TLDR;At the end of Feb 2015, myself and 5 friends went on an adventure to Iceland.
This page is for me to discuss what happened on the trip, keep a memory of things that happened that make me chuckle and smile inside and possibly provide information to others who are planning a winter road trip around Iceland.
During my 6 hours in France trip there was a conversation about going to Iceland near the end of the year. I initially suggested that we (Dan, Jim & I) go in November for my birthday. It all sounded good, until work commitments meant that Dan & Jim were unable to go.
In the middle of December Dan & Jim were talking about going to Iceland at the end of February. I was unsure of this trip as I had a lot going on with work. Dan & Jim booked their trip with Ollie.
In the middle of January as part of my 12 months 12 countries challenge, I realised I’d have the availability to go on this trip. The other guys had already booked up their trip and I didn’t want to force myself into it. So I asked Adam and Craig if they fancied joining me for an adventure. They were keen. So we booked the flights that evening to join the others on a trip to Iceland.
The weeks leading up to the trip we didn’t have a lot booked or planned really. We agreed that we would do a road trip around the country. We had 7 nights booked so we thought that being such a small country that this would be easily do-able. We didn’t realise that the country isn’t as small as we thought it was.
Using a combination of booking.com and airbnb we finally booked our accomdation for the trip, had a rough route planned and went out on it.
In this diary of sorts; I’ll chat about “us” and “we” which stands in place for Me, Adam and Craig. I will mention about antics that involve Dan, Jim & Ollie as “the others” or “the guys”.
We had an early start, we had a 7:30am(?) flight booked from Bristol airport. We decided to get up and leave around 5am to get to the airport, which turned out to be to early for McDonalds to be serving breakfast! Oh and my voice had gone so I was really struggling to speak and be heard.
We got to the airport, checked our bags in and turned around to collect our pre-booked money from the MoneyCorp counter in the airport (pre-booking it gets you the best rate).
We bumped into the guys as we collected our money they checked in their bags. A quick & painless trip through security & duty free and it was to where every traveller goes before a vacation, the bar! Breakfast and drinks at the bar and after some waiting around it was onto the plane.
Once we landed in Iceland, we grabbed our bags (and a few of us checked in at the free wifi in the airport – always a bonus) and headed to the pre-booked bus (https://www.re.is/flybus/) which also has free wifi. There are two packages for the bus, one that will trip and pick you up from your hotel, or a cheaper one that will take you to the bus depot. We opted for the cheaper one to go from the depot as Reykjavik is a small city we realised it wouldn’t be to far to walk to the hostel. The other guys had gone for the more expensive package.
We got to the Auroa guest host and the others had beaten us there and had just finished checking-in as we arrived. This hostel was actually a combination of multiple buildings in the street. We had a dorm in the same building as the other guys, so were all taken down to the building at the same time. The other guys had a small 3 bedroom dorm with a shared kitchen and bathroom on the basement and they were there for the week. We had a large dorm that had 4 beds but could easily sleep 7 or 8 guys with the space it had, including a it’s own bathroom and kitchen.
After dropping off bags, a quick shower (that first smell of sulphur in the shower water throws you) and it was off out to explore. We walked up the street to a church, where Jim started doing a silly pose with his legs spread wide as he took a photo of the church. I came up from behind him and tapped my foot into his balls. He jumped and basically threw his DSLR on the floor…. That was really awkward.
After walking around for a bit and stopping for “the best hot dog stand in the world”, we found a hipster coffee shop for us to stop and warm up with a drink. Again they had wifi. I jumped on my phone and had a notification on an Instagram photo I had posted before we left Bristol airport. A friend who lives in NYC that me and Craig met in San Diego two years ago had also landed in Iceland the same day as us and also was in Reykjavik, as I shouted at the top of my broken voice “Korean Bryan is in Iceland” I had a few strange looks.
We arranged to meet Korean Bryan at the Big Lebowski bar and went for a wonder to find it and find Adam some board shorts along the way for the hot tubs.
Whilst board short shopping Craig found a tourist news paper in the skate shop, which had listings for events that were happening. It turned out there was a death metal gig that night in Reykjavik.
We met up with Korean Bryan (not actually Korean – but American) and his dad in the Big Lebowski bar and were chatting for hours about the adventures we all had planned and various other things.
We parted ways and went and got pizza’s for us all before heading to the death metal gig. Whilst at the death metal gig Adam(?) fell asleep (yes, to all that non-stop screaming that was going on) and Craig started getting very angry looks from a large, drunk Icelandic. He local eventually barged his way onto our table and started a conversation, once we told him our plan to get the hire car first thing in the morning and do a trip counter-clockwise around the country we told us “NO!”. “The big storm is coming tomorrow, do not leave the city” we were told. We thought this is just a drunk, angry local winding us up. “The storm is coming, if you leave the city you will get stuck. First you’ll drive up a mountain, you’ll think it’s ok, you’ll drive up another mountain, it’s a bit worse, you’ll keep going and then you’ll get stuck. You’ll become a snow cone and we will have to use our tax payers money to come rescue you, because you’re a fucking snow cone”
We saw this as just harmless banter, thanked the drunk local and left, grabbing another of the worlds best hot dogs on our way back to the hostel to sleep before the early start of our road trip the next day.
TLDR; Got to Iceland, went for walk, found out American friend was in the same city, met him and his dad at a bar. Heard about a death metal gig, went to death metal gig. Got told by angry drunk Icelandic dude not to leave the city on day 2, we’ll become “snow cones”.
Became snow cone. Tank. Missed Ice caving,
Stayed in Hali, Chinese tourists, rice cookers.
Ice caving. More road closures.
Adam got wet, epic time lapse, off roading, drive up a mountain.
Seydisfjordur – awesome hot tub and cabin; serial killer of a host.
Drove past Geysher
More snow cone. Dalvík Cottage, slayer, cottage with a hot tub at the bottom of a ski slope.
GoPro footage? driving over the car and leaving Craig in the middle of no where.
Barney (Bajarni), the local hostel host, coffee shop/bar owner and fisherman.
Petrol station dinner
Got the car stuck in the snow! Had to dig it out.
Ended up mountain, was ski slope. Went snowboarding.
Crashed the car
More driving. Random family house. – Budardalur?
Back to Reyk, more Aurora
Drove miles past our new accommodation – made a dick judgement call and made friends walk.
drunk friend couldn’t get into room, fell asleep full artic. Other drunk friend came home. Tried to undress artic friend. Artic friend woke up semi artic, with one sock on.
Dan got laid (lad lad lad)
Hot tub antics. Hipster host. Volcano fucked him up, he fucked up the volcano.
In Reyk. Posh Lunch, Tinder Dates, Lomo, Burrito.