3 incredible days in Iceland

Travel Tips

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I don’t know what exactly caused my trip to Scandinavia. I just sat at the computer, surfed the Internet and decided to go to Denmark.

Then I wrote to my friend Vika, who lives in Moscow, but often visits Sweden for personal reasons, and it turned out that she would also like to go to Denmark, but at the time when I wanted to go there, she would be in Sweden . Therefore, it was decided that I would fly to Sweden, stay there for a few days, and then we would go to Denmark together.

When planning my trip to Denmark, I remembered my Danish tourist, with whom worked in Kamchatka 5 years ago, and wrote to him. He replied that he would be very glad to meet.

Then I remembered that I have a friend in Iceland too! An American by birth and a hockey player by vocation, Dave played for the hockey club in my city 10 years ago.

Looking at the geographical map, I had the idea that it would be nice to fly from Copenhagen to Iceland at the same time. I wrote to Dave, to which I received the answer: “You are welcome.”

This was the prehistory of my trip to Iceland. About the time spent in Sweden and Denmark, I will write in the relevant posts. And now directly about Iceland.

If you want to order a comprehensive planning of your trip to Iceland or, conversely, learn how to organize your trips on your own, then you are here 🙂

What came of it

Fly from Copenhagen to Reykjavik in just over 2 hours. Tickets cost me 80 euros. True, I did not pay for baggage, as I left the suitcase with my Danish friend. It was decided to go for 3 days. What I love about the Schengen area (by the way, Iceland is part of it) is because I got a visa and ride wherever your heart desires.

After looking at the weather forecast in Iceland in advance, I found that there is no summer at all – 8 degrees Celsius in the second half of August. I had to urgently buy a couple of warm clothes in Copenhagen (thank H&M!). And flying up to Iceland, I realized that the forecast was correct – cloudy, rainy, cold. But, looking ahead, I can say that this did not spoil my trip at all.

Dave met me at the airport and offered to go straight to blue lagoon – a thermal spring with opaque blue water and therapeutic mud. Of course, I agreed to this proposal.

On the way, he told me that about 20 people flew to him from the States and Canada for master classes. All of them are millionaires who are fond of hockey. And all of them are now in the Blue Lagoon and are waiting for us. I think my state at that moment is understandable. I don’t even know how to describe it. Just imagine that you arrive in a new country and find yourself in the company of 20 American and Canadian millionaires.

So, we arrived at the Blue Lagoon – a small island of civilization among nothing (there are almost no trees in Iceland, only steppes). Hotel, restaurant, spa, locker rooms, showers, medical cosmetics stores – everything is equipped and looks great. I wanted to plunge into incredibly blue water as quickly as possible, and I completely forgot what I needed remove all jewelry. As a result, a black silver chain with a blue tint, the same cross, and the silver ring turned yellow. Fortunately, no metamorphosis occurred with the white gold ring. But I noticed this after, and there I just enjoyed hot water of an unusual color, smeared myself with therapeutic mud and met millionaires 🙂 They, by the way, turned out to be very pleasant and interesting people.

Right in the pool there is a bar where you can buy drinks and ice cream.

By the way, currency of Iceland – crown. The rate is approximately 1 to 0.24, or 4 crowns in 1 ruble.

We spent about 2 hours in the lagoon. For the evening, the guys called us to bars and clubs. I thanked for the invitation and tried to refuse it, as I did not have proper clothes with me. But it was not there. Refusals were not accepted, and in the evening they were waiting for me in a bar in the center of Reykjavik.

We drove to Dave’s house. On the way, I asked to go to the supermarket for groceries. He was very surprised and said that if I want to eat, then we can go somewhere. But I really wanted to eat homemade food, so we went to the supermarket, which made my American friend very happy. Products in Iceland tasty, natural, at reasonable prices. All Icelanders speak English, so if I couldn’t find something, the locals would help me find it. After shopping for groceries, we drove home.

Houses in Reykjavik very cute, light, some kind of light or something. I write “Reykjavik” and not “Iceland” because there are only 300,000 people in the whole country and almost everyone lives in Reykjavik. For the sake of interest, you can look at the map and look at the size of the country. Imagine, only 300 thousand people live there.

We arrived, cooked food, had dinner, and I began to get ready for the party. I had no choice – a sweater, jeans and sneakers. It’s best to go in this form to a club with millionaires. But, as it turned out later, I worried in vain.

In front of the bar, we went to Dave’s friends for a hockey get-together where I impressed everyone with my hockey knowledge. Dave later told everyone that, unlike him, I knew that Petr Nedvěd was in the Czech national team at the 2012 World Cup and won bronze. Dave was sure that Nedved no longer plays hockey, as he is too old. After these gatherings, we went to a bar, where we met with friends, and then went to the club together. No dress code and no entry fee. The guys booked a VIP zone, and we all headed there together. We sat, chatted, laughed, and then Dave comes up to me and asks if I know who Ben Steeler is.

– Of course I know.

– Then turn around, he sits behind you.

I turn around and there really is Ben Steeler sitting on the couch next to me. Why not 🙂

The night went just fine. No one rioted, did not show their status. Everything was very fun and easy. There was another hockey coach with his children in our company. I don’t even know which of them drank more that night 🙂 We got home only at six in the morning. By the way, Iceland time is two hours behind European time.

The next day I’m on my own went to explore Reykjavik. First of all, I went to the tourist center, took a map and found out what you can see here. Despite the cold, I enjoyed walking around the city. Lovely, as if fabulous, houses, ponds, cultural centers, sculptures, flowers in pots, churches.

By the way, about churches. There is the most famous church in Reykjavik, in the tower of which observation deck. That’s where I first went. You go into the church, immediately to the right the elevator to the observation deck. Opposite there is a sign asking you to buy tickets at the church kiosk. I, as a decent tourist, went there and bought a ticket. The elevator arrived – no one checked the tickets. I thought that they would check upstairs, directly on the spot. But there were no controllers there either. That is, everything in the country is so much based on trust that no one even thinks that someone can go upstairs without buying an entrance ticket. It won me over. I advise everyone to go up there – the view from the tower is beautiful. The church itself is also remarkable. It is notable for the fact that there is absolutely no luxury in it – ordinary shops and bare walls.

After visiting the lookout, I went to look for National Museum. I got a little confused on the map and went in the wrong direction. Standing on the sidewalk with a map in my hands and trying to figure it out, I heard the voice of a girl who asked if I needed help, after which she explained in detail how to get to the museum. The smile never left her face. I once again noted to myself how open and friendly Icelanders.

But I experienced another shock on this topic when I came to the museum. The cashier asked if I was a student or not. I answered no. She looked at me and said that there were only 45 minutes left before the museum closed, so I can go at the student price, that is, 50% cheaper. Knowing that in Russia the cost of entrance tickets to museums for foreigners is many times higher than for Russians, I could not recover from such Icelandic hospitality for a long time. And 45 minutes was enough for me, since the museum is quite small. I found it quite interesting, even though I don’t like museums.

Then I went for a walk again. Street singers sing everywhere (they sing very well, by the way), music plays. I even came across a whole orchestra of guys who were just walking down the street and playing musical instruments. After having lunch at one of the many bakeries, I went back to the church, where Dave picked me up and we went to his work, that is, to hockey practice.

Reykjavik has 3 administrative districts, each district has 2 hockey clubs. A total of 6 professional teams throughout the country. The arena where Dave’s “Polar Bears” train and play is quite small, only 100 spectators. He also joked, they say, the same as yours, only 7000 seats less 🙂 After Dave had a training session, he suggested that I ride. Of course I agreed! In my city, people are unrealistically fond of hockey, so the rinks are always full of people at any time of the year. And then the whole skating rink was just for me! Dave taught me to ride backwards. It was very funny. After the skating rink, we drove home, because the next day promised to be busy.

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The fact is that playing hockey in Iceland cannot be the main profession, since there are no multimillion-dollar contracts, as in the KHL or NHL, and even multi-thousand contracts, as in European leagues. One of Dave’s team members works as a guide. So he organized a program for us the next day, namely a trip to the hot springs.

But before that, Dave took me to other places of interest in Iceland. First we went to geysers. I was born in Kamchatka, and I saw geysers for the first time in Iceland 🙂 There is a whole area of ​​geysers, but only one of them is strong enough to shoot a jet of water to a height of about 3 meters once a minute.

Then we drove to the place where the Eurasian and Pacific tectonic plates meet. You can walk straight along this rift.

After that Dave took me to gulfos waterfall. I have never seen anything like it in my life. Neither before nor after. The waterfall is unrealistic in size, its power is simply mesmerizing. It is said to be more powerful than Niagara Falls itself. By the way, not so long ago I saw a rating of 10 unique places that few people know about. One of such places, just the same, turned out to be the Galfos waterfall. We decided to have lunch in a local cafe, where I tried the national dish – lamb soup. I really liked it.

After lunch, we returned to the city, where we met with Ulfar (our guide) and his girlfriend Lily, took backpacks and go on a hike.

We walked along low hills, the earth of which literally breathes – here and there steam came out of the earth. Changes are constantly taking place in this area, new and new “breathing holes” appear. In general, Ulfar told a lot and interestingly, including fables about mountain trolls.

When we took a short break, he took chicken eggs out of his backpack, put them in a net and put them in a thermal spring to boil. Have you ever boiled eggs in a thermal spring? Me not. And the Germans passing by, apparently, too, so they were simply amazed and asked permission to photograph this picture.

After a little snack, we moved on. The ride was easy and fun. After about 2 hours we reached the thermal spring, where we decided to stop and take a bath. Lying in the water of the spring after such a busy day is an indescribable pleasure. We rested for about an hour, and then went to the car, which drove home.

The next day I flew back to Copenhagen. In 3 days I received so many impressions and experienced so many emotions that it is sometimes difficult to get and experience in a year. And the background of this trip and all the coincidences make it somehow unreal.

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