Friday, January 13, 2012

Notes for Devin, Bryce and Cam... and anyone else travelling to Iceland

-from the airport, take one of the shuttle busses (Airport Express or FlyBus), they are about $16CAD and will take you right to the door of your hostel.  DON’T take a taxi, it is unnecessary and will be very expensive since it’s close to a 45-minute drive.
-if you fly in early, you likely cant check into your hostel until 2 but you can leave your luggage there while you wander around before coming back to check in.
-I saw your hostel today and talked to an Aussie who was staying there.  It looks nice enough from the outside and is right near the ocean.  He said it was very clean and modern for a hostel.
-this is a very touristy place so there are tons of tourism companies but they all offer about the same sort of tours.  The easiest way to book tours or bus pick ups is right at the front desk of the hostel.  I did the 2 main ones (blue lagoon and the golden circle tour) and both were great.  The blue lagoon can be done in 2 hours, but I stayed for 3 because it was amazing (don’t take a taxi).  The golden circle tour can be either a full or half day option. I did the full day and it was definitely worth it.  I used the company TravelBus for both tours.  They are the cheapest of all the operators and the only problem I had was because of snow so you’ll be fine in April.  Other main tours are: ATV tours, whale watching, northern lights chasing, caving, snorkeling, south island tour, volcano movie theatres and museums etc. Oh and check out some puffins!  I think you can see them in the spring, Ill be so jealous if you see some!
-go to a place called “Icelandic Bar” (I know.. very original).  Its downtown near a square park area and a government house (Pósthússtræti 9 street). It’s a nice pub and you can try out some real Icelandic beer and Icelandic food (puffin, whale, lamb, goose etc…)
-just a heads up... you have to shower completely naked before being allowed into the Blue Lagoon
-go to a grocery store and by dried cod (Icelandic delicacy) and Kyr (Icelandic yoghurt/cheese).  If you are looking for a grocery store, ask around for a supermarket because nobody seems to know what a grocery store is.  There is a store called Bonus, the symbol is a pinky piggy, and this is a discount food/“dollar” store.
-the tap water is great for drinking.  It is pure mineral water and there isn’t any chlorine or any added chemicals to it.  The hot water smells like sulphur at first but it is nice and warm once it gets going.
-the airport actually doesn’t have free internet except for at a café at the exit to the arrivals area near the place to book shuttle busses on your way out.
-don’t expect stir sticks or spoons for your coffee
-get used to being called “Canada” or “Mr. Canadian” etc…
-be open to new experiences, take loads of pictures, blah blah blah

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