After talking with my friends Erica and Jessica (aren’t those lovely names? they are also lovely people) and with my son Jason, I’ve decided to stay at Loft Hostel in the very heart of downtown Reykjavik for all 6 nights of my stay in Iceland in June.
I will take trips out from the capital: so far, I’ve already booked, and paid for, the Puffin Express (see Puffins R Us!) and–woo hoo! the Game of Thrones tour! Did you know that lots of scenes in many of the seasons of GoT have been filmed in Iceland?
At first, they were only going to use it for scenes north of The Wall, but after they had experienced Iceland in the non-winter seasons, they decided they had to use it for many other backdrops and sets as well, such as:
• Drogon the dragon hunts for goats. S4E06
• The Hound and Brienne of Tarth fight for Arya Stark. (only visited during summer season). S4E10
• The Bloody Gate. Lord Baelish (Little Finger) and Sansa Stark on the way to the Eyrie. S4E05
• The Hound and Arya on the same route. S4E08
• Wildlings and Thenns attack what is often called Olly’s farm/village. S4E03
The scenes at The Bloody Gate were filmed at Þingvellir National Park, a World Heritage Site where the Viking parliament was established. Various other scenes were filmed in that area, such as:
• Wildlings roaming South of the Wall
• Thenns and Wildlings meet in the canyon, Styr is introduced. S4E01
• After leaving The Hound, Arya on her way to find a ship to Braavos. S4E10
Walk around the Settlement Era Viking Lodge in Þjórsárdalur valley where elaborate scenes were shot and a particularly hair raising massacre in the series took place.
If you’re a “veteran watcher” of the mythical “Game of Thrones” series, a drama as deep and dark as some of Iceland’s glacial lakes, you’ll love this tour that traces the footsteps of your favorite characters through the mysterious landscape of Iceland.
And of course I AM a “veteran watcher!” Although I haven’t had HBO since the first couple of seasons, I buy the boxed sets of each season as soon as they become available. Can you guess what I’m going to be ULTRA BINGE WATCHING before the trip? You got it–ultimate GoT time! ❤
I can’t wait!
So those tours are already scheduled and paid for. Waiting for an influx of funds are these other ones: a twelve-hour tour of the peninsula of Snaefellsnes, including a dinner with real Icelanders in their real home: this will be a very small group. We’ll travel either in a car or minivan, depending on how many people have signed up for that day.
Another really small group tour of the South Coast of Iceland, as far South and East as the village of Vik.
Then I’ve got some undecideds. Possibly a Golden Circle Tour with a stop to soak in the Secret Lagoon. Or maybe riding on those cool little Icelandic horses.
Do NOT call them ponies to an Icelander or anyone knowledgeable about horses, because although they are small, they are NOT ponies, but horses. And they have a special smooth walking gait called tolt. Icelandic horses are so purebred that it is illegal to import any horses into the country, even for just a visit. If I do go riding, I’ll do it on the last day in case it makes me sore and not want to do other stuff.
[By the way, all the photos above this paragraph are from Loft Hostel’s day trips site, which one gets access to after putting down a deposit on at least a night’s stay.]
And some museums: Saga Museum after the boat ride to see the puffins, because that museum is located in the Old Harbor area, where the Puffin Express docks. The National Museum because it simply is a must-see. And Reykjavik 871 +/- 2, because it’s so cool:
The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavík 871±2 is an exhibition on the settlement of Reykjavík, Iceland, created by the Reykjavik City Museum. The exhibition is based on the archaeological excavation of the ruin of one of the first houses in Iceland and findings from other excavations in the city centre. Wikipedia
I’d include some photos of it but I can’t seem to find any that allow images to be copied. Harrumph! So I guess you should just go to Wikipedia yourself. 😦
Especially if I do not get to have a soak in the Secret Lagoon, and maybe even if I do, I’ll also hope to hit one of the city’s geo-thermally heated pools. Icelanders love swimming and swimming pools in all weathers, because all the pools are so warm, and the heat is nigh-well free.
Sometimes it’s good to have a bunch of volcanoes around, and a huge fault between two tectonic plates that is pulling further apart and letting more of the molten magma’s heat be accessible on the surface of the ground. But hopefully not actually flowing over any of us! But you never know, in Iceland. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are common there. Yipes! 😛
And I broke down and ordered a little black dress. This is mostly because the hostel has a bar on the top floor, and I want to go up there at least once and drink some mead. But I’l probably wear my tennies with the dress (see them here). Here’s what the dress looks like, with a model wearing it. I think it might look a little different on me. LOL.
It’s mostly polyester with some rayon, so it should pack well, and I can wear some of my black leggings with it, and my cute black tennies (I’m serious!):
Really, it will be a good look. Trust me on that. Or else I might pack these in my carry-on:
Ooooo, or wait a minute, I think I have the perfect shoes for this dress, and I hardly ever get the chance to wear them. They look like the perfect mead-drinking-in-Iceland shoes:
Aren’t they just the cutest shoes you’ve ever seen? ❤
So many decisions, and so much time in which to make them. I’ve got almost 9 months before the trip! 😛
Signing off for now….
Oh Timi, I’m so excited for you! It sounds like an amazing adventure! Hope you get some nice pictures on the Puffin Express. ♥
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Thanks, Barbara! I can’t believe that I’ll be seeing real puffins! ❤