I dedicate this entry to my son, Gregory Orion Boyce.
While I was living in Abu dhabi and my son was in the USA, I had him choose places for us to travel to. His first choice was Panama and then the next trip was Iceland. I must say he made great picks.
When we started planning for Iceland, it started to become clear that it was extremely expensive. Renting cars and lodging were both pricey. I hadn’t seen how expensive the food was. Somehow I discovered there were vans you could rent to drive and sleep in. Seemed like a good solution. In the end it was an outstanding decision. So we planned to go around the perimiter of Iceland in about a week.
When we arrived, it was cold, rainy and windy. The first market we entered was selling a very small portion of smoked salmon for around 70 dollars if i remember correctly. We were both shocked and checked all the other packages and they were similar. It was looking like an expensive trip. After exploring the capitol city of Reykjavik for a day we went to pick up our sleeper van. It was freezing cold and I learned they don’t insure you for doors being blown off the van. It seemed a bit dramatic but I quickly learned why…the wind can rip the door off. The van was a stick shift, which I hadn’t used in years and I hadn’t driven in rain in Abu Dhabi for years,but off we went.
We found a relatively cheap big market and stocked up on food and headed around the country counter clockwise. Soon we were into the most spectacular scenery I have seen in my lifetime…and I have seen a fair amount. It was July so there was little darkness during each 24 hours. You could drive and camp where you wished at the time but that has changed. Each night we stayed in places with amazing views and were the only ones there. First night on a glacier, second night by waterfalls, third night overlooking the ocean, fourth night by an inland lake.
The first night we discovered the van was pretty small for two guys over 6 feet tall. Water was condensing inside the van and it looked like it might be a long, unpleasant trip. My son joked that we had the entire water cycle inside the van. We made it through the first night and developed some systems that worked. Circumnavigating the country was beyond spectacular. Almost other worldly. We never tired of the constant breathtaking scenery that was on such a grand scale.
I could detail so many things, but I will leave it simple. Iceland has tremendous natural beauty. Traveling by car or van is highly recommended. Dress for very cold, windy weather at almost any time of year. Be rich or plan smart. And finally, no better way to spend time with your family.