Iceland started as our number one in must-visit list, now it becomes our last forgettable moment. For us, a photographer and a smartphone photographer wife (recently blog writer, by the way), Iceland is just an ideal heart-stealing place to be. Icelandic charm and its serene landscape sparked our travelling passion just within a month. Iceland photographs are always breathtaking, but believe me, it’s even more magical when you actually live the moment.
Our adventure has been started before we made a touchdown on Iceland. Take my word, a good preparation in advance is important. Let’s imagine a football player goes to the World Cup without any practice and football shoes. He’ll be definitely ruined! The same thing as if you go to Iceland without knowing the condition and no proper gear to face the weather. Weatherproof hoodie and sturdy hiking boots were our heroes during our trip.
Iceland spring travelling in June means colder and windier than summer time (July – August) and no more northern lights, but you face a less number of tourists and possibly meet Icelandic famous bird named puffin.
It was pretty special to drive on snow-rocky mountains throughout our road trip, which is only possible to see during spring time. Another good thing is that majority of roads, hiking trails, camping sites, guest houses, nature objects, and museums are usually open in the beginning of June.
Like a wise man said, travel is about the journey and not the destination. To have flexibility and ability enjoying Iceland in own pace, we chose to rent a car and do camping.
Rent a car give us the control of our plan. It allows us to stop at every gasping turn, elevenses besides a lake, and even power nap surrounded by sheep.
A common car is enough to overcome most of Icelandic road, although you may face gravel road in between. A four-seat city car with Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance and gravel protection was our choice. The size was just enough for the two of us and our bulky suitcases (personally, sorry for all hitchhikers that we need to pass on since no room left for them). Gladly said, it was the best option for us since we passed and climbed lots of gravel road and got some chipping in our car.
If you demand more challenge and flexibility, you can use a four-wheel car (a.k.a. jeep or 4×4). Driving 4×4 car allows you to pass on four-wheel dedicated road, so called F-track. You will be able to explore remote areas and get closer to hiking trails. A normal car is forbidden to enter F-track, seriously, because trespassing and off-road driving mean fine in Iceland.
At that time, we planned to rent a Jeep for a few days. Unfortunately, F-track road to the most wanted hiking trail Landmannalaugar was closed until the end of June due to snow and ice. No option left, we decided to keep using the city car. Adios, Jeep and F-track!
Began from Keflavik Airport, we plotted an anti-clockwise trip. William, as the one and only driver, was actually delighted with our decision because the challenge by road condition levelling up throughout the route plan. The route on Reykjanes Peninsula and South Iceland consisted of the ring road 1, a very well maintained and convenient road. I need to highlight here that nothing beats the climbing gravel road on route 63 or the one and only way to reach Bakkagerði in Borgarfjörður on route 94.
Enough is never really enough to explore Iceland. Almost thirteen days going around Iceland, there is still an impulse wanting more. Woke up in different part of Iceland everyday made our wanderer’s soul knowing one thing: today new exploration begins again, and it will never be the same as yesterday.
Although we only had five sunny days, did we not have a single regret to the cloudy, rainy, and windy days there.
By getting along with the weather, we discovered the real Icelandic experience and had a distinctive touch in our photographs. Anyhow, it’s not about how short and long you stay in Iceland, but it’s about living as much as possible during your time there
At a glance, our voyage is about different kinds of midnight madness we had every day. Playing under midnight sunset next to the glacier lake, meeting animals more often than people, eating liquorice choco sprinkles ice cream, spending midnight on top of an icy mountain, crawling in the edge of a cliff to see puffin bird, dipping in natural thermal pools, and seizing the day in the capital city Reykjavik were just some of it. There is no rush to reach the finish line. Keep up with our stories in Iceland, which will be posted in separate chapters for each day we spent there. Stay tuned!