This day, I wake up and end up having a short, but interesting, conversation with a lady from Sweden who was originally from the United States. Long story short, she packed up her bags and moved to Sweden for neuroscience. She even made every effort to get her dog over there too! Obviously she loves that dog. From here, I’m off to the KEF airport area to drop off my rental car. But first, some more exploring of a place I had Googled a few nights prior. Really, all it was was a massive frozen lake and some geothermal spots. It wasn’t particularly interesting. The drive on the other hand I did enjoy. As a city boy there was something fascinating about driving on unpaved roads. Here are some more shots of the car:
My last stop was the Blue Lagoon. It seems like something everyone who visits Iceland should do so I told myself I’d shell out the ~$50 and give it a go. However, by the time I got there and saw the line up I really couldn’t justify sitting around in a pool of water for that much. If I were there with friends, it would be different. It would be like a social gathering, a nice way to wind down and chat. By myself…well that seemed a bit pointless. Granted I could have struck up a conversation with some strangers, but the lagoon really did not appeal to me. I ended up just walking around the outside and taking some pictures there. The following shots are from my phone:
The next stop: the airport. I drop off the rental car and I have to say, Blue Car Rental was very accommodating and we did a quick review of the car. Everything seemed to be in order and I was on my way to take the bus back to Reykjavik. If you go to Iceland, Blue Car Rental is a great place to rent a car from. Highly recommended. The bus ride to Reykjavik was, in a way, boring. I imagined what Iceland would look like to many people who took the bus there. It wasn’t really all that special. I ended up taking a little nap for most of the trip since I had a whole two seats to myself. Spread out and pass out. My final hostel location, the Loft Hostel, was only a short walk away from the BSI Bus Terminal. The one thing about the streets in Reykjavik, at least in the winter, was the sand. Bits of it would get stuck in the wheels of my suitcase, making the walk there longer than it should have been.
Loft Hostel, check in, get to the room, and lie about. Clean some of my gear, dry out my tripod, and sort out the suitcase so I’m ready to leave for my flight. Yes, I still had three nights but I like to pack early. It helps keep things clean I find. It’s at the Loft Hostel that I meet more solo travelers. It hit me that most solo travelers wouldn’t venture out on their own with a car or such. It’s much easier to make a place your base of operations as a solo traveler than it is to move about all over the place. At least, that’s what it seemed like. It’s not only safer, but it is less stressful. Of course, costs also play a factor in all this. It is indeed much more expensive to rent a car on your own. The trade off is that you don’t get to explore on your own either, not in a lonely sense anyway. There were moments where I didn’t drive past anyone for a long time and it felt like I was the only person in Iceland at that moment. It’s a strange feeling to be alone in an unfamiliar place where the closest person could be dozens of miles kilometers away. I’m not really sure how to describe that sort of feeling. The words that come to mind are vulnerable, isolated, and despair. Traveling solo in Iceland in the main city seem to be much safer, less stressful, and more relaxing than the previous 10 days than I had just experienced. Here I gained a sort of appreciation for the different kinds of travel that exists. Solo travel is overly romanticized, or at least that’s what I found. That being said what I do it again? Yes, I probably would. Are tour groups good for travel as well? Yeah they probably are. They’re just a different kind of travel; more relaxed and less stressful. They have their upsides and downsides Group travel? Probably a better form of travel, best of both worlds. It is definitely less lonely than solo travel and less restrictive than tour groups. I’d have to say the spectrum goes like this: solo travel—group travel—tour groups. That is that for this day.
And here’s what the dorm looked like, I have to say the Loft Hostel was fantastic. I highly recommend it if you ever choose to stay in Reykjavik. It’s a little odd as reception is on the top floor, but it makes it unique. Everything was super clean when I went and for about $25 Canadian in the winter, it was kind of a bargain really. One of the better hostels around I hear.