April 7, 2016

Visited Iceland in March 2016

Iceland is one of the most beautiful scenic Countries I have been to, from Mountains, rivers, lakes, hills, valleys, waterfalls, fjords, natural hot springs, ocean to beautiful beaches, its amazing.



I visited Iceland in March 2016, March is still very cold, the reason for going in March is to see the Northern lights, after April 15 the chances of seeing the northern lights are slim due to longer daylight hours.


Hallgrimskirkja the tall Church - Picture on the right



Tours 


I took the Golden Circle tour and the 
Southern Iceland tour, they were both worth it.
Also did the Northern lights night tour.




Iceland is Expensive


Listen up... Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are the 3 most expensive countries I have been to.


There are low cost airlines offering cheap fares to Iceland, at the most you;ll get a water to drink on these flights, even a small earphone to listen to music or watch something is going to cost you, bring your own. 


In Reykjavik a small coffee, I am talking small as in a third the size of a medium coffee at a Starbucks in America, the cost in Iceland is US$ 4, a bowl of soup at a very average place can cost US$ 15, Credit cards are accepted everywhere, Credit cards make you over spend. The reason for all this is so that you budget and plan your trip and enjoy it making the best of it. Don;t fall for the low cost air ticket or free stopover.




Reykjavik Airport 

Airport is 40 kilometers outside Reykjavik, cab to your hotel will be over $100 US, take a Bus to Reykjavik and the fare is about $20 one way.


Arrivals - Quick and easy, if you drink alcohol, stop at the duty free on your way out, prices are much cheaper then a alcohol shop in Reykjavik.


Departure - What a mess, Iceland in 2015 had 1.3 million tourists, the departure area are just not big enough, while waiting to board my flight, all seats in the waiting area were taken, most floor space along the walls was taken, I sat on the floor where I could as I need to use my tablet to send messages home, yes they did have free WiFi and it lasted for a whole 5 minutes. When it was time to boards the plane, no line and total chaos


Reykjavik


I stayed at a hotel in the heart of the town, near the city center, close to Eating places, visitors center, the harbor and walking distance to the Harpa a concert hall and conference center, also walking distance to Hallgrimskirkja the tall Church in Reykjavik. Great pickup and drop off location for most day tours.


Hallgrimskirkja the tall Church, great views from the top,see picture below, its about a $12 dollar for the elevator ticket. The Church Building is impressive, the interior is nothing to write home about. I was more interested in the Leif Erikson statue on the horse outside the Church, having lived in Minnesota I had heard that Leif Erikson was the first European to come to America and not Columbus.


Reykjavik


Northers Lights - Aurora Borealis

Amazing, no other words to describe it. I booked a tour in Reykjavik, the tour bus picked me up at 10 PM in the night and drop off was 2 AM. The tour will only operate on a clear night, and that to you are not guaranteed you'll see the northern lights. If you are going to photograph the lights, my suggestion is to use a tripod, since I didn't have a tripod I couldn't get a 30 second exposure that I would have liked to have. Anyways it was a clear night and I got to see the lights. A must Do/See, dress warm.

Harpa - Great for taking Night Photos from the street, I'll post some high resolution on my Photo site at www.arvphotos.com

National Museum of Iceland 


It tells the story of Iceland, history and has artifacts, my opinion don't go out of your way to see it, I spent an hour there. Pictures I took while at the Museum.





Blue Lagoon - I didnt do the Blue lagoon, its on the way to the airport, you can stop during or on your way back to the airport, best to check with Visitors center in Reykjavik.

During my Northern lights and other 2 tours, every tour guide told us last McDonalds in Iceland closed in 2008, and the second and more important thing is 'Don't call an Icelandic horse a Pony' 

Anyways I saw the Horses, petted them, and they are beautiful, and friendly. There are 80,000 Horses in Iceland.




Street Art in Reykjavik - Quiet a bit and some places its very well done.

 Street Art in Reykjavik

Photo Below taken on a walk by the Harbor



If I visit Iceland again - I plan to rent a car from the airport and drive the Ring Road, Camp and cook out, the best way to see Iceland.

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