Backpacking Iceland

The moment you step out of your flight you’d be swept away by the strangely beautiful landscape of Iceland. But as you enter Reykjavik what pinches you back to reality are the sky high prices. Everything from accommodation to food is so expensive and if you don’t watch when and where you open your wallet, you might end up with an empty one way before the trip ends. Guess, that is the price you pay for the fresh air and unbridled nature.


Since, I landed in Reykjavik in the evening I saw no point in booking a hostel for the night, the day was pretty much over anyway. Instead, I stayed back in the airport and waited for the first bus in the morning. As there were no scheduled flights in the night my only fear was that the airport might get closed. It got cold in the night but my jacket which I had been carrying all through the hot European summer suddenly seemed to be a very good decision.


I felt drowsy and hardly could keep my eyes open during the bus journey. But hell, the view outside were unmissable: the road cut across seamlessly through the fields of lava rock. In any direction you saw there was only one view for miles and miles, pitch black lava rocks covered in deep green moss. The scenery infused with my sleep deprived mind felt like some kind of wyrd dream. To top it off, the weather was all cloudy and wet which added to the gloom.

For the uninitiated, Iceland has a tradition as rich and mysterious as its forlorn landscape. The Icelandic sagas not only dig deep into country’s tradition but also find a firm footing in the Iceland’s pop culture.

I had to walk a bit to get to my hostel which was located on the central street, dead in the center of the city.

I hit the shower, why am I writing about a mundane a thing as shower? Because it was one of the best damn shower, and I still remember it. Forget the hammams of Budapest, who needs to go to a spa if your municipality tap gives you the spring water. The water here in Iceland is geothermically heated, everything is god damn natural; Iceland is truly a vegan’s paradise!

I didn’t do much on the first half of the day. The truth is Reykjavik doesn’t have much to offer in terms of attraction. The real fun of Iceland lies in its nature anyway. No trip to Iceland is complete with its trademark Golden circle tour (something like Norway’s Norway in a nutshell).


I took the Iceland’s half-day golden circle, short and sweet tour which took us through Geyser, and Gullfoss. Geyser was a shocker as the actual Geyser has been silent for years.


Next day I decided to move out of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik. I intended to go to the lake Myavtn area. Since, the flights were expensive and buses took too long I found a ride on Iceland ride sharing website. But how reliable was the website? There was only one way to find out.

Guess what? The man was a cook in a fishing boat and spoke only Icelandic. Somehow I managed to co-ordinate with him and a forgettable ride later I was in Akureyri.

Akureyri is a small remote town but hey wait a minute, what’s that I see? An Indian restaurant! I bet, this must be northern most Indian restaurant in the world.

There were reports of the northern lights activity in the night and some of us from the hostel went up the hill to a park. But we weren’t so lucky after-all. Next day, for the whole day I toured in the Lake Myvatn area, and the trip ended with a dip in Blue lagoon-esque lake. Wow, what an experience!


I took the bus for the return journey to Reykjavik and took a shut eye as I had a long day ahead of me.

Three days were gone and yet I had so many unchecked items on the Iceland bucket list. I wanted to stay for few more days. And so impulsively, I took the decision to reschedule my flight! And I somehow managed it all on my shitty smartphone(gets hung and restart for new reason. I hate Samsung).

The day trip took me to the Glacier lagoon and around. The Glacier lagoon was fantastic, the barren landscape around was exceptional and made for a perfect canvas for shutterbugs. I was one such, flooding the memory of my camera with pictures. The glacier directly led into sea, what a waste of fresh water!


But then it was these massive waterfalls that were unforgettable. Iceland spoiled my taste for waterfalls forever. Imagine my dismay when I went to Bokor national park in Kampot, Cambodia and saw a trickle for a waterfall. Never again.

I checked the price of the hostel for the night, it was unbelievably high. I decided to wing it, and spend the night in the airport. My flight was in early morning anyway.


With heavy heart and promised to do the ring road I bid adieu to this captivating land of Ice and Fire that I just couldn’t get enough of. And yeah, I was thankful I wasn’t taken away by the elves…

Posted by Vidyut

Relentless Traveler. Blogger.

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