Iceland is really a country of wonder, you could see this in the photos. And also it gave me many inspirations and one of them I will share here with you. It is about staying in one place and feeling it rather than running through and checking a box.
My trip to Iceland was very tightly planned. I spend whole weekend booking excursions, tickets, hostels and planning where will I go and where will I be. Iceland is a bloody expensive country, so I could not afford to be somewhere and not knowing where to go. Each movement hurts financially.
The first part was some kind of extreme planning – I booked some excursions and was busy all the time following my schedule.
The second part was more laid back. I visited Isafjordur but did not know what to do there.
The third part is the one about which I will tell you here. I arrived at Akureyri, my plan was loose and I was not sure how and when will I go back to Reykjavik, the capital.
First part – excursions
Of course, I enjoyed visiting those beautiful icy and snowy waterfalls, Þingvellir national park, even museum (usually I hate museums), glaciers, beach, farm – everything. Many those places I would not be able to visit on my own, at least in such amount of time.
But after two days of sitting in a bus and trying to run around the waterfall in a limited time given by the guide, I was bored. I wanted time for myself. Excursions? Never again! – I said to myself.
My whole trip was 10 days, so if you subtract days of transferring from one place to another, also flights from my home to Reykjavik, not that much time is left. 2 days was a significant amount of time.
Second part – Isafjordur
Next part of the trip was less planned. I had a ticket to Isafjordur and back. No buses were operating during winter so I needed to fly.
What to do in Isafjordur I had no idea. I just wanted to visit this stunning remote city.
I walked around there and enjoyed spectacular sights, that’s all, and that was great.
Third part – five kilometers in Hrisey
The last part of the trip was Akureyri, second largest Icelandic city. The place I wanted to visit was some “energy” location in the island of Hrisey, not far from Akureyri. It was impossible to book a trip there, so my improvisation started.
Actually, it was quite simple – I bought a ticket to Askogsandur from the driver, and from there took a ferry to the island.
If I wanted to come back home, according to all schedules I could spend only 3 hours in the island. But on that small island, there was absolutely nothing to do. They had some hiking trails, the longest one was 5 kilometers, and there was that energy place along the way. So I decided I will take this trail, but slowly – to use at least 2 hours. The rest of the time I planned to spend in a port waiting for a ferry.
So, it was winter, and snow reached my knees, often no tracks were visible, sometimes only markers above the snow.
I enjoyed that energy place, but for me, it lacked magic. It is just a beautiful scenery of mountains in a fjord, but it was supposed to fill the visitor with energy. I stayed and meditated for some time there.
Then I reached the highest point of the island and I was turning around, trying to be overwhelmed by surrounding view of wondrous nature, to feel myself standing in the center of the world or at least of the island.
Then visited the rocky beach.
Then I estimated, that I did 2 kilometers and checked the time.
Half an hour was left until the departure of the last ferry!
So I was running in the snow directly to the port leaving my unfinished hiking trail behind. I was not late to the ferry, I got back.
But I missed the bus because I did not know where the bus stop is. And the next bus was the LAST bus. And there were not many cars to catch along the way. But I was calm, I was sure that everything will be OK. And it was – some random school bus took me to the nearest bus station, the driver explained to me that there is no actual bus stop here, and in summer everything is better organized, because of many tourists at that time. From the bus station, I successfully reached Akureyri.
Three hours seemed way too much for five kilometers, but I managed to walk only two. In a whole day, I visited only one place, but so much enjoyed the time, and the adventures, being lost somewhere around Askogsandur, standing on top of the world in Hrisey.
I consider this one of my best travel experiences.
Not the excursions.
While traveling, I always prefer to stay longer in one place and feeling it rather than running through as many places as possible. I had trips where we were running. I was exhausted and had many check boxes checked. When I move slowly – I am refreshed and have many memories.
Before going somewhere – decide what pace is suitable for you? Do you want to see as many places as possible or to feel one place as deeply as possible? Both ways are OK, just choose.
Check my travel tips for quiet adventure.