Iceland tour and hiking, July 2015    

Living, Food and Travel:
I was headed to London for CAD conference, so we planned to extend the trip by ten days and get together with Dev and Terri for some travel and hiking in Iceland. The Laugavegur hike there is rated as one of the top hikes in the world, so this was pretty attractive. The plan ended up something like the following: five days in London (for conference, plus, as a bonus, we caught one full day of Wimbledon qualifiers), and then fly to Iceland; spend 2 days in Reykjavik (we stayed in Grettisborg apartments in Grettisgatta, near downtown), and take day trips to tour the South west. Then do the treking tour (also 4 days), and finally spend couple more days doing tours of the South coast. Iceland is really quite unique, and all legs of the trip were quite interesting. These are all standard trips organised with touring companies -- so I'm skipping the details here. Definitely the highlight of the trip was the trekking --, the organiser, takes groups of ~10 hikers with one guide. There is one more guy who drives an offroad vehicle and carries all your luggage from campsite to campsite -- so we walk only with light day packs. Hiking was spe-ctacular, but none of the hikes were as tiring as some days in our Engadine trip. This is despite the fact that the treks for days 2 and 3 were combined into one long trek on a single day (since the campsite of day 2 was snowed under and inaccessible to the offroad truck). There is the option to stay in wooden cabins or in tents; cabins were booked solid, so we stayed in tents. This turned out to be the better way, since we found that the cabins get noisy through the night, with people walking around, snoring etc. At least for 3-4 nights, sleeping in the tent was a good experience. Even on the night when we were being battered by a strong rain and wind, the tent held ground and we slept through. There was more snow covering the ground than normal, so we were told the views were not as spectacular as normal -- but for me it was fantastic. I like the the snowscapes. Definitely worth a re-visit sometime.

The Food
Reykjavik has a fair number of decent restaurants -- tourism is definitely a healthy part of their economy. Seafood features prominently in their menus (we actually tried one tiny little piece of whale in one restaurant, despite there being mixed feelings, even among the locals, abouth whether to continue whaling or stop the practice). All restaurants in Reykjavik are located easily within walking distance from the main street/downtown. Food in the trek was simple fare -- mostly porridge and toast at breakfast, and simple local dishes cooked up by our guide (Totti) each night in one big pot, if I recall, mostly stews and soups. But it all tasted great after a day of hiking.

About the photos

Gear: Sony Nex7 with the Sony 18-200 lens.