Hello and welcome!
In September, 2018 my husband and I went to Iceland and today I thought I would finally share the details and photographs from our trip!
We have always wanted to go to Iceland but neither one of us had been outside of Canada, and I had never flown before. As someone who is terrified of falling from heights, the idea of being so high in the air was a big road block that I had to overcome.
We started planning our trip about 10 months before we went. Both of us had to get our passports first. We did all of the booking ourselves, including flights, car rental and AirBNB.
Our flight left at 7:00 p.m. our time, and we arrived in Iceland at 4:00 a.m. their time. Iceland is 4 hours ahead of our time. Travelling to the airport was fine and we made sure to give ourselves lots of time since this was all new to both of us. We parked in one of the parking lots where you take a shuttle to the airport and that took a lot of stress off.
Once we got to the airport we got our bearings (we admittedly did get lost at the Toronto airport…) and had a late lunch. We then waited for our flight which felt like forever. Eventually they loaded us all onto a bus that took us to where our plane was.
We flew with WOW air (which I understand has since gone under). Everyone was super nice and we didn’t have any troubles boarding our flight. One thing which really sucked was just how small the seats were. I know you hear people joke about having no space but like there was really no space! Nick really wanted the window seat so I was a nice wife and took the middle.
I felt like I was super prepared for the flight. I felt good, I took a drowsy gravol once on the plane, I had my headphones and face mask – I was set! But alas, the gravol did not work, I could not sleep. It was a very long 6 hour flight. My husband was so helpful though – he knew my anxiety was high and told me to just think about riding a bus and the turbulence was just the bus going over a bumpy back road. Well it worked! I was a champ and made it to Iceland without having a nervous meltdown!
That’s the end of day 1 of our trip – not in Iceland yet!
When we got to Iceland around 4:00 a.m. we literally stepped off the plane to outside and boy did I regret not putting on my coat first! It was SO cold I was totally shaking and couldn’t wait to get inside, where it still took me a few minutes to get normalized.
By the time we got our luggage and took our shuttle to get our rental car it was about 6:00 a.m. We were both so tired and hungry by this point. Picking up our car was an experience all in itself. The girl who was helping us was extremely helpful. We had originally rented a car, but she asked us if we wanted to upgrade to a SUV type vehicle with 4 wheel drive – we agreed. Then she asked us if we wanted to get the extra tire and windshield insurance. At this point I was confused – I had already purchased insurance, why wouldn’t the tires and windshields be covered under that? We agreed to get the extra insurance – better to be safe than sorry! It did actually come in handy – but more on that later. Lastly, we got a small device that gave us wifi where ever we took it and that was definitely useful!
Finally, we were on the road! The first thing we wanted to do was find something to eat. By the time we finally hit the road it was only 7:00 a.m. so we weren’t sure what would be open. The internet guided us to a gas station/convenience store that also had a Subway. Yes, our first meal in Iceland was Subway!
We decided to drive to our first AirBNB right away. When I had made the reservation, they said check-in time was flexible so we thought there wasn’t any issue getting there a little early.
Well, we arrived at the Hafnarskogur Hotel Hafnargjall around 10:00 a.m. This was one of our favourite places to stay because it was our own tiny little cabin! It was all open concept – kitchen, dining area and bedroom and then the bathroom. It was so cute and quaint.
Unfortunately, the host was not exactly pleasant. When we arrived he said check-in was 3:00 p.m. I tried to explain that was not what the site said when we booked and that if there was any way he could get us in earlier it would be greatly appreciated as by this point we had been awake for over 24 hours and really wanted to take a nap! He said he would try his best to have it ready by 12:00 p.m.
We thanked him profusely and then decided to use the time to go to the nearby town and pick up some groceries. We specifically picked AirBNB’s that had a kitchen because we wanted to save money where we could and buy groceries to get us through.
I wish I had taken pictures in the grocery store we went to! It had a similar layout to No Frills and so many neat foods. I will be doing an entirely separate post on the foods we ate while we were in Iceland so be sure to keep an eye out for that later!
We still had a bit of time to spare so we decided to venture around a bit where the Hotel was. The below three photographs are the view right from where our little cabin was!
Our first actual full day in Iceland was a bit of a lazy one. We took a nap when our cabin was ready and then did a bit of exploring just around where our cabin was.
The other way down past our cabin was a beach – not the sandy ones you’re used to though. There was also this super tiny water run off so of course I had to take some shots of that!
That’s it for Days 1 and 2! Over the next few weeks I will be posting the rest of our trip and even more amazing photographs of the landscapes – and of course the food!
If you aren’t already, make sure you hit the “follow” button to be notified first when a post goes live! I can’t wait to share the rest of this journey with you!
As always, if you see an image and you’re thinking “Wow – I would love to have a print of that” please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – all images posted in my Iceland posts are available for sale as prints (save for the ones with myself or my husband in them).