It doesn’t matter if you are someone who likes to plan vacations meticulously, or someone who likes to travel spontaneously—Iceland is an ideal location for everyone. New York City resident Scott Blair decided to embark on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Iceland with a friend in hopes of seeing otherworldly scenery and exploring spectacular geothermal landscapes—and his trip to the island nation did not disappoint. An attorney who moved to the Big Apple in 2008 to begin law school at New York University, Scott travelled extensively across Southwest Iceland and the Reykjanes peninsula during his six-day stay. The sites he saw and the adventures he experienced made quite an impression on him.
A Love for Landscapes
“I've thought of going to Iceland for a while, because I've always been impressed by the scenery,” he says. “But I also wanted to see one of the most geologically active areas that I can get to, and thought the hot springs of Iceland would be worth visiting, and they definitely were. It was a bit of an impromptu trip, but my friend and I decided to go and have fun.”
Although his vacation was a whirlwind adventure, Scott enjoyed his interactions with the locals, finding them affable and approachable. “I wasn’t surprised at how friendly everyone in Iceland was, but Icelanders seem to be,” he explains. “On several occasions people came up to me to chat, and inevitably they would say ‘of course, most Icelanders don’t just say hello to strangers.’” However, Icelanders’ latest culinary craze, the new Dunkin Donuts on Reykjavík’s main street Laugavegur, was a bit perplexing to him as an American from New York City. “The lines outside were a bit surprising,” he adds with a chuckle.
Taking the Roads Less Travelled
Scott and his friend determined to make the most of their short visit, covering as much of the island as possible while still purposing to travel to some lesser known destinations. “We mostly did the touristy things, but we also snorkeled in Þingvellir, which was beautiful,” he says while describing the highlights of his journey. “Perhaps the greatest fun we had was driving around Southwest Iceland; I enjoyed stopping at all of the springs and valleys that hadn’t yet made it into tourist books.
” One region of Iceland rose above the rest in Scott’s mind, when asked about his favorite landscape and day trip. “It's very hard to choose, but I would say going to the Reykjanes peninsula,” he reports of his travels. “The entire country was beautiful, but Reykjanes was the most alien landscape I saw there, which was a big reason I went to Iceland in the first place.”
Like Something Out of a Role-Playing Game
Because his first sojourn to Iceland was a success, Scott foresees coming back to visit in the future, but at a different time of year so that he can catch a clearer glimpse of the country’s most magnificent natural phenomenon—the northern lights. “I enjoyed my time in Iceland immensely; if I came back again, it would be for a very different, winter-focused trip because I would still like to see the northern lights,” he says.
Inspired the nation’s stark, desolate landscapes—which, he says, remind him of something out of a Dungeons and Dragons game—Scott would also like to participate in the annual Reykjavík Marathon sometime in the future. His recommendation to anyone contemplating a trip to Iceland can be summed up in two simple words: “Do it!”