After landing in Iceland, the plan was to get a taxi from Keflavik airport to the hotel which was only about 5 minutes away (but over an hour to walk), where we’d meet my parents. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised when we walked through arrivals and a hand tapped me on the shoulder. My parents had walked all the way from the hotel in the freezing cold to meet us at the airport and it felt so good to finally see them again.
After a brief catch-up in the cold, we jumped straight in a taxi, ready to relax in the hotel. I really can’t stress enough how expensive Iceland is and how much you should prepare yourself for the shock. As soon as we stepped out of the taxi we were already down about 10% of our spending money. As I mentioned – the drive from the airport to the hotel was approximately 5 minutes. This trip ended up costing a total of 4912 ISK which converts to around £36 (€42) and we couldn’t believe it. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Iceland, please take the prices into account when you’re deciding how much spending money to take with you. The last thing you’ll want is to be stuck on the island with no money left.
Our hotel was in a town called Keflavik which is the same town that the airport is based in. The hotel was fairly nice, however it was pretty out of the way. Having checked this before we arrived, we arranged to pick up a rental car on our second full day (we couldn’t validate spending money of the full five days, it was way too much). During our time without any transportation, we decided to explore Keflavik by foot and since it’s a coastal town, we were able to walk all the way down to the sea where we found the most incredibly blue water.
One of the main things we noticed about Iceland straight away was the cars. Just about everyone owns a 4×4 – the most popular (by a very long shot) being the Toyota Land Cruiser which if you don’t know, is the make and model of our car that we just took back home. Since you don’t really see many of them anymore, seeing one every few minutes was pretty cool – even if most of them were an awful cream colour.
It’s not surprising that 4x4s are so popular in Iceland, the road conditions are known to get extremely dangerous because of the snow and ice, with some roads (F-roads) being off limits to none 4-wheel drive cars.
Keflavik was a really nice town with beautiful views but it also unbelievably quiet – it was genuinely like walking through a ghost town. There was no one on the streets, no cats patrolling the houses, dogs barking or children playing, it was slightly eerie but I actually kind of liked it. Especially when we had been in a capital city for the last few months. Apart from the sea and the Viking Centre – which my parents had already visited so we didn’t want to drag them back to – there wasn’t really anything to see within walking distance of our hotel so we couldn’t wait to pick up our rental car and join the other monster trucks on the road.