I’m planning to go to Iceland in late spring of 2017. I’ll be staying at a hostel in downtown Reykjavik for most of the time. Largely because of my finances, or lack thereof. But I also think it will be fun to hang out with the mostly young hip crowd, there from all corners of the globe. I enjoy rubbing elbows with people of many ages and backgrounds. 🙂
So here’s what the rooftop terrace of the hostel, which is called the Loft, looks like on a sunny day:
At street level:
Now to peek inside, first at the sort of dorm room in which I’ll stay, with bunks for eight:
Pretty Spartan, which I think is part hostel-life and part Icelandic contemporary style. But the public rooms are pretty nice I think:
I’ve opted for the included breakfast, which involves all healthy stuff:
Hopefully the weather, although it will be cool (an average high temperature of 50F and an average low of 39F–yikes!), won’t be too rainy, because I hope to spend some time on that roof terrace:
And of course, in the bar, to get warmed up! There’s even an old guy, like me, except I’m not a guy LOL, in this pic:
I hope to drink some mead while I’m there.
I’ve been forewarned that since the Loft is downtown, the streets can be noisy at night. In fact, the hostel even offers complimentary earplugs for those especially rowdy weekend nights, indoors and out. Luckily noise is not that big an obstacle to sleep for me….
I’ve already signed up for some excursions while I’m there. The Circle Line tour is a must. And so is a visit to the Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon, which bills itself as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, is indeed a world-famous geothermal springs and spa. I hope my day trip includes both bathing in the warm waters and hanging out afterwards in a room like this one:
I’ve now canceled the Blue Lagoon trip, hoping instead to go there some evening with folks from the hostel. If so, I’ll report back to you afterwards!
Instead I’m using that day for a twelve-hour bus trip along the southern coastline from Reykjavik to Vik. I’ll be looking at truly awesome, in the original sense of the word, natural scenery like black sand beaches and unusual rock formations in the sea.
Another trip I’m booking involves going up to the western peninsula of Snaefellsnes, which offers a microcosm of all the major kinds of geological things Iceland has to offer: black sand beaches, lava formations, majestic waterfalls, quaint fishing villages, and even a small glacier, or jokull. The north side of Snaefellsnes peninsula is on the coastline of the bay of Breidafjordur, which is the setting for the particular saga, Laxdaela saga, that I’ve been studying, so I’m really looking forward to that. There’s a map of Iceland at the end of the post, in case you want to look at it! 🙂
There are things I want to do in the capital itself, too. Reykjavik has a number of worthy museums to check out. The one I’m particularly looking forward to is Saga Museum, because I’ve been studying the Icelandic Sagas both on my own and in my Medieval Lit class for the past year. In fact, my persona for the historical reeanactment group Society for Creative Anachronism is a 10th-century Icelandic woman.
Saga Museum has some really great tableaux I can’t wait to see. In fact, I used some of the photos that a blogging friend took when she visited the museum in my classroom PowerPoint presentation on Unn the Deep-Minded in The Saga of the People of Laxardal. Here is a photo from the museum itself:
Melkorka Mýrkjartansdóttir is actually a famous character from the very saga that I gave my presentation on. But it wasn’t until I looked at the website for Saga Museum that I discovered who she was in the photo that I had used.
Another thing I want to do is spend a couple of nights away from the city center. I found a wonderful AirBnB place not far from Reykjavik proper, in the town of Hafnarfjordur, which my hosts, Björg and Ólafur, tell me is also known as the town of elves! 🙂 They offer three different rooms in their home to guests. I’ll be staying in the smallest, cosiest one. Here is its AirBnB listing: A Warm Room in Nature, with Breakfast. There you can see more photos of the neighborhood and the inside of their lovely home.
Hafnarfjordur is built on lava flows that reach out into the Atlantic Ocean, and their home is a mere 3 or 4 minute walk down to the seacoast.. I plan to take my binoculars and do some serious birding! Here is their sunroom, with a view out towards the ocean:
I must thank my blogosphere friends Mel & Suan, of the WordPress blog, Traveling Matters to Us, for giving me the idea to check out AirBnB. They have a great recent post about it here. Check it out and say I sent you! 🙂
I’ll be spending two nice quiet nights and days in the AirBnB in Hafnarfjordu, which will be a welcome relief after the hustle and bustle of downtown Reykjavik and the lack of privacy and noise at the hostel.
A view from the sunroom, complete with cruise-ship:
From there I will take one of the many paths down to the shore, like this one:
And a few minutes later, this is what I’ll be seeing!
Well, I haven’t checked the average number of days of rainfall while I’ll be there, but I will go prepared, because nothing is going to keep me from completely enjoying what I know will be a literally amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Now all I have to figure out is how to pay for it. 😉
Oh, before I forget, let me include a map of Iceland:
Now you know!