Iceland: Days 4 – 6

Previous Iceland Recaps: 

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Day 4

We woke up in Hofn to super cloudy / foggy conditions. We literally could not see 3 feet in front of us. Luckily once we got on the road and got out of the town and towards the coast the fog actually cleared off quite a bit and we had some beautiful views. This was actually one of my favourite days of our whole trip – the views were absolutely incredible and the weather was perfect as we weaved through the Eastfjords.

We didn’t really do anything overly exciting this day – we just drove along the coast, and pulled over lots to check out the amazing views!

Aren’t Eric’s sunglasses the best! ha ha

The BEST part of the Campervan by far was being able to pull over with views like this whenever we wanted to rest – or eat!

Before finding our camping spot in Egilsstadir Iceland, we did a side trip to Seydisfjordur, which I highly highly recommend. It was a BEAUTIFUL drive down there and the cutest little town.

You can see the town of Seydisfjordur in the valley of this photo – such a pretty drive down!

And the most adorable little town, we sat right here and had a drink. 🙂 Then we made our way back to Egilsstadir for our third night of camping where we continued to have beautiful sunshine!

Day 5

Day 5 was a BIG travel day for us! We covered almost 500 km and all of Northern Iceland.

So, I’m sure others might have different opinions on this, but we really weren’t a huge fan of Northern Iceland. The landscape was very desolate and in general we weren’t as drawn to pull over regularly like we were throughout the south, southeast and eastfjords, which is part of the reason we ended up covering so much mileage!

There were some amazing waterfalls – as per usual – right off the road though.

We did do some cool stuff in Northern Iceland though. First, we visited one of the famous waterfalls – Dettifoss. It was a really cool waterfall and a seriously beautiful day out!

After that it felt like we drove and drove and drove and drove 🙂

 

We ended up camping at the Saeberg Hostel on night #4 and man was this place ever an amazing little gem! It had a huge kitchen with big windows overlooking the water and this super cool little outdoor hot tub that was heated geothermally on the side of the hill overlooking the water. So cool! Being preggo, I couldn’t spend too much time in it. But Eric lounged in it for a good hour. Lucky guy!

Day 6

We got a super late start on day 6. We slept in until about 9am and then took advantage of the amazing big kitchen at the hostel to make a bit of a feast. French toast with nutella and peach syrup. Yum!

Next we drove to the Bjarnarhofn Shark Museum, where all hakarl is made. It was pretty interesting to learn about how they make hakarl – for example, there are no active shark hunts anymore and rather all hakarl is made from sharks that are accidentally caught in fisherman nets – so they can end up with anywhere from 5 sharks a year to 60!

We got to try some more hakarl and also go see all the shark that was hanging and fermenting out back. That made for quite the smell!

How I feel about hakarl 🙂

Our reading break spot that day – campervan for the win!

We also visited Kirkjufell, which is the most photographed waterfall and mountain in Iceland. I honestly found it a tad underwhelming…

Probably because we had such a huge driving day the day before we ended up pulling over early to camp on this night. We were both pretty tired and we found this amazing spot to stay. So, camping in the wild (aka not at designated camping spots) is apparently not allowed in Iceland. However, we were very careful to make sure we cleaned up after ourselves and did not leave any waste behind. Plus the spot we were in was very secluded – and, it was STUNNING.

A typical campervan meal!

That sunset though *heart eyes*

And that was day 6! At this point we had covered over 1,300 km (800 miles) in 5 days of driving! We were definitely getting pretty tired, which I think you will see reflected in how laidback the next 3 days are…

But stay tuned for that recap next time 🙂

Have you ever tried hakarl? Would you? 

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Iceland: Days 1 – 3

We headed to Iceland on Monday, May 1. By the time we got into Reykjavik from the airport it was about 5pm and raining pretty hard so we didn’t spend too much time exploring Reykjavik, we got checked into our hotel room and then headed out for dinner.

Day 1

So going into our trip to Iceland we had heard from multiple people how expensive it is and how much food at restaurants is, but we still got hit with serious sticker shock! The pub we went to only had two krona’s (equivalent to $ signs) on google so we were like, ok this can’t be that expensive… Well, most pints of beer were about $20 CAD. For one pint. Thank god I was pregnant!

At dinner we ate hakarl (fermented shark), something Eric had been wanting to try for years. It is not good. Ha ha. After our dinner out we basically just made our way back to our hotel room and went to sleep. Exciting times 🙂

Day 2 

We had the morning free in Reykjavik so we started off by having breakfast at our hotel and then wandered around again. I wish I’d taken more photos, it’s a really cute town with really interesting streets and the houses / buildings are like straight out of a fisherman’s village.

At noon, GO Campers picked us up at our hotel room to take us to their office so we could get our campervan!

We spent about an hour there getting all organized and making sure we had everything we needed to live out of our campervan for the next 8 days, and then we were off! First stop, grocery store and liquor store 🙂

So we had a tentative itinerary set out for our road trip around Iceland but it all pretty much went out the window when our first day in the campervan the wind was extreme. They recommend not driving in wind levels over 16 and I think it was around 15 and raining super hard that day, so we decided to just save the southwest / golden circle for the end of the trip and head straight south to get out of the rain and wind.

That was the best part about the campervan, we could be totally flexible depending on weather!

One of the coolest – and probably most famous things – about Iceland is all the waterfalls. You are driving along the road and all of a sudden you look over and see an INCREDIBLE waterfall just off the main road! The first one we stopped at was Seljalandsfoss.

This is the one you can walk behind. SO cool! We got sooo wet. Ha ha

Then we continued a little bit further along the road towards our first camping spot of the trip. On night #1 we stayed at Skogafoss and landed a killer camping spot with a great view of this big beautiful waterfall.

Pretty epic if you ask me! Eric met a fellow Canadian when he was walking up to the top of the waterfall so he came over for a beer. He’d already been in Iceland for 4 days at that point so it was fun to get some tips about where to go and what to see.

And that’s pretty much it for Day #2!

Day 3 

We started day #3 by climbing to the top of the Skogafoss waterfall and then hiking along the trail that starts up there. It’s actually a pretty epic 25km trail but we only went out about 2km. I really wish we had hiked further on it because the trail was sooo amazing but we didn’t bring any water and weren’t prepared for too long of a hike.

Photos don’t do it justice, it was so beautiful!

After our hike, we had breakfast in the campervan and then set off to continue on our journey around the Ring Road!

We stopped at Reynisfjara Beach, which was really pretty but again the weather wasn’t too amazing so we didn’t stay long.

Next we stopped at Fjadrargijufur Canyon, which was one of my very favourite places that we visited in Iceland. Again, I wish the weather was better, but it was such a cool canyon. Like nothing I’ve ever seen before! The geography in Iceland was truly beyond incredible.

 

We fit all of the above in before noon on Day 3, so it wasn’t long before we were exhausted. We found a random pullout and pulled over for a nap! Another campervan advantage 🙂

When we woke up from our nap the sun was out!! We drove a little further up the road and went for a beautiful hike in the sunshine to check out these three small waterfalls.

In hindsight, I wish we’d spent an extra night in this part of Iceland, it really was our favourite part compared to everything else we saw. Soo beautiful and so many amazing places to hike and visit. We ended up rushing through the last little bit of Day 3 to get to the airport so we didn’t even really get to explore Vatnajokull National Park, which I’ve heard is amazing. Next time! We had to rush to Hofn to make sure we got the bars for our bed from the airport in time. However, at this point we’d already walked over 20,000 steps that day so I wasn’t *too* bummed about not doing anymore hiking that very day 🙂

We spent night #2 in Hofn. I didn’t take a picture of our camping spot because it was super cloudy and foggy. Before getting settled in for camping we went for our second big dinner out of the trip because apparently Hofn is famous for Langoustine. I actually can’t believe I did not take photos of our food because we had the most amazing langoustine soup and other delicious food. It was once again outrageously expensive, but I’m glad we had the experience.

And that concludes Day 3! Days 4 – 6 recap coming up next 🙂

Have you ever been to Iceland? Have you ever done an extended camping trip? I think this was actually the most days we’ve ever camped for in a row before!

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London, baby!

I am finally getting around to recapping our trip to London and Iceland, which we went on for two weeks at the end of April, beginning of May. Our first stop was London! Even though Eric and I have been to Europe twice before (once in 2010 for our big 3 week backpacking trip and again in 2014 when we went to Ireland & Scotland) we had never been to London so we were very excited to check it out.

Day 1 

We arrived around noon on Thursday, April 27 so we immediately took the train into the city and to Notting Hill tube station. We couldn’t get into our Air BnB until 3pm so we headed to a pub nearby to eat and Eric was excited to try some English beer. I have to admit, not being able to drink in London was not fun!

At 3pm we checked into our Air BnB which was this adorable little loft apartment right on the edge of Notting Hill. The location was amazing – so central and super super close to the tube station! The loft apartment itself was just OK. The bathroom was small and cramped and the bed was not comfortable. Also, as Eric said a few times, we are too old to be climbing a ladder to get to bed 😉 However, in a city like London location is everything so we can’t complain too much.

After showering and getting settled my brother and his friend Kyle who were in London at the same time as us met up with us and we all jumped on the underground to go explore the Picadilly Circus area.

After a bit of exploring we decided to check out a local brewpub – the Temple Brew House. The atmosphere in this place was so cool! Highly recommend it.

Since I wasn’t drinking beer I just took photos of Eric drinking beer the whole trip 😛

And we finished off the night at a different pub listening to live music, which was just OK but got sooo busy by the time we left!

Day 2

Day 2 in London was an early morning for us as Eric had booked us 9:30am tickets for Warner Bros Studio Tour – Harry Potter Tour and it was an hour train ride from our place. Well worth the hour train ride though because it was a really awesome tour!

It was sooo cool seeing the sets from the Harry Potter movies!

And I enjoyed my only “beer” of the trip – butterbeer!

After a very full morning at the studio tour we got back to our Air BnB around 1pm and immediately crashed!! After a 3 hour nap, we jumped back on the tube and headed across the river to meet my brother and his friend Kyle at the Borough Market, which was one of my favourite places we visited in London!

I love markets of all kinds and this one did not disappoint. It had some amazing ethnic food booths (we had delicious Ethiopian food) and a bunch of other cool stuffs. If you are in London I highly recommend checking it out.

We then spent a couple of hours wandering around and going to a couple more microbreweries.

Hanging out with boys is soooo fun 😛

We finished off the day by going to the top of the London Shard.

Day 3

Day 3 was play day! The whole reason we were even in London in the first place was because in October 2015 Eric got us tickets to Harry Potter & the Cursed Child. He got up at 4am the day they released tickets for the first time and the earliest he could get them for was April 2017!!

I started the day off with a scone at the adorable coffee/bakery just around the corner from our Air BnB and then we wandered around Notting Hill for a bit – such an adorable neighbourhood!

We also wandered through Portobello Road Market on our way to breakfast, which was another super cool market area but soooo busy! It is the place to be on Saturday mornings in London apparently.

After a full English breakfast we headed back to our Air BnB to get changed for the play. Eric went in full Harry Potter ‘dress’ 🙂

My thoughts on the play? Really, really well done. The production was incredible and it was amazing to be back in the Harry Potter world again. I also just loveeee live theatre.

However, I would definitely say it was a bit on the long side. It started at 2pm and we didn’t get out of there until 10pm (there was about a 2 hour intermission in between Part I and Part II but still I was tireeeeeed by the end). Also, I really really wish I hadn’t read the book. My brother, Eric and Kyle had NOT read the book and they did not know about the twists and turns that were coming which made the play even more exciting for them. However, since I knew about them it wasn’t as exciting. So in hindsight, I should have waited to read the book/screenplay until afterwards. Live and learn!

Day 4

Day four was our final full day in London. My brother and his friend Kyle arrived in London a few days before us so they left this day and Eric and I used it as our explore / see the main sights day.

We started it off by having an ah-ma-zing brunch just a few blocks away from our Air BnB. This was seriously the best french toast I have ever had!

 

After filling our bellies with this amazing feast we started walking. We walked through Hyde Park and past Kensington Palace until we made it to Buckingham Palace!

And then we headed over to see Big Ben!

20,000 steps later, we decided to jump on the tube for the rest of our sight seeing. We went to Chinatown for some Dim Sum. I loved London Chinatown, it was such a cool area to wander through!

Day 5 

We didn’t fly out until 1pm on Day 5 so I had one last delicious scone breakfast – seriously a scone with clotted cream and jam, amazinggggg – and then took one last stroll around Notting Hill before we headed for the airport.

And then we hopped on a plane to Reykjavik to spend 9 days exploring Iceland! Those recaps are up next. We enjoyed our time in London, and I really liked the city a lot, but we definitely have found over the last few years of traveling that we are more into visiting rural areas and not so much into visiting big metropolitans. They do all start to feel the same at some point. I don’t really see us going back to London, but you just never know!

Have you ever been to London? Do you enjoy visiting big cities or more rural areas when you travel? 

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