The Ring Road Road Trip: Iceland Part I

When planning my trip, I knew my trip with Dad ended the 15th and that my family reunion with my Mom’s family started the 18th. Originally, I simply planned on going straight to Baltimore from Frankfurt, Germany, but then I found that Iceland Air had the cheapest flight home AND I found out that Iceland Air has a stopover program.

Therefore, I was going to maximize my time and spend about 48 hours in Iceland. It was a whirlwind and obviously not enough time but I did manage to see a few things 😉


Here is my journey:


Landing in Reykjavik


I was landed in the evening so my goals were:

1.) Rent a car (My first time! Eek!)

2.) Drive to Reykjavik and find my hostel

3.) Meet up with a friend who was living in Reykjavik! Linda and I met during our undergraduate study abroad program in Turks and Caicos (circa 2011), and after college she headed to Iceland to work for a non-profit. The minute I knew I was going to be in Reykjavik I messaged to see if she might be able to show me around, and she said YES!


Honestly, all three goals were easily met 😉 The weather was a little gloomy but Linda took me on a quick tour of town, with a pit stop for hot dogs, and then dinner.



An article from Condé Nast says these hot dogs are “the one dish to eat in iceland” and I 100% agree! Here is an excerpt from the article describing these hot dogs better than I ever could 😉


“Icelandic hot dogs have a different flavor than their American counterparts because they’re made mostly from Icelandic lamb, along with a bit of pork and beef. Sheep outnumber humans in Iceland nearly two to one, so they’re a plentiful food source; turning them into hot dogs was an easy way to preserve the meat before modern food storage was available. Additionally, Iceland doesn’t allow the import of any live animals, so the lamb eaten today—which is free-range, grass-fed, organic and hormone-free—is just like the lamb eaten hundreds of years ago.

The accompaniments are also quite different from those used in the U.S. Icelandic hot dogs, which have a natural casing that gives them a delightful snap when bitten into, are topped with raw white onions and crispy fried onions, ketchup, sweet brown mustard called pylsusinnep, and remoulade, a sauce made with mayo, capers, mustard, and herbs. There are variations, but you haven’t eaten a hot dog like an Icelander until you’ve had “one with everything.”


I had “one with everything” and it was superb. It really put American hot dogs to shame.



Let the road trip begin


I was so excited I didn’t really sleep. So around 6 am I threw my clothes and got in my car! Shortly into the trip I stopped to take some shots and quickly realized if I kept stopping to take pictures of everything I thought was beautiful I would NEVER get to my destinations 😉


Pit Stop 1


Pit Stop 2



Pit Stop 3






I finally made it to my first PLANNED stop…




Well I think I went the wrong-ish way because most pictures of Dyrhólaey have the “arch” on the right whereas for me it was on the left and not as visible. Oh well, STILL FREAKING BEAUTIFUL.





I made some friends…



On the road again…


Pit Stop 4




The weather changed from blue skies to grey skies as I made it to my next planned stop…


Glacier Lagoon, Jökulsárlón


Let’s just say my clothes from backpacking in SOUTHEAST ASIA were not really warm enough…

I think if I had had warmer clothes I would have taken more time to really explore the lagoon 🙂



So funny story about the lagoon…

I was in the cafe using their restroom when I noticed a girl in a GIANT wedding gown. I was slightly distracted and thinking about getting hot coffee, so I didn’t think much of it. That is, until I ran into her and her entourage by the ocean taking bridal portraits.

That is true dedication. Especially since I don’t think they were from Iceland….


Alrighty, time to warm up, next stop…


Skaftafell National Park


So the weather. The weather went from cloudy, to blue skies, to grey skies, and now back to BLUE SKIES.

It was also warm enough for the first time for me to take off my long sleeves!



My goal for visiting this park was Svartifoss waterfall so I totally surprised when I came across this guy! Seriously, there are waterfalls EVERYWHERE in Iceland.


I played around with exposure length so #sorrynotsorry for what seem like a million photos of the same thing 😉



Little bit of a hike…



On the right track…






Again here are a million photos of the same thing 😉




Hiking back to the car…



On to the next stop…


Pit Stop 5



Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon


This one was a little trickier to find, and the weather had turned back to grey skies with a little bit of rain, but SO WORTH IT.





After a hike through Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon I was cold, wet, and tired.


Just look at the change in weather!






I drove to Vik, stopped at Strondin Bistro and Bar, ate some WARM soup, checked into my hostel…




I can’t believe everything I was able to do and see in ONE DAY!


In PART II, I head back to Reykjavik to catch an evening flight while stopping at a few more sights along the way 🙂



Love always, Arianna the Wandering Pipette





Article Name
The Ring Road Road Trip: Iceland Part I
I explore the southern part of Iceland, hitting up Dyrhólaey, Glacier Lagoon, Skaftafell and Svartifoss, and Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon.

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