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YT and EPI’s fabulous South Iceland adventure

So, my little hiatus turned out a little differently than planned.

My father, who was kind enough to lend me his cottage for a few days, was also generous enough to lend me his Land Cruiser. So driving up there I got thinking: wouldn’t it be nice if EPI could take a couple days off work and we could maybe do some touring, say to Landmannalaugar, to which I had never been?

So as soon as I arrived at the cottage, I phoned EPI with my brilliant idea. We decided that he would come up on Wednesday evening and on Thursday we’d drive up to Landmannalaugar [which was not too far away] for the day, then come back to the summer house and have a barbecue and soak in the hot tub and just generally be lazy. On Friday we would vacate the house [which we had to do] but instead of going straight home we’d spend a night at the nearby Hótel Rangá, where we had a gift certificate just begging to be used. If the weather was nice, we’d do a bit more touring on Friday and Saturday.

Long story short, it turned into the most amazing impromptu adventure. The tour up to Landmannalaugar was absolutely spellbinding – I took a bunch of photographs that I’m working on uploading and will elaborate a bit on that in a later post.

On the Friday we checked into the Hótel Rangá and were informed that, since EPI has been working a lot for them and they’re delighted with his services, they had decided to upgrade us to one of their suites [their South American suite to be exact – they have a different one for every continent] AND dinner in their most excellent restaurant was on them.

How awesome is that?!

People: that suite was gorgeous. GOR-GEOUS. By the time I’d spent 20 minutes in there I decided I never wanted to leave, ever. It was beautifully decorated, and with all the right touches: roses in a vase, fresh fruit in a bowl, candles, chocolates. And a balcony overlooking the Rangá river with a clear view of Eyjafjallajökull glacier.

Dinner, too, was fantastic – we chose the seasonal menu, which consisted of five dishes: poached arctic char, a mushroom “cappucino” [soooo good – delicious mushroom soup whipped up so that it was firm – must have contained a lot of cream – and served in a cup], smoked goose on rucola with blueberry coulis, then a filet of lamb absolutely perfectly cooked, and finally a forest-berry creme brulee, garnished with fresh berries. Yum.

This was my third time staying at Hótel Rangá and it has always been excellent … but this was hands-down the best. Twenty-two hours of absolute luxury.

After a buffet breakfast on Saturday morning we decided to do a little more touring in the area and drove through Fljótshlíð, where EPI spent summers on a farm as a teenager. [This was extremely common here until about 20 years ago – all Icelandic kids were “sent to the countryside” for the summer to help out at farms.] We ended up climbing a [small] mountain, then exploring Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss waterfalls [I’m sure a number of you will be familiar with those] – and took a short hike up the river that feeds Skógarfoss, which has one pretty waterfall after another as the river winds its way down from the highlands.

Back home now and still high on it all. Working on a backlog of emails, though. Pictures to come.

Weather-wise. This summer it was cloudy and with a few sunny spells around noon – and this afternoon we had showers. There was very little wind, which is always nice. Right now we have 9°C [48F]. The sun came up at 6.23 this morning and set at 8.26.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • VioletSky September 7, 2009, 1:10 am

    Now you’ve been spoiled for every future holiday.
    But you deserved this spoiling.

  • Ljósmynd DE September 7, 2009, 6:15 am

    This sounds like a very nice trip. The beginning of september is often enough a very good time for this kind of outings – colorful days with still a whiff of summer but much more laid back and not so excessively overcrowded compared to midsummer.

    I’m surprised to hear that you have never been to Landmannalaugar before . This was my very first highland destination when I came to Iceland for the first time, 20 years ago, sparking off the “Iceland virus”. Unfortunately, now it’s pretty crowded in summer, too.

    Hotel Rangá is a good place to hunt for northern lights, when it’s dark. It’s very comfortable as long as you don’t have strong northerly winds (which was the explanation they gave us for the foul smell in our bathroom, which they couldn’t get a grip on for the length of our stay). Of course, I did not stay in the South American suite.

  • Petri September 7, 2009, 7:25 am

    Wow, that sounds like a fabulous trip, really have to go back to Iceland sometime and go see it more, only been around the Reykjavik area.

  • Chris September 7, 2009, 9:47 am

    Sounds very nice. And its good to use the time when the days are not so short.

  • kevin o'connor waterford Ireland September 7, 2009, 10:37 am

    Nice hotel. seen their price list ouch ,love the 3 d views on their web site though

  • Mike September 7, 2009, 5:09 pm

    So did you go swimming in the hot river at Landmannalaugar? It’s gloriously relaxing if the weather holds out. I wish I’d spent more time there this summer; the way the rhyolite colours changes as the sun appears and disappears is quite spell-binding.

    Can’t wait to see your photos!

  • Rozanne September 7, 2009, 5:13 pm

    Wonderful! That hotel and restaurant sound fabulous.

    I, too, have found that an impromptu vacation can sometimes turn out to be great. Not sure why. Maybe because you haven’t had time to build up expectations?

    Looking forward to seeing the pix.

  • alda September 7, 2009, 9:49 pm

    Thanks, everyone.

    LDE – it’s that old adage – you’re not a tourist in your own country. Since moving back to Iceland 15 years ago I have mostly gone on trips abroad during my holidays — with the exception of our annual hiking trip, which so far has not been to Landmannalaugar. — And I agree, early September is a very good time.

    Rozanne – I do think that’s it — no expectations, so every little happening is like a gift.

  • Paul H September 8, 2009, 1:10 am

    That’s wonderful. Happy for you guys to have such a great getaway. Bless.

  • Ljósmynd DE September 8, 2009, 11:41 am

    it’s that old adage – you’re not a tourist in your own country.

    So true. Whenever people ask me about when I would be going to visit all those beautiful places in Germany they’ve just been to, I have to tell them, that I’ll do, when I’m old with plenty of time or when I can’t afford holidays abroad anymore. So far, it’s a matter of priority with limited time/budget resources. It’s good that you didn’t wait so long to go to Landmannalaugar.

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