Planning Iceland

Thanks to Adam, we’ve sorted the first leg of our travels!

Our intention is to drive the infamous Iceland Ring Road in 7 days.
Zoom in to check out the route

Adam has put together a very detailed itinerary (Bless his soul!)

Day 1June 16
Land in Reykjavik
Pick up vehicle, supplies.
The Blue Lagoon (spa)
The Golden Circle:
-Thingvellir National Park
– Geysers (Strokkur), Gullfoss waterfall
– Tectonic rift
Spend night in Arborg

Day 2June 17
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – sunrise!
Skogafoss Waterfall
Solheimasundur Beach (Plane Crash)
Spend night in Vik Villages – Hella and Hvolsvollur
Follow road to Fljotshlid (view Eyfjafjallajokull volcano)
Solheimajokull glacier,
Reynisfjara beach
From Vik, drive east over Myrdalssandur sand (view Katla volcano under Myrdalsjokull glacier).
Eldgjarhraun lava field
Eldhraun lava field
Stay in Kirkjubaejarklaustur village (view Kirkjugolf columnar formation) Pingvellir National Park
Hot springs of the Haukadalur geothermal area
Gullfoss waterfall
Implosion crater of Kerio
Seljalandsfoss waterfall (can walk behind)
Skogafoss waterfall
Spend night in Vik

Day 3 : June 18
Jokulsarlon Iceberg Lagoon
Crystal Ice caves under Vatnajokull glacier (winter only)
Spend night in Hofn Drive to Foss a Sidu (a waterfall) and then to Dverghamrar and on to Skeidararsandur.
Glacial rivers, Vatnajokull glacier, Hvannadalshnukur (highest peak)
Hike in Skaftafell
Skaftafellsjokull and Svinafellsjokull glaciers.
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon
Stay in Hofn in Hornafjordur area. Reynisfjara Black volcanic beach near Vik
Dyrholaey and Reynisdrangar rock formations
Skaftafell (Vatnajokull National Park)
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon
Spend night in Hofn

Day 4 : June 19
Eastern coast (Fjords) Fishing villages
Egilsstadir area.
Villages of Djupivogur, Breiddalsvik, Stodvarfjordur, Faskrudsfjordur and/or Reydarfjordur.
Lake Lagarfljot
Stay in Egilsstadir. Krafla volcano
Namaskaro pass
Maze of Dimmuborgir
Craters at Skutustadir
Spend night in Lake Myvatn area

Day 5 : June 20
Faskrudsfjardargong Tunnel
Highlands of iceland
Dettifoss waterfall
Myvatn Geothermal Vents
Myvatn Lake
Namafjall Hverir (boiling blue mud pits, steaming fumaroles)
Spend night in Akureyri
Turn off onto the ring road to Dettifoss waterfall.
Before Myvatn, come to the hot spring area of Namaskard (Hverarond), and Krafla Geothermal Power Station.
Crater lake Viti
Sulfurous slopes of Namaskard and Krafla volcanic area.
Lake Myvatn (early evening)
Dimmuborgir and the pseudo craters at Skutustadir.
Stay in area surrounding Lake Myvatn.
Hverfjall (aka Hverfell) – tephra cone or tuff ring volcano (hike to rim of 1km crater)
Grjotagja – lava cave with thermal spring
Jardbodin – a geothermal spa (aka Myvatn Nature Baths).
Stay in Husavik area.
Stay in Skagafjordur area

Day 6 : June 21
Holuhraun Volcano flight (based out of Akureyri) Godafoss Waterfall
Town of Akureyri (capital of the North)
Horse-breeding valley of the Skagafjordur fjord.
Stay in the Skagafjordur fjord area.

Day 7 : June 22
Either drive straight to Reykjavik or drive around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Kirkjufellsfos waterfall (west of Grundarfjordur) South through Borgarfjordur (Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, Deildartunguhver hot spring).
Hvalfjordur fjord to Reykjavik.
Arrive in Reykjavik

Geez, I can’t pronouce any of the names of these places. I suspect we’ll have fun deciphering them with the locals.

We’re trying to stick to a budget of $300 a day but Iceland has proven to be a challenge for that. For accomodations, we’re spending between $80 – $120 a night and they’re a mix between hostels and AirBnB. As for gas, we’re expecting about $400 to cover the road trip.

After Iceland, we’ll be flying into London on June 23rd.  We’re thinking of spending about 10 days exploring England and Scotland. An old high school friend of mine has offered a place for us to stay in Edinburgh (thank our lucky stars!). I am looking forward to seeing her because it’s been 12 years since we saw each other! Speaking of which, I do have several friends from Malaysia who are currently living in the UK. No better time than the present to catch up with le olde amigas!

Around the World We Go

2016 is probably the most pivotal year of our lives. Getting married is a big deal but the one that takes the cake is our one year sabbatical!

This year, we are taking a year off to travel the world! Never in my life I thought I’ll be taking a sabbatical. I had never entertained the idea because I was too engrossed in progressing my career and making money. And the same goes for Adam. This is the biggest decision we’ve ever made in our entire lives and there is no turning back now!

So far, we’ve purchased tickets for our first leg of the journey.

First stop is Iceland. We found a good deal through Icelandair. The flight was from Edmonton to London with a 7 days stopover in Reykjavik.

The plan was drive around the country for 7 days and then hop over to the UK and wing it from there….

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We’ve been putting a list of places to go and I’ve geo-tagged them on Google Maps to keep track. It’ll be helpful to plan the route although we haven’t had much of an actual plan on where to go and what to do yet. But isn’t the best way to explore is to not have any restrictions? Well, except for money. Ugh sticking to a budget is probably going to be the most challenging part.

For now, we know we have to be in South Africa on August 27th for a friend’s wedding and Sept 9th for another friend’s relative’s wedding. Apparently it’s ok to crash Indian weddings because no one is going to notice 2 extra people amongst the 500+ guest. We are also invited to another Indian wedding in India around end of November …. and of course, we have no idea who the bride and groom are. LOL. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the weddings! I’ll be putting my Saree to good use considering I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet.

To be honest, planning such a trip like this is so daunting. It’s so hard to pick what to do and how to do it. Budget will dictate what we can do and where we can’t afford to stay. Of course, the first time I’ll be in France and Italy … I am not allowed to buy any handbags =(

Oh well, money can buy luxuries but also invaluable experiences. Those experiences will last a life time. Handbags, maybe 20 years.