Iceland 2004 – the Lost Notes

One of the reasons I have started to write this blog is to help us remember our trips. Often we think we’ll remember all the amazing experiences we have when we travel. However, as time passes, the days and nights start to blur and you cannot always remember the names, places and faces you encountered.

This is certainly true of my solo trip to Iceland in 2004. I know that we did a lot of the tourist essentials, but I can’t always remember the minutiae that so often adds depth to the journey.

So here I am writing this in June 2016. Today I stumbled upon some paperwork left over from Iceland 2004. Included were rough notes I must have made when I returned home. I probably had good intentions of writing them up with more details. Well, that never happened, but although sparse, they have lots of key points, names and the dates we did stuff.

Therefore, this one post is going to be dedicated to that trip. I shall elaborate when memory allows, but otherwise it’s as I wrote them. I have tried to correct my mangling of places names and find their exact locations. I’ve added current links to help find more information. With Google maps etc, it’s so much easier to find memory aids.

The Tour

This tour was organize by Explore! and titled Land of Ice & Fire (link to current trip. Clearly it’s still running!). It was a 10 day/9 night with an option to extend the trip to Greenland (I didn’t do that).

Friday 2 July, 2004

Heathrow –> Keflavik –> Hotel

2016 Notes on 2 July

Not much to that entry! I flew from Heathrow, was met at the airport by our guide and taken to the first night’s hotel at the Iceland university in Reykjavik.

Saturday 3 July, 2004

Hotel –> Thingvellir. Cold, damp, poor views

– Gullfoss

– Geysir

Hotel at Hella – horse races. Death by fish.

2016 Notes on 3 July

I’m amused to realize that Hella was where our bus blew a tire as we returned to Reykjavik during RunIceland 2015! The “horse races” are the annual Landsmót Hestmanna.

Sunday 4 July, 2004

Mainly cloudy, not as wet.

Njalls saga


Skogafoss, folk museum

Vik – wet lunch

Hotel @ Hofn farmhouse – separate units. Lamb. Football.

2017 Notes on 4 July

Our guide Raganhilder would tell us Icelandic folk stories that “happened” in the areas we travelled through. While this may sound rather cheesy, it really did help to add another dimension to the mystical landscape and scenery. I guess “Njall’s saga” was one that I found particularly engaging. Must get around to reading it!

The waterfalls of Seljandafoss and Skogafoss actually blurred into one in my memory. It was only upon my return in 2015 that I remembered they were entirely different (although relatively close together).

I remember buying some stamps and genuine “puffin socks” for my dad. He never wore them before he died, so I acquired them and wore them until they too died.

Lunch in Vik was at the gas station/rest stop that we stopped at a couple of times in 2015.

I remember our farmhouse B&B, but I’m having trouble with its location. The Euro 2004 championship was on and we watched a bit of that in the common area, drinking expensive beer.

Monday 5 July, 2004

Good weather, excellent view of icecap.

Puffin island skua attacks.

Skaftafell park. Walk up to basalt waterfall (Svartifoss).

Across to view of Skaftafelljokull.

Glacier walk.

Fish for dinner. Grolsh (600Kr)

Tuesday 6 July, 2004

Icebergs lagoon. Hofn for lunch.


Stopped @ Bonus supermarket.

Stopped north of Eglisstdior. Crummy school hotel.

Horse riding. Lamb.

Wednesday 7 July, 2004

Across barren lava field interior.

Dettifoss. Up to Selfoss (more [illegible perhaps –der)

Lunch by Hafragilfoss.

Husavik whale watching.

Hotel – Foss hotel Luagar.

Fish and rice after rice starter – yuk!

Thursday 8 July, 2004

Lake Myvatn and surrounds.

Hot bubbling mud. Lava park, lava flows, cinder cone. Lunch by lake.

Others went to new spa, we went nature reserve.

Barrows golden eye.

2nd night @ Luagar.

Pork. Hurrah!

Friday 9 July, 2004

Off to Akureyri. Couple of hours there.

Passed by scene of Independent People.

Shopped, lunch.

Fold museum.

Stopped @ Fosshotel – better. Up volcano.


Saturday 10 July, 2004

Reykjavik – Pearlan. Explored town, shopping.

Few beers.