There are always a million reasons not do something but all that matters is that one reason which makes all the difference.My trip to Iceland was one a perfect example of this thought.
How this trip came to reality was an adventure in itself. My very good friends Amandeep Boparai and Nayan Chaudhary met sometime during May of 2015 and discussed the prospects of going on a trip somewhere (somehow we all three end up in the most unexpected of places). Someone suggested Iceland and because of the absurdity of the suggestion it was taken seriously. After some help and consultation from our good friends google and trip advisor our resolve in the absurdity of Iceland strengthened.
Then came the question of how to fund this trip. All of us were master students studying in different universities, two of us are in US and another one is in Paris. I borrowed money and booked the cheapest flight tickets(NON-Refundable(very important)) on impulse for October in the middle of my semester.
Now there was no going back. Once we booked the tickets we started looking for VISA ; there are just few consulates in US that give Icelandic Visa and they don’t conduct interviews every day. I had to fly to Houston on my birthday to get my VISA. We had to take various permissions from the college(But I think I have the coolest program director) for VISA. Just getting to Iceland had costed us lot of money.
After working late nights for weeks to plan for the lost classes and trying to be on top of all assignments and submission we finally flew to Iceland. Iceland greeted us with the coldest breeze outside the Keflavík airport. It was so cold that we had to go inside the airport and get our caps and gloves out. We had already booked a 2015 Land Cruiser (it’s a super car). I recommend if you travelling to Iceland rent from “Reykjavik Rent a car” and don’t forget to take all kinds of insurance since the cars are super expensive (SCWD is a must).
Me and Chaudhary had to pick Bopa from Reykjavík to complete the pack. We planned the itinerary in hopes that we can stick to a plan and cover as much as possible during our 5 day visit. But as is the case with most of the cases most of the decisions were impromptu and I am glad that they were.
Our first stop was Þingvellir National Park (for game of thrones fans it is the place where the Brienne of Tarth defeated the hound ). It’s one of the most beautiful places I have seen with plenty waterfalls, green rocks that are too beautiful to be true
Next we reached Gullfoss (foss means fall in Icelandic) in the midst of snow and super high speed winds. The hike to Gullfoss was an adventure in itself. The path was covered in ice and there was a strong wind to make it more interesting. The barricades along the cliff of the waterfall were very frail, and with no traction on the ground it felt that we could have been literally blown away. The water fall is intimidating, ferocious and awesome at the same time. I would definitely recommend visiting there.
Our first night in Iceland was rough. It was snowing like hell and to make matters interesting the wind was blowing like anything. The wind was so strong that it seemed that snow was falling horizontally on the windscreen. It was something that I had never seen in my life.
We slept in the car for the night and woke up to see a town covered in white with a snow covered mountain on one side and sea on the other. The whole town of Vik was covered in a white blanket of snow it was one of the most unique views that I have ever seen.
With the snow and the strong wind accompanying us we drove towards Dyrhólaey (one of the many black sand beaches in Iceland) . As we were moving towards the coast it stopped snowing but there was no respite from the wind. We could actually see the landscape turning from white to green in a matter of few meters. The black sand beach is beautiful (all those people who have seen How to train your dragon can relate to it) with rocks and birds flying around, really a sight to watch.
We drove past the snow storm to one of the most beautiful places in Iceland Skógafoss (you might have seen this in the new Shahrukh Khan Movie Dilwale) It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. You can almost always see a rainbow if its sunny and the whole experience is surreal and serene. Very close to Skógafoss is Seljalandsfoss. Seljalandsfos is unique as you can go behind this fall which is a rare thing (Another scene from Dilwale).
The next place that I recommend visiting is the Sólheimasandur plane crash. To reach the site we had to drive off road for couple of km (Some US plane crashed here in the 70’s)(again in Dilwale). The most weird thing about the place was that it was snowing and just 300-400 m away there was a farm fence. The left side of the fence was completely white, the right side was completely green. It was one of the spookiest things I have ever seen.
Check the next next blog for the rest of the trip. For the time being enjoy our drive on the Iceland roads: