
Then we stopped at Dyrholaey, the southern most tip of Iceland. Even though the puffins have migrated at this time of year we saw one.
We stopped for lunch at Halldorskaffi Restaurant/cafe/bar. It wasn't bad.
After we drove to Vatnajokull glaciers. I found them fascinating.
Siddi then drove us to the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon. It was in the middle of no where and recently opened about 2 months ago. The rooms were basic and actually felt like a ski chalet hotel. We got here around 5:30. They certainly have a captive audience as it relates to a restaurant as there really is no where else to go. We had a drink before dinner and then had dinner. It actually was good. Early to bed for our next day on the south coast.

Friday August 26th

Had breakfast and left for our days excursion at 900. Arrived at Jokulsarion Glacier Lagoon for a boat ride around the glaciers. Fascinating and so beautiful. We stopped along the way to take scenic pictures. We stopped for a break in Hohn, which is the lobster capital of Iceland. Stopped in Djupivogur for lunch at Vid Voginn. We had burgers and fries. Can't go wrong with that. It is a quaint fishing town. We then drove through the fiords and got to Egilsstadir and stayed at Gistihusid Lake Hotel. It is a charming place on the Lake with a working farm on the property. We read and took naps until dinner. We ate at the hotel which was quite good. Tomorrow we need to get an early start so we will be leaving by 8:15.

Saturday August 27th

We had breakfast and got on the road at 8:25. I was a little annoyed at the hotel as we asked for a wake up call and never got it. Apparently our guide who booked the hotel did not ask for a lake view so that was not great and the hotel charges $15 a day for the use of their spa, which consists of a hot tub, cold tub and sauna. In my opinion they should include it as it was nothing more than 1 room and not very impressive. We started our day heading north to Lake Myvatin. We passed the volcano where the movie Oblivion was partially shot at with Tom Cruise. Unfortunately we will not get to see the Northern Lights this trip as we are here in the wrong time of the year. We then stopped at Dettifoss, the most powerful falls in Europe. Very impressive. If it were not raining but sunny instead I am sure we would have seen amazing rainbows. We then bathed in the hot springs at Myvatin Naturebath. Our guide steered us away from the Blue Lagoon as he said they are not natural and very touristy. Instead of eating at the baths we opted to drive about 10 minutes to Gamli Baerinn to have lunch. Not bad. My husband had the lamb vegetable soup which was quite good. We stopped for a brief hike through the walking paths of the lava formations at Dimmuborgir. Stopped at Godafoss-Waterfall of the Gods. Just beautiful. We then drove to Akureyri, the capital of the north, where Siddi was leaving us to catch a flight back to Reykjavik while he drove back with our bags for 4 1/2 hours and the flight is only 35 minutes. We walked around and there was live music playing as the town is 153 years old today. We shopped around and I bought a knitted bow tie at a store that was made by a 13 year old boy who happened to be at the store and then we sat and had coffee/beer at the Laundromat. We then had dinner at Rub 23 at 630. It was really great and a great atmosphere. Siddi arranged for a taxi for us at 800 to take us to the airport for an 8:50 flight. The airport was literally 3 minutes from town. Siddi was there waiting for us to transport us back to the Hilton for our last night in Iceland.

Sunday August 28th

We got up early to have breakfast as Siddi was picking us up at 8:00 to head to the airport for our 11:30 flight home. On the way to the airport we noticed a lighthouse. Since I love lighthouses we stopped to take pictures. Once we checked in at the airport we then did our Duty Free shopping. The flight was quite good and we got to see some beautiful snow cap mountains in Greenland from the plane window. They were beautiful. We had a great trip to Iceland and will return to finish seeing the North and West coasts.

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