11 Days alone in Iceland - Part 1

The 15th of June 2020 both Iceland and Norway opened their borders for each other. I originally had booked a 3 week trip to Brazil in June, but of course that didn’t work out with the current Covid situation. When we heared that the nordic countries will open their borders for each other, it gave us an unique possibility to experience Iceland in a way we might never be able to again. We landed late in the evening 21st of June in Keflavik, the international airport 50km outside of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. An amazing friend of mine had arranged a junior suite at Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, right in Reykjavik Down Town, and picked us as well up at the airport to show us a first glance of Iceland’s beautiful, lively capital.

"The Sun Voyager" by Jón Gunnar Árnason, Reykjavik

The Sun Voyager (Icelandic: Sólfar) is a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason, located next to the Sæbraut road in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Waking up in Iceland gives you this indescribable energy and excitement for what the day has to offer. Breakfast buffets are not allowed during this pandemic, but the food in the hotel`s restaurant was still the best Covid-breakfast we’ve experienced. We were served with the usual eggs and bacon, coffee, juice and some other breakfast essentials. The city of Reykjavik offers unique, cozy shops and cafés, blended with both historical and hip buildings. A beautiful patchwork of styles, colors and eras. Most stores had limited opening hours at the time, and few people on the streets gave us the freedom to roam around without bumping into anyone. We had enough time to walk around town and stumbled upon Harpa which is one of Reykjavik‘s greatest and most distinguished landmarks. It is a concert and conference center in the heart of the city. Impossible to miss this building due to the architectural design and extravagant lighting during nighttime. The glass coat is about 12,000 square meters and consists of no less than 9,300 windows, which cost a whopping 13 million dollars average for cleaning every year – according to rumors.

Harpa Concert and Conference Center
Harpa Concert and Conference Center

Day 1 – Time to hit the road!

Planning for our first day was easy because it jumpstarted our entire trip: pick up the offroad camper van from CampEasy (which is an amazing rental company!) and head straight to the Blue Lagoon! We’ve been warned that it’s a bit overrated, quite crowded, but… none of it was true when we got there! Barely any other guests, really amazing food in the the restaurant Lava and our whole stay was basically pure joy and relaxation. About 4 hours later it was time to head on and not at least find a place to camp. We ended up at Strandarkirkja (beautiful history actually) and a small, FREE camping ground, called “Gata Free Camping”, which even offered duck eggs! We didn’t try them though.

Follow along next week for the second part, online on Thursday 27.08.2020! Comment and check my social channels as well to find even more interesting information and stunning views of Iceland.




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Bernd Luff

German freelance photo- and videographer, content creator, and social media manager living in Arctic Norway.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Silke Steimer

    We know exactly what you are talking about, Bernd. We spent our husband’s 50′ in Iceland. Flew from Reykjavik to Akueyri to pick up a car there and drove down the east coast. It was amazing and exactly like you we are still dreaming about it and want to go back to explore the West Coast. And we have a voucher for a free whale watching tour since we didn’t see whales when we were there (March – a bit too early for them). So we HAVE to go back :-).

    1. Bernd Luff

      Thank you Jordan, I’m so glad you like it! I really hope it’ll be able to go there again soon! Definitely plan enough time for all the hot springs 😉

  2. Heather Hogton

    Loving all your photographs of Iceland Bernd and all the information about various places you visited. Looking forward to the next ones. It makes me want to go there even more💕

    1. Bernd Luff

      Thank you so much dear Heather! I’m still dreaming about Iceland, and hope I can go back there again as soon as possible! But I guess if everything works out with the campervan project Scotland will be first 😉

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Alone in Iceland – Part 1