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  1. #1
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    TR - Iceland to Norway to Hiking Uphill Ice

    Alright - so it's about time I do this TR...

    Teaser - Around midnight in the land of the midnight sun - Just outside of Akureyri


    My girlfriend and I planned a trip to Iceland/Norway just for fun. There was discussion in a previous thread that included some input about planning - linked below.
    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...hlight=iceland

    Executive Summary: It was an awesome trip... seriously cool. Would I recommend - yes! Would I go back - hell yes! If you like to see cool shit - go to Iceland - just make it happen. Norway is awesome too - but the seclusion of Iceland is what really made the trip cool for me... seriously another planet.

    Basics: Departed MSP May 23 - PM. Arrived at KEF (reykjavik) May 24 - Early AM. Rented Car. Drove. Camped. Hiked. Camped. Drove. Got Drunk. Departed KEF June 2 - AM. Arrived BGO (bergen) June 2 - PM. Sightseeing. Drove. Hiked. Drove. Bummed. Departed BGO June 7 AM. Arrived MSP June 7 - PM.

    Photos w/ captions, Part 2: If people are interested - I'll post some additional info on details of trip itinerary and routes w/ a few additional pics... maybe it would help if you are planning a trip. Ask any questions you want too...

    WARNING - I am not a pro photog, let alone avid photog... if the pics look fake/shopped - it's for two reasons, 1) iceland/norway is crazy cool and everything looks fake to start with, 2) I tried my best to edit to make some colors pop - which isn't all that unrealistic, but have no idea what I'm doing.

    Just like the pros... gear shot - check. Airport shot - check.




    There is a really beautiful conflict between dark/light shades, bright/dull colors, and hard/soft textures. The volcanic soil with bright green/yellow moss is almost a constant theme throughout the island.






    Somewhere along the northern coast on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Breaks in clouds illuminate patches of the ground and really make the contrasting colors cool.




    Camping in Isafjordur


    A break in the rain...


    Camp spot - day 6 or so - approximately 11pm - absolutely no post - this was an insanely beautiful place - the sky was alot more pink/purple than it looks in this image too.


    Just some beautiful stuff....








    Click to make bigger... looks cooler that way...
















    Took a dip in this glacial runoff - like seriously straight off of the toe of a glacier 1/2 mile up the valley - thought I would be a tough ass - but it was the coldest f-in water I've ever been in - but it was the clearest/cleanest water too. Side note - you can drink any running water in iceland - the combo of glacial/snow melt, moss which filters impurities, and lack of animals, makes the water almost anywhere on the island. Dip your bottle in, fill it up, drink it down - it was awesome too.


    Average rig vs Iceland rig...


    Blue Lagoon


    Bergen Norway... and surrounding area

    Harbor and Bryggen






    Ulvik, Norway


    Sognefjord - Norway


    Trolltunga - This was a crazy beautiful hike. It was still 'early season' to be hiking - so it was pretty snowy if not icy the whole upper portion. I knew the trail didn't require technical climbing gear or ice axes/crampons - but it was a bitch of a hike in refrozen/melting snow - sliding around everywhere up there... I finely stuck the uphill ice and made it to the promised land. I wish I BASE jumped - there were some awesome places around here that would have made some sick entries - including the 1000+ft drop off the tongue.


    Peeking over the edge...


    Finally - one story from reykjavik... I can confirm Iceland girls are generally pretty (although Norwegian girls are way better looking)... but they are also very aggressive. Was out at the bars downtown reykjavik the second to last night in iceland - and had multiple good looking chicks playing grab-ass with me... like literally grabbing my junk/ass... so go to Iceland if you are looking for hook ups... I had heard stories and can confirm - it is real.
    Last edited by gointhedistance; 08-17-2014 at 11:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nice……..I've done the Iceland thing and am now adding Norway to the list.

  3. #3
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    I read recently that Norwegian tourism is up something like 40% this year, thanks largely to the movie "Frozen."

    So your secret is out. Sorry about that.

  4. #4
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    My god is Iceland cool!!! Got to get there.

  5. #5
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    Awesome! It's on the list.

  6. #6
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    Kied is offline Inconsiderate Tree Killer
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    Great pics! Seems like Iceland has been on the hot list for a lot of people lately... I think I've been missing out. Time to go.

  7. #7
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    Then again...


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippster View Post
    Then again...

    Not relevant.

    Step 1 - show up.
    Step 2 - score easily.
    Step 3 - there is no step 3. That's it.
    -deej
    I'm against picketing... but I don't know how to show it...

  9. #9
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    That's like not window-shopping before purchasing, man.

    (some of us can't score, due to spouses n' morals n'shit.)

  10. #10
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    sweetness - a fine part of the world to be sure...

  11. #11
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    Nice going, Going!

    Looks like you had a blast there...envious.

    The floggings will continue until morale improves.

  12. #12
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    More or less our route:
    Camped near these towns/areas
    Day 1: Stykkishˇlmur
    Day 2: ═safj÷r­ur
    Day 3: Lake Myvatn
    Day 4: Lake Lagarfjlot
    Day 5: Skaftarhreppur
    Day 6: Skogafoss
    Day 7: Thingvellir
    Day 8: Grindavik
    Day 9: Reykjavik

    https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=K...via=2,5,10&z=7

  13. #13
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    I posted in the original thread you referenced, but I'd love more details from you if you care to take the time now that you've actually been there... via PM maybe?

    My wife and I head to Iceland for 12 days at the end of July and we'll be staying in Stykkisholmur for three nights, ~20 miles east of Vik for three nights, and then near Hella for 5 nights. Would love to hear your list of must-sees, cool hikes, car rental experience, restaurants, etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I posted in the original thread you referenced, but I'd love more details from you if you care to take the time now that you've actually been there... via PM maybe?

    My wife and I head to Iceland for 12 days at the end of July and we'll be staying in Stykkisholmur for three nights, ~20 miles east of Vik for three nights, and then near Hella for 5 nights. Would love to hear your list of must-sees, cool hikes, car rental experience, restaurants, etc.
    So - I'm not sure how much help I'll be because it sounds like your itinerary and ours were alot different in the sense of staying in defined areas for several days on end, using it as a hub to explore the area in more detail than what we would have been able to do during our 'whirlwind' tour trip... but I do have at least a few comments - hopefully they help...

    Stykkisholmur is a pretty quiet little fishing village. We didn't spend alot of time here or in that peninsula, but did spend the night in a campsite and drive through the town one morning. The harbor was pretty neat, and I know they offer a ferry ride out to some of the islands north and even to the westfjords too - that could make up a good day trip. We didn't do that - but tossed around the idea as a fun option... Kirkjufell mountain on the north side is pretty cool (two pics of that above - witch's hat shaped mountain). Other than that, we drove through the area and just stopped at spots with good views. There are some nice views over the mountain passes on the west side of the peninsula that were interesting enough to see (hwy 54). On the way to this area, we hiked to the Glymur waterfall which was very cool. We got really wet though - the wind blows the spray up into the air, and even when it's not raining, it's raining. Cool hike to the tallest fall in Iceland.

    The entire south shore area of Iceland (east and west of Vik) is pretty spectacular. I would certainly recommend driving further east on Hwy 1 towards the eastfjords area. There are tons of beautiful things along the route there especially when you get to the big glacier. We hiked up a trail starting at Skogafoss falls and followed the river back up the mountain quite a ways, which has waterfalls all the way along the route. If you make a long day of it, you can actually hike all the way back to some mountain huts/lodges - between the two smaller glaciers and all the way to Thorsmork. We went a good way up this trail but turned around before getting to the huts. The snow was starting to get pretty messy too, which may be gone by now though. It was a cool trail that I would do again (the tent pic with the really rich green color and pinkish sky was taken up on that hike). The next day we drove up hwy (F)249 past seljalandsfoss, way back up this river valley on this gravel road - which was very rough at times... we had a LandCruiser thankfully and didn't really have a problem. Once we got back pretty far, there were several river crossings that I was comfortable enough to do in that truck - but you would not want to do them in a small vehicle. That said, if you can get back there - we took it all the way around to the north side of the glacier and even up more or less to one of the toes (and after a short walk) walked right up to the ice - which was very neat. There were some great views there - but it did take a good 5 hours by the time we went all the way out and back - well worth it IMO... especially considering the drive was beautiful and exciting with the offroading.

    You don't have to do that particular road - but my BIGGEST recommendation is to get off of hwy 1 - take the roads less traveled and head some of the more remote areas... park and start walking... literally - there doesn't have to be a trail to start hiking or exploring. Without trees/undergrowth - you just walk on the mossy rocks and can go pretty much anywhere. This was the coolest part - just walk wherever you think is going to look cool, over the next ridge, to the next vista, etc... One other thing that I found very interesting were the huge wide open expanses of volcanic sand runouts/deltas from the rivers as they approach the sea. Post 2010 eruption, these huge areas would have been a complete torrent of water, and now that they are dry, it is just a massive flood plan as far as the eye can see.

    I think you will be able to use Hella as a hub for getting into LandmanLauger (or however you spell it). Unfortunately, Landmanlauger was still inaccessible during our time there - road closures to the area were not lifted until June 1 or later (due to snowy/wet/muddy roads). They should be open and good to go now though. That area is supposed to be awesome. We tried getting there via a few different routes - and even those drives just outside of the area were neat. I don't have much beta on hella though either because we didn't spend time there.

    Food - it's expensive, but not as outrageous as I anticipated. We stuck to basic sandwhiches and soups/noodles as we were camping. We did have beers in Vik at the bar next to the visitors center - it was sunny in Vic, so we sat outside - I'd recommend that. There were para sailors floating around off the cliffs just outside of town too. If you do somehow end up on the westfjords (ferry or otherwise) we ate a place called Flokalundur (a little hotel/restaurant). It was nice - they had some local cuisine, soups, sandwhiches, some fish, beer. It was nice lunch stop and near a hot spring. In general the food was average - nothing too fancy or particularly can't miss. Some good fish/potato/cheese bake dishes we had on the north of the island - which I would assume could be other places. Most other things have a tendency to be pretty bland by US standards.

    Car rental was easy/fine - DO get the GPS. It was very useful in addition to the map that we had. Gas is interesting in Iceland - you have to go inside to have them turn the pump on (sometimes they have a green button you can push to the turn the pump on from the outside), but you will have to pay inside and sign the receipt. As with other European countries, if you want to swipe from the outside, they require a pin/chip with your card - which is not standard practice in the states. Be prepared for a little confusion at the pump.

    We found that some people were friendly, and other very much wanted to keep to themselves, which can come across some times as rude. I don't think people were trying to be 'rude', but there certainly weren't a lot of people who I would consider very welcoming/friendly - which we were surprised by.

    I will recommend the Blue Lagoon. Is it touristy - Yes. Is it completely commercialized - yes. Is it expensive - kinda of. Do locals go - actually yes. Is it nice - yes. Would I go again - yes. I'm not one for packing into a touristy spot, but this was a nice change of pace for us on one of our last days especially after hiking/camping the previous week. It's just a fun/chill place.

    Sorry for rambling comments... but it's all cool. You can't go wrong. Just drive somewhere off the beaten path - if it looks cool, get out and start exploring.

    Let me know if there are other questions.

  15. #15
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    nice photos and tr, thanks for posting.

  16. #16
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    Sweet sweet pictures!!! Digital cameras have made such a dramatic difference in trip photography. I was and still sorta am late to the digital SLR world. I finally got a hold of a decent used early-model Canon 1D. Loved it!! And then it was stolen within 2 months of purchase!!!

    Norway is on my list of places to go....sort of a euro-flavored Alaska, but I think k I'll gladly skip the ludfisk!
    "The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity - it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it; a jealous, possesive love that grabs at what it can." by Yann Martel from Life of Pi



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