Arriving in Iceland!

June 11 and 12:

After packing our bags with 2 months worth of gear, we were finally ready to set off. We flew from Charlotte to Boston and had a six hour layover in the airport. Then we flew from Boston to Reykjavik, Iceland! Iceland air was probably the nicest airline we’ve ever flown on. It smelled like a brand new car when we first walked in. We had good leg room and had all three seats in the middle to ourselves.

They even gave us free bottles Iceland water when we first boarded. Unfortunately, we did not sleep much (at all) during the five hour overnight flight.

Iceland spring water given to everyone who boards!

Once we arrived in Reykjavik at 1am EST (6:00 GMT.), we went through customs and a quick COVID screening. Since we are both vaccinated, we only had to take a covid rapid test once we arrived and wait for the test results via text message before we could begin going into public places. This COVID test was different than most that we have experienced in the states. They swabbed the back of our mouths first, then with a second swab they jabbed our brains through our nose. The nose swab was very painful!

Our little camper van waiting for us in the Reykjavík airport parking lot

We had already paid and reserved a camper van for our Iceland adventures. (Kuku Campers) before we left the States. Our camper was already parked at the airport with keys inside when we arrived. We hopped in our van and decided to drive around Reykjavik until we got the text from the Iceland health system letting us know we could go out into the public. But we were both so exhausted after the all nighter that we decided to just find a parking spot and sleep. We found a hotel parking lot, climbed in the back of our camper van which only had a mattress and a fitted sheet at the time and slept. We ended up sleeping for nearly 4 hours!

June 12 Adventures Begin

Now that we were fully rested and had received our text message confirming we did not have covid, we were free to get out of our van! Our first stop was to find food! We drove back down to the downtown Reykjavik area and ate lunch at a local spot called 101 Reykjavik Street Food. We had the traditional Icelandic meat soup and the beef noodle soup. They both were so good! We spoke about the soups for the next several hours and already plan to return when we come back to Reykjavik on day 9.

Traditional Icelandic meat stew (with free refills!)

We went to the Kuku camper office to pick up our sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, 2 lawn chairs and a folding table. The staff was so friendly and the campervan is exactly what we need!

Next stop: the grocery store! Our camper van came with pots, pans, silverware, and a portable gas stove. No refrigerator or cooler, so we had to only buy items that would not need to be refrigerated. We stopped at a grocery store called Bonus, which is supposed to be the most budget-friendly grocery store chain in Iceland. At Bonus, we stocked up on fruit, snacks, water (for cooking and drinking!), and other essentials to cook our meals on the go.

We then began our first leg of the Iceland road trip on highway 36 traveling the Golden Ring. Our first stop was Thingvellir National Park. Inside the park, we decided to take a short hike down to a beautiful waterfall. The scenery was breathtaking and everywhere you look you think you are looking at a movie set.

It was about 20:00 (still getting used to that!) and we decided to find a campground and call it a day. We found the closest campground and pulled in. ( Þingvellir – Nyrðri Leirar ) We really lucked out with this campground! They had unlimited hot water showers, private toilet areas, an outdoor wash station for your dishes, and a gorgeous mountain view. We backed out camper up to the mountain view and made some tortellini for dinner on our gas stove. The park rangers came by that evening to collect payment.

We had a great night’s sleep. Our camper van has a heater inside that runs even when the engine is off. Right now in Iceland there are only about 2 hours of “darkness” each day. From 24:00-2:00 the sun skirts the horizon, but never fully goes down. Our biological clocks are getting thrown for a loop, but we are loving this beautiful country so far and can’t wait to see more!

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