Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

My recent trip to the fabulous Faroe Islands reminded me of a similar trip, eight years ago (to the exact month) when I visited Iceland. Although I wrote a fair bit about Iceland at the time, I never dwelled on it, nor did I ever compile a top sights type of post. These are my top 5 memories from my visit to Iceland, a country with immense countryside and terrain.

Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

Backpacking in Iceland: My Top 5 Memories

We did some of these as part of an organised Iceland Golden Circle Tour of the country, which tends to be a fast and easy way to tick off the top sights. I was there with my football friends.

1.Gullfoss Waterfall
Simply stunning, the Gullfoss Waterfall once made my list of favourite waterfalls and it’s easy to see why. The lack of tourists at this one (at least back in 2007 there were less than 10 of us when we went), the wild, gushing waters that never seem to cease. Either drive here yourself or get it included in your Golden Circle Tour. It’s magnificent.

Gullfoss in Iceland in 2007

Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland – amazing – don’t worry I had already got my fix of the sights before I messed up and missed my flight.

2.Pingvellir
Pingvellir is a national park and also the venue where the Icelandic government was formed. There was a cool museum here, some obscure countryside and a walk past some waterfalls. The countryside is breathtaking, I wrote a bit about backpacking in Pingvellir before.

The hike at Pingvellir, Iceland

The hike at Pingvellir, Iceland

3.Geysir
2007 was a year of geysirs on my travels. I made it to some geysirs in and around Rotorua and Taupo when backpacking in New Zealand. But the one in Iceland erupts with a squirt of water once a minute and was worth the trip out to. There is the Great Geysir and also a smaller one with hot natural pools all around.

One of the hot pools near the Geysir in Iceland

One of the hot pools near the Geysir in Iceland

4.Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon trip was memorable for me not because of the Blue Lagoon itself. On this particular trip I had forgotten to pack any kind of swimming shorts (which was a stupid novice backpacker mistake to make).

pink ladies pants blue lagoon

With my pink pants.

So on the way to the Blue Lagoon, we stopped off in a shop at Gullfoss where I searched in vain for a pair of swimming trunks. All I could find was a tight pair of ladies pants, so I bought them and wore them to the Blue Lagoon.

gay pink pants iceland

Loving the hot thermal water of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, in my PINK PANTS.

I was talk of the Lagoon for a while, but it was worth it to get a visit to this famous venue.

pink pants

In the MEN’s changing room in the Blue Lagoon in my PINK ladies pants – not even swimming trunks!

5.Football Stadiums
The actual football match we went to, wasn’t a happy one as Northern Ireland lost the match 2-1 to a late own goal despite once being 1-1. However I toured 2 football stadiums in Reykjavik, including the FC Valur venue where Glentoran once played and 1 football stadium in Keflavik, where Una Harkin of Northern Ireland ladies was playing.

Touring Valur's stadiums with Gavin

Touring Valur’s stadiums with Gavin

At the Stadium in Keflavik

At the Stadium in Keflavik

Marching to the stadium with Lewie Caple

Marching to the stadium with Lewie Caple

At the time I also backpacked in Reykjavik and we did an organised tour to see a lot of these sights in bulk. However, Guide to Iceland have Iceland self drive tours, which means that you are in control of your time and vehicle and have more flexibility. If I do head back to Iceland someday, I will probably hire a car like I did recently in the Faroe Islands.

Drinking with Michael McClelland and an Iceland fan

Drinking with Michael McClelland and an Iceland fan

There were a few crazy moments in Iceland though – I had a mega crazy night out in Keflavik and ended up missing my flight. Something which I learned my lesson from and didn’t repeat!

Drinking in Keflavik Iceland

Having a night out in Keflavik Iceland with the ladies but unfortunately I missed my flight the next morning.

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