Tag Archives: Solo Travel

Iceland, Day 7

The day started off with a mixture of disappointment and acceptance that my new friend and I were going to be parting ways. Despite growing somewhat accustomed to traveling alone, company is always nice. We grab breakfast and then head our separate ways after dropping him off at the BSI Bus Terminal; another day on my own. It was surprisingly difficult to adjust back to being on my own again, which sucked. Immensely. Next stop: Thingvellir National Park. I had skipped this spot to drive to Snæfellsnes and it was more or less the last thing on my list to see.

SONY DSC

 

Along the way I stopped to check out a couple of views. It’s not often I get to see a clear road surrounded on both sides by snow. At this point I was really looking for ways to kill time as I had been told you could do the park in more or less a day. I thought I could go up to Snæfellsnes again, but the budget side of me told me not to. Looking back, I wish I had gone up to Snæfellsnes a second time. Enough with regrets. It was around this time I found myself offering to take pictures for people. A lot. It never occurred to me how many people don’t ask others to help them take a picture. In a lot of those travel shots you’ll often see someone missing from the photo (the person who took it). Anways, off to the national park. The most shocking thing I found about the park? Washrooms cost 200ISK to use (about $2 Canadian). Say what? I really had to go, but it took me about 10 minutes of wandering back and forth thinking about whether or not I should. Of course, $2 is a small price to pay for an intact bladder and dry pants. I can’t say I found the park all that great. At this point I realized that I have some sort of aversion to tourist traps. Walking into one just shuts down my brain and makes it refuse to do anything creative. Chances are someone else has done it before…I guess that’s the hipster side of me?

In the park I end up chatting with a pair of people who also happened to be from Canada and ended up asking if I could tag along their trip. What ends up happening is that I visit Gullfoss and Geysir again. What was surprising to me was that I was ok with that. One would think that going to the same place again while on a trip like this would be a waste of time, but it didn’t feel that way. The look of the place did chance as a lot of the ice melted and you could see all the big blocks of ice being thrown around like they weighed nothing. That was pretty awe-inspiring. It made me feel small yet again. It also reminded me that after I’m long gone, places like Gullfoss will look much different than they do now. It’s pretty hard for our minds to grasp things like the future, especially when they don’t involve ourselves.

Geysir was interesting. My two new friends decided to hike up this rather large hill that I didn’t really notice the last time I was here. Over a little ladder and up to the top we go. They crack open some peanut butter and a bag of bread, hello PB&J minus the J. It was by far the driest peanut butter and bread I had ever had but it was absolutely hilarious. I might have to do the same next time I go travel; hike up a hill with some peanut butter and bread. An interesting I discovered was what ends up making a good “adventure”. It was anything that involved at least a bit of effort to do or get to. Hiking up the little hill took some effort, and that bit made it fun.

I rather liked this shot, probably has something to do with things in tandem

Next up was a volcanic crater we went to. I totally skipped that before and it was pretty great walking around that. Afterwards, I ended up following them to their hotel and decided “screw it, I’m just going to splurge on a place to stay tonight”. I couldn’t be bothered to drive all the way to Selfoss just to get a cheaper place to stay. As a spoiler, I’m quite glad I did splurge.

Iceland , Day 6

Day six will probably remain in the top of my highlight list of Iceland. The day started off rather boring. Visiting Gullfoss and Geysir were underwhelming and after that I popped over to a gas station (petrol station?) to fill up and I noticed a guy standing beside the road at the gas station. I thought that was interesting, but proceeded to fill up. Once that was done, I decided to go over and talk to him. Two nights previously I had a nice chat with two folks from Austria who were hitchhiking their way across Iceland. Pretty ballsy on their part and they told me that a couple of Canadians had picked them up and taken them to some sights, the glacier lagoons for starters. When that experience came to mind, I knew I would regret not talking to him. So I did. Turns out he was headed towards Geysir and Gullfoss, the place I just came from. At first I thought, damn that’s a bummer. Then I thought to myself “screw it, traveling alone sucks so I’m gonna help this guy out”. I told him I’d give him a ride to those two places and that was the start of one random adventure.

He also found Gullfoss and Geysir a bit underwhelming. I learned that originally he had more time planned in Iceland, but a mixture of unfortunate circumstances meant that he had to resort to hitchhiking. That and he was leaving the next day. He didn’t even get to see the good parts! He mentioned that he had wanted to head up to Snæfellsnes, but obviously couldn’t since he was unable to get a rental car. I told him that I was thinking of going up there at some point too, so today we were both going to head up together. He couldn’t believe his luck and I couldn’t believe I was doing this. Long story short, the drive is about 3-4 hours and when we get there we start doing some hiking. We ended up digging some snow out from the entrance of one of the caves there and went inside. The cave was quite something, I found it fascinating seeing all the markings people from years past made. Old script from god knows how long ago and things as recent as the 1960s. It made me wonder about what sorts of stories these people had. Now for some obligatory selfie sort of pictures. Because my mom would want them.

After the cave, we hiked up some more and watched the sun set (and took pictures of each other). All in all that was pretty good, so off to Reykjavik we go. Halfway there, I decided to pull over to check out the stars. Seeing a full starlit sky with at least limited light pollution was something of a dream of mine and boy was the sky full of stars. It was mesmerizing and just to add some luck in there, the northern lights showed up too! They didn’t fill up the whole sky or anything, but I could see them with the naked eye and they were snaking around. Quite frankly, I didn’t care. The stars were the highlight and the lights were just an added bonus. Both of us were extremely giddy and excited, we pretty much wouldn’t shut up about it all.  After all this, we continue driving and end up in Reykjavik at about 11 or 12 at night. We found a room and passed out. What a day.

Just an FYI that is not a sunrise, but light pollution from the next city. Some people have thought it to be a sunrise and it does look like one. One day I’ll try and get one with the sunrise.  

Feeling quite addicted to astrophotography now.