Friday, October 21, 2016

Iceland 2016: Drafting my travel wishlist

So I leave for Iceland on Sunday night. 

I'll fly direct from Chicago, into the Keflavik airport and then rent a 4x4 to explore the country for two-weeks as I drive the notorious 'Ring Road'. All 827 or so miles of it. The bad news is that I've got a horrendously obnoxious cold that took over last night after work. Sleeping for close to 13 hours didn't seem to help a ton, but I'm better at least now to begin packing, charging cameras, making copies of my passport, etc. 

I'm insanely stoked for this adventure. It will be SO good to be traveling abroad again, soaking in that international wanderlust. It's been nearly five years since I traveled out of the country when I spent five months living in Vietnam during the second semester of my junior year of college at Loyola University Chicago. From what I've been reading in guidebooks, on other travel blogs, and the social media airwaves- Iceland changes you. It opens up your mind, strengthens your relationship and inner spirit with nature and the outdoors. I cannot wait to get over there.

Now on to the fun stuff. Here's a rough idea of the trip itinerary for October 23 - November 4, 2016. I'll do my best to keep up blogging while abroad.

Sunday, October 23 Chicago to Keflavik
  • Leave Chicago ORD, USA at 730pm
  • Icelandair flight #852 to Reykjavik KEF, Iceland
Monday, October 24 Keflavik to Vik
  • Arrive in Reykjavik KEF at 635am
  • Pick up the rental car from Go Iceland at KEF airport
  • Begin Ring Road drive to Vik (2hr, 50min drive)
  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Sólheimasandur Plane Crash
  • Black Beach
  • Reynishverfi Rocks
  • Dyrhólaey Arch
  • Seljavallalaug Pool
Tuesday, October 25 Vik to Hofn
  • Continue Ring Road drive to Hofn (3hr, 14min drive)
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
  • Mossy Lava Rocks
  • Jokulsarlon Lagoon
  • Skaftafell National Park
  • Svartifoss Waterfall
  • Landmannalaugar
  • Ice Caves
Wednesday, October 26 Hofn to Eglisstaoir
  • Continue Ring Road drive to Eglisstaoir (2hr, 51min drive)
  • Town of Seydisfjordur
  • Dyrfjoll
  • Laekjavik coast
  • Djúpivogur
Thursday, October 27 Eglisstaoir to Myvatn
  • Continue Ring Road drive to Myvatn (2hr, 5min drive)
  • Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Krafla Power Station
  • Viti Crater
  • Myvatn Nature Baths
  • Hverarönd/Namafjall Geothermal
  • Hrossaborg Horse City
  • Hverfjall Cone
Friday, October 28 Myvatn to Hvammstangi:
  • Continue Ring Road drive to base of West Fjords/Hvammstangi (4hr, 43min drive)
  • Akureyri
  • Aldeyjarfoss
  • Godafoss
  • Trollaskagi Mountains
Saturday, October 29 Hvammstangi to West Fjords:
  • Continue drive to Isafjorour (4hr, 37min drive)
  • Latrabjarg Cliffs
  • Hornstrandir
  • Holmavik Museum of Witchcraft and Wizardry
  • Gardar Ba 64 Shipwreck
  • Kirkjufell Church Mountain
  • Ísafjörður
Sunday, October 30 Isafjorour -> Grundarfjorour:
  • Continue drive to Grundarfjorour (5hr drive)
  • Snaefellsjokull National Park
Monday, October 31 Grundarfjorour to Thingvellir:
  • Continue drive to Thingvellir National Park (2hr 19min drive)
  • Thingvellir National Park
Tuesday, November 1 Thingvellir to Golden Circle:
  • Drive the Golden Circle Route to Reykjavik (4hr 13min drive)
  • Oxarafoss Waterfall
  • Haukadalur Geyers
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Kerio Crater Lake (~500ISK pay per person)
  • Fontana Geothermal Baths
  • Pjorsardalur Valley
  • Skalholt cathedral and town
  • Sifra Fissure
  • Strokkur Geyser
  • Geothermal Energy Exhibition
  • Hverageroi
Wednesday, November 2
  • Buffer day added in case of delays.
Thursday, November 3:
  • Arrive in Reykjavik
  • Spend the night at HI Reykjavik City Hostel
Friday, November 4:
  • Leave HI Reykjavik City Hostel for airport (41-minute drive)
  • Return rental car to GO Iceland
  • Leave Reykjavik KEF, Iceland at 445pm
  • Icelandair flight #853 to Chicago ORD, USA
All this, of course, is subject to change and well...probably will.