General impression: fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!
My favorite part of the experience was the population. I loved the people. If I had to only use one word to describe them, I would say: calm. There is a sensibility, openness and intelligence about the Islanders that is refreshing. It seemed to me to be a society with 1960s values and ethics (hard work, responsibility, making a contribution to the group, etc…) plus 2012 high tech! 😉
No people with screws and bolts in their eyebrows, hardware in their necks, and not so many terrible tattoos on cute girls. I liked that!
The nature of the island was stark, beautiful and unique. I only wish I had a car, so that I could have stopped where I wanted.
It was super easy to be a visitor/tourist. The fact everyone speaks English is great (given that your language is not easy to learn), and the fact credit cards were accepted everywhere made the shopping easy, especially with your huge sums of amounts. Many zeros. 😉
All the tours you arranged worked out perfectly. We enjoyed all the trips, and found the bus drivers polite and accommodating and punctual. All of them! When we took the Golden Circle Tour, the lady driver re-arranged the sequence so that we would have the best light for the destinations.
I can’t decide which tour I liked the best. The continental plates valley area was surprisingly beautiful, interesting and made a powerful impression on me. The Gilfoss waterfall — wow, I think I exclaimed something when I first saw it. Unexpectedly grand, even after seeing pictures.
The Blue Lagoon was fantastic. We bathed one dark, stormy morning. Great experience. Felt like a child. 🙂
The Harpa Hall was beautiful, and we really enjoyed the powerful concert with Frostrosir. It seemed there were no tourists, just Islanders. The whole arrangement seemed very Norse. The choirs were impressive!
The Grill Market was a wild eating experience. I have to admit, I ate puffin! Felt like I was eating a canary or something like that…. and I ate a whale steak. That caused me some conflict.
Another place we had good food was Sushi Samba. Very good salmon. Had dinner at Cafe Rosenberg one evening…it was ok.
I bought some wool at the Knitting Coop store. Very nice! We went to the top of the tall church, had lunch at the Pearl, spent an entire morning in the National Museum!!!! Wonderful experience. Also visited the Saga Museum, and that was a brief and interesting history of the island.
The Hotel Fron was just perfect. I’m so glad I followed your advice and booked there. Perfectly situated. The room was simple and clean and the beds were cozy and comfortable. No problems.
One point: some of the staff at the front desk were not especially people oriented. It seemed they had an attitude, bored, blaze, sick of tourists, or…. just odd? They were not rude, but they seemed somehow reluctant to engage with the visitors. There was one notable exception, a young, blond lady named Sigrid…plus something else. Sigrun or Sigrid? She was very friendly, smiled and appeared to want to be of assistance. Some of the older folks at the desk were a little tired, did not look up, or just gave a minimal interaction. That was a little strange and felt unwelcoming, for such a popular hotel.
But that did not diminish my experience. My sister left on the last day, very early in the morning to fly back to Frankfurt. I had until the afternoon, and one of the ladies at the Hotel Fron booked me in with Laxnes for a morning ride on an Islander Horse in Moosfellbaer. That was the most powerful experience. I loved the horse — it had such a wonderful personality. Smart and clever, not boring, but not willful. Just perfect. The weather was gorgeous, clear, cold…the sunrise was around noon, the sky was pink and the mountains white. I felt very lucky indeed, that I could have this experience. My horse “Princessa” was a great ambassador of Island! I had stolen two apples from the Fron Hotel that morning, and the horse deserved them. 😉
I got to the airport in lots of time, had a great flight home. Icelandair was exceptional. They provide excellent and friendly service.
We had great weather, wonderful interactions. I must say, I really connected with the culture, the vibe. I also loved the Malt an Appelsin and am buying some online with $ 60 shipping costs!!!! That’s how much I want my husband to taste it.
Another favorite food was the fruit jelly. I mean, the kilo box of jelly candies I bought right away! 😉
Thanks again for guiding me to a most rewarding little vacation. It was a pleasure.