Ice, Ice Baby: Journeys Across Iceland

Iceland- City Pictures

Before we embark on any travel recommendation—we must get a feel for the place we are talking about. Here are some intriguing facts about Iceland.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Fun Facts:
  • Health: Icelandic people are very healthy. They enjoy one of the longest life spans in the world (82 years for women, 78 for men).
  • Hidden People: Icelandic people believe in Elves. But they are actually called “hidden people”. Skepticism of this tradition may appear rude.
  • Hippies: Iceland is a very Green Country. They are very interested in their environment and conservation. We, at Loomis Luggage, applaud them.
  • Eye Masks: Bring a fashionable silk eye mask. The sun will remain high in the sky until well past 11 PM during the summer.
  • Local Death Drinks: Local Icelandic drink is called the Brennivin or “Black Death”. They are rumored to be quite strong.
  • The Icelandic Pony: Iceland has their very own breed horse called the Icelandic Horse. It is actually the size of a pony.

Oh wow– are these little beasts cute!

Boring, but useful, Facts:
  • Iceland is a part of the European continent.
  • Tipping is not expected.
  • Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
  • The currency is called the Icelandic Krona.
little-church-made-from-wood-and-peat-iceland
Recommended Icelandic Activities:
Snorkel in Between Tectonic Plates
Silfra—a rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates cuts through the Thingvellier National Park of Southwestern Iceland. It is considered to be one of the best dive sites with some of the purest, cleanest and most clear water in the world.
The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a one-hour trip from Reykjavik. You can rent a car and drive there. Perhaps you can ride an Icelandic pony there too.
Snorkeling and Scuba are both done here. Snorkel please! Note- you must rent a drysuit because the water is quite cold.
The Blue Lagoon
This, also located in Southern Iceland, is the most popular attraction in the country. It is 40 minutes from Reykjavik. This is also a spa. A 60 min massage is about $90. A 60 min facial with some Icelandic volcanic mud is only about $70. This place is rumored to be heaven.
Elf Tours

Hidden world walks. Yes, you can go on an elf and spiritual being tour. San Francisco would be so jealous: http://alfar.is/. During this tour, you walk across a 7,000-year-old lava field. Only on Tuesdays and Fridays in Hafnarfjordur. this is quite close to Reykjavik.

Iceland- My Science Academy. org

Crystal Cave. Image from myscienceacademy.org
The Northern Lights
This phenomenon occurs in few places in the world. Aurora borealis- this name still scares me because it reminds me of sleeping beauty.  It is said these are caused by the interaction of particles from the sun with the upper atmosphere near the North Pole. These do not commonly occur during the summer.
Iceland
Accommodations
  •  Hotel 101 – Hotel 101 is known to be one of the best hotels in Iceland. This is a buzzing late night hangout so you may not even need to go to a separate bar! http://www.101hotel.is/
  • Hotel Ranga – This hotel seems very much like the Llao Llao in Bariloche, Argentina. It was founded in the countryside of Iceland. This is the world famous location for viewing the above-mentioned Northern Lights. The best time is September-April. http://www.hotelranga.is/

The Northern Lights as seen from Hotel Ranga – Iceland

Restaurants

  • Seafood Cellar Restaurant – A very nice restaurant in Reykjavik. All locally caught species make for a true Icelandic experience. The hip menu ads a modern flair, and a five course tasting menu is a reasonable $72/pp w/out wine pairing. http://sjavarkjallarinn.is/
  • Silfur – Nordic cuisine with a French twist. It has a very modern fabulous décor—like strange plastic chandeliers. Described as antique French meets disco. http://www.silver.is/
  • 3 Frakkar – Whale and Puffin Sushi? All I know is that it’s one of Gwenyth Paltrow’s favorite restaurants in the world. Prices are moderate and offer a very affordable lunch. I would not personally eat the whale nor recommend it as they are endangered. But it is a long time Icelandic dish. http://www.3frakkar.com/
  • Baejarins Betsu – Voted best hot dog in Europe as written HERE in the NYT!

From our Loomis Luggage Fans

  • Hotel Sunna is great too- NFT family owned and named after his cousin. — From Alexandra Thompson
  • Was there for new years 2 yrs ago. Pls go. Drive from Rekjavik to Budir and the northwest. Avoid the boring southern part. You can bank on this advice no matter what you read. The steam baths are ok. Also 101 is overrated. Look up the old soup kitchen place where the fishing captain sells his catch. And climb the Rekj belltower – check out how small the town really is! And then, get outta the city and drive north! — From Marius
  • We are staying at Hotel Budir because we couldn’t get into the Hotel Ranga! — From Caitlin
Iceland
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