We had 10 days to choose our destination, so we had to act swiftly. Given that we only had five days for the trip, we reasoned that it shouldn’t be too far away. We generally follow the rule that we travel to northern locations in the summer. The decision was made that Iceland would be a wise choice.
After booking the plane tickets and buying a new Lonely Planet guidebook for Iceland, we started to plan how to get the most out of those five days. There is always very good advice available in the Thorntree travel forum.
The planning was difficult when it came to accommodation and car rental. In the travel forum, many people said that we might be too late with those. We started to realize how small Iceland really is; there are not many hotels, motels, or car rentals. And the prices are by far different from what we have experienced, for example, in the US and more expensive than in Europe. With cars, it was really complicated to find suitable 4WD, as the number of rental cars in Iceland seemed to be very limited. At the end of the day, the result was good—we had good hotels in beautiful surroundings, and the 4WD Hyundai Santa Fe rented from local car rental RB Cars was just perfect for us.
During the planning, we discovered interesting facts about Iceland. For example,
- Most Icelanders check the weather forecast daily (similar to Estonians).
- Icelanders’ names are constructed from a combination of their first name and their father’s first name. Girls add dottir (daughter) and boys add a son. For example, Gudrun, the daughter of Jon, would be Gudrun Jonsdottir, and would remain so for the rest of her life regardless of marriage.
- There is an official list of names that Icelanders can call their children. Recently, even foreign immigrants have had to give their Icelandic names before getting citizenship.
- Beer was prohibited in Iceland until March 1, 1989.