Iceland..? Yes, Iceland!
Why?! In my past aviation life, I’ve stopped several times in Keflavik to re-fuel, always found it intriguing, and wanted to return. So, Yvonne and I finally planned our adventure.
The time of year was dictated by our goal to see the aurora borealis and the returning whales and puffins. A 16-day self-guided auto trip, April 6-21, we circled the entire country on the ‘ring road’ Route 1. Weather determined our itinerary. We headed counter-clockwise out of Reykjavik because a majority of the clockwise route to the north was closed due to snow and wind on departure day! My GPS logged our location every two seconds and created the Google map.
This may sound ambitious, but the country is approximately the size of Ohio with the population of Cleveland. With 350,000 people, most are related somewhere in their lineage. There is an ‘app’ for Icelanders to quickly determine their kinship, don’t want to be intimate with your cousin, you know.
Situated between the two tectonic plates, North American and European, volcanic activity built the island and supplies 90% of the energy for heating and electricity. A community hot water line services the small towns we passed or stayed in along our route. Yep, a hot water line runs into each house and businesses.
High technology abounds, 97% of households have internet. We were never out of cell/data coverage, but were wise to turn it off when not needed to avoid a surprisingly high bill upon return.
The weather and aurora borealis forecasts were astonishingly accurate. Real-time road conditions were available on the national weather website many with live view cameras.
In ‘Week One’, you will see in our slideshow travel that began in the southwest of Iceland, near Keflavik International Airport and then at visit to the Blue Lagoon, a large outdoor spa that uses 104 degree Fahrenheit water from a geo-thermal electric plant. Next, two of many dramatic waterfalls, which are created by glacial runoff, and believe it or not, on a Wednesday afternoon, at each one we happened upon a wedding taking place.
When you see the weather, it may cure you too of ever complaining again about Northeast Ohio spring that never comes!
Rugged terrain, glaciers, mountains, oceans, rain, snow, sun, repeat :) The people were warm if a bit cautious at first, and the food abundant in delicious fish, no surprise, but perhaps surprisingly cosmopolitan in preparation. We’d recommend it for the more adventurous among you.
Meantime, enjoy an overseas trip without the jet lag…!