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|Saturday 9th January 2010, 12:59||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: The Hague, NL
October 2009 - 14 day visit
Hello there - Though I did not go to the "Land of Fire & Ice" specifically for birding purposes, I thought I'd put a little recap of my trip on this forum as not everyone has experienced Iceland as yet. The trip had been put together by myself using that wonderful tool called "Internet"!
After a most pleasant 3 hour flight with Icelandair from Amsterdam to Keflavik, I realized that I was standing on a very, very different landscape than that I was accustomed to on the European Continent. I was at first concerned about the onboard weight issue involving all my camera equipment but this proved not to be an issue at all...
Keflavik lies 50km SW of the capital Reykjavik and transportation between the two is amply furnished by Flybus airport shuttle busses. In fact, you can even branch off the route and spend some time at the amazing Blue Lagoon.
For details: http://www.re.is/Flybus//
All busses terminate at a central point in Reykjavik but at a small surcharge can be droppedoff or picked up from your hotel (listing refers).
Upon arrival at Reykjavik, I checked into my hotel being the Fosshotel Baron. The hotel has an ideal location being not too far from the old Harbour, the main shopping street (Laugavergur), and in fact all other sights of interest. Plenty of restaurants and evening entertainment in the area. Tours can be organised at the hotel reception desk and in most cases involve a pick-up / drop-off. Hotel was booked via: www.booking.com which also displays much feedback from customers. I consider the latter to be one of the best hotel booking sites due to the extensive information / feedback provided.
Being a Sunday, I decided to do a full day coach tour so as to gain further insight as what the (wider) area offers. My choice was the Golden Circle Tour as offered by Gray Line. For details: http://www.grayline.is/Tours.aspx?TourCatId=3&Tourid=54
I can highly recommend this tour in particular if it is your first time on Icelandic soil.
The next day was more adventurous as it involved whale watching. Unfortunately the weather gods were not in a very good mood and I experienced rain, sleet, snow and a very, very strong wind. Nope, no minke whales in sight but I did see plenty of large white-beaked dolphins. The tour lasts approximately 3.5 hours. Warm clothing is freely available on board (if needed). For details: http://www.elding.is/elding/
Upon retuning to my hotel in the early evening, I took delivery of my car rental vehicle (Suzuki Grand Vitara 4WD). The vehicle was personally delivered by Mr. Kristjan Baldvinsson (owner of Reykjavik Car Rental). A 4WD may sound luxurious but in Iceland, I would estimate that more than 70% of the vehicles fall in this catagory. If you want access to the rugged landscape that Iceland has to offer then go for a 4WD vehicle otherwise you will regret it. The vehicle rates from this car rental company are excellent and service is rated second to none. For details: http://www.reykjavikrentacar.is/
The vehicles are clean and very well maintained!
Next - destination Fludir via Mosfellbaer, Pingvellir, Laugarvatn & Geysir...
To be continued...
My motto: To learn more today, than I knew yesterday!
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