As you know, I am a big fan of Iceland, but on my first trip I only managed to see a fraction of the fantastic sights that this amazing island has to offer. I have been planning a return visit ever since I relived my Icelandic adventures by sharing them here with you, and now that the worst of winter is over, this mystical place is calling to me all over again.Fortunately, getting there has become so easy and inexpensive – so many airlines are offering amazing deals to Iceland! It’s all thanks to that wonder of our age: internet apps and sites that take only five minutes to use. One of my friends advised me to find out more about eDreams app and travel data. It’s always good to check out what is available, and how other travelers have planned similar trips. Booking all my airline tickets in the same place means that I can quickly call up my journey details and won’t be wasting valuable travel time worrying about tickets and travel arrangements. Here’s a little preview of what I am hoping to see on my next visit to Iceland:
Myths and Legends of Iceland
One of the things that fascinates me most about Iceland, apart from its stunning landscape, is its rich backdrop of myths and legends. This is a place where Thor really did play a part in people’s lives. All the Nordic gods and goddesses were perfectly at home in these fjords and mountains. I am planning to fly to Reykjavik first of all, and then book some short trips to the more remote places on the island. First on my list is the fantastic Waterfall of the Gods. It’s a stunning ring of icy water falling into the river Skjálfandafljót. The huge waterfall forms a natural stage, and this is the very spot where the old gods were consigned to history. Apparently, it was decided around 1,000 AD that the Icelanders would become Christians, and so the statues of the old gods were thrown into the waterfall. Who would have thought that they would rise again to a cinema near you in the twenty-first century?
Family Sagas: a blend of history and myth
Icelandic legends say that Leif Erikson sailed from Iceland all the way to America, long before any modern Europeans had ever discovered it. I really want to try sailing in one of those Viking longboats. There’s actually a replica longboat that offers trips in and around Reykjavik’s Old Harbour. You can take up to 12 people in your group, and this would make a fantastic outing for families and groups of friends. You even get the chance to try out Viking clothing, and drink from a genuine horn drinking vessel. I bet it’s cold out there, even in summer, but it’s an amazing way to see the country from a different angle. I can’t imagine how these ancient Iceland heroes traveled such long distances in these open ships. They must have been really tough and determined. There are myths of sea monsters and divinely inflicted storms at sea, but underneath it all there is more than a grain of historical fact.
Iceland’s plentiful banquet of seafood
There’s more than fish on the menu in Iceland’s hotels and restaurants – even though, admittedly, vegetarian options aren’t always plentiful. A wide range of seafood is caught daily, including the most delicious langoustines. The local people make homely fish stew, and they also prepare a huge variety of dried and pickled fish products. A local favorite is warm-smoked salmon with a special sauce made from Skyr (Icelandic yogurt), fish roe and special seasoning. It is best served with the distinctive Icelandic rye bread that is cooked slowly in a closed pot. In ancient times they used the geothermal springs to cook it, and it is great to relive these ancient traditions in modern times. The consistency is quite soft and a little sweet, but it complements the salty flavors of the seafood very well. This is the food that fuelled the Icelandic sagas, and I loved Skyr so much that ever since returning from Iceland I’ve been buying it every time I spot it in a supermarket!