Monday, August 11, 2008

Greenland & Iceland preparation

Our upcoming trips are right around the corner - just two weeks away. I'm still overwhelmed by all of the possibility and natural beauty, but I am trying to roughly figure out places we'd visit. 

I just learned that Iceland is 40,000 square miles, or roughly the size of Ohio. 

Some of the things on my list to do are :

  • Reykjavik - the capitol city
  • Þingvellir National Park - where you can see Earth's plates separating
  • Geysir and Gullfoss - a geyser and a waterfall
  • The Blue Lagoon - we are staying a couple days at the Blue Lagoon Clinic, which has it's own private lagoon as well.
  • Reynisbrekka (Vík) - a pluvious area with black sand beaches. 
  • Jökulsárlón - also looks beautiful with ice floes and icy blue waters
I also found this lovely little pdf from Iceland Air if anyone else is planning a trip.

On a far shot I wish we had time to get to the Westman Islands and see the Puffins. How sweet is it that the children of the village help the misguided Puffins? I would surely stay up late to help as well.

As for Greenland, there isn't a lot of tourist information regarding the small villages we will be visiting (Kulusuk and Tasiilaq). I'm looking forward to a relaxing visit, hopefully with a little bit of snow - we'll definitely be open to surprises there. 

I already wish that we were staying longer!

Those of you that have been to Iceland or Greenland what did you enjoy the most? I'd love additional recommendations.

Thanks so much!

(Kulusuk village photo: courtesy of Wili_hybrid)


CraftyRachel said...

I've only been to Iceland, and for only 3 days, but we loved it! I think your list is perfect: we actually rented a car to visit Thingvellir, Geysir, Gulfoss, and the Blue Lagoon in a 24-hour period. It was much cheaper (yes, even with gas prices) than taking the bus (about $100/person!), and we had this fun CD the car rental company gave us that narrated some of the places we visited. We did the park, Geysir, and Gulfoss in one huge day (be sure to try the traditional soup served in the cafe at Gulfoss), and then the next morning went to the Blue Lagoon. We didn't have enough time to see anything else, but I've heard Reynisbrekka is really beautiful.

We were on a really tight budget at the time and didn't get to try much of the local cuisine (bar food alone was pretty expensive), so we made a lot of food in our apartment-style hotel room. We have fond memories of a local blue cheese we would pick up at the grocery store in Reykjavik, and the granola was pretty divine as well.

The cultural center in Reykjavik had interesting exhibitions that I highly recommend. Oh, and the library, too, had a photography show we liked a lot (plus that was free).

Bring lots of layers for all kinds of weather and have a great time!

Emily said...

Thanks so much! We planned to rent a car for flexibility, but saving money is always nice too. That gives me some hope we won't be stretching ourselves too thin. There's so much to do and it all looks beautiful.

I'll pack the layers and take a lot of pictures - I'm really excited!

andrea said...

You can definitely do Gulfoss and the Geyser in one day, Gulfoss is amazing!

Try a whale watching tour, we did it in mid September and missed the whales but heard that is very unusual - and you will be there for puffin season!

Try the hot dogs if you eat lamb (I don't think you do, but in case...I don't so can't vouch for this), I have heard they are amazingly good.

Dress warm! I can't wait to hear about Greenland!

Emily said...

Thanks for your tips! - Whale watching does sound wonderful. I am going to have to stop at tourist information and find out when the tours go. I will be so happy to see Puffins, but I don't know if they are only in certain areas.

You're right that I don't eat lamb, but Stefan will enjoy it. I will pass that tip on to him.

Sadly, I'm also very excited to wear some of my new fall sweaters so soon. I guess that's just me being a girl. I'll definitely let you know how it goes!

Abby said...

Have a wonderful time! I can't wait to see your beautiful pictures! Especially from the Blue Lagoon!

Bluefish said...

I only passed by Iceland, so I can't help you there. Sorry. I was also thinking about visiting Iceland one day but it's really expensive. Have fun!

Emily said...

I will take plenty of pictures - we'll be staying right at the Blue Lagoon, so I am excited to take both day and night photos.

JoernandAllison said...

Sadly, I can't offer any advice. But, I like Rachel's experience with getting food at the grocery store. Joern and I do this at least once per trip (without seeming too ghetto, sometimes, we sneak it back into the hotel room.) It gives you a good idea of what the locals live like.

Otherwise, as I've said for the millionth time, I can't wait to hear all about it and see lots of pictures!

Emily said...

We'll definitely check out the groceries - I also love doing that and getting a taste of how the locals live. One thing I can guarantee that I won't be tasting is their rotten shark.... or whale... or puffin... or most meat's, but I am sure I won't go hungry.