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What do you wish you'd known about Iceland before you went?

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I'm headed to Iceland for 8 days in about two weeks, and I'm entering the final packing/planning phase. I have done a lot of research (including reading Ann's wonderfully thorough trip report!), but am wondering if there are some tips that I just haven't uncovered.

My friend and I are flying from Reykjavik to Egilsstidor and then driving the southern portion of the ring road back to Reykjavik. I'm going to bring binoculars, a great camera, lots of layers, cheap shower sandals and a towel for thermal baths - but is there anything quirky I'm missing? Any off-the-beaten path attractions I must see? What about tips like buying liquor in the airport, buying gas cards, or stocking up on food at the grocery store before setting out?

We have planned a horseback riding tour near Vik, but are there any other things we should try? Any good whale-watching tour recommendations (and is August a good time to see whales?)?

I don't want to arrive there and realize I forgot something crucial or, worse yet, return only to realize we bypassed an amazing sight. Help me please!

Sue

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