Who's been to Iceland?

We want to hear about your adventures, be they from Istanbul, Ixtapa or Ixonia. And hey, you might even find someone you can sell your extra Euros to.
Henry Vilas
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Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:40 pm

Ms Vilas and I just booked to vacation to the land of the Icelandic króna for this coming August. Has any one here traveled there and have any tips or insights?

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Ducatista » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:05 pm

I work with a guy from Iceland, will hit him up for recos. Friends who've gone recently say it's breathtakingly expensive. Not to get there... to be there.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:31 pm

Sounds like many króna, especially since they are a 100 to a dollar.

Ned Flounders
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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Ned Flounders » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:22 pm

Apparently everyone has been to Iceland. The place has been massively overrun by tourists for the past few years, to the point where the government actually announced plans to place a limit on arrivals.

I think Game of Thrones may have had something to do with the sudden influx.

FWIW, if you want to be one of the cool kids now you have to go to Svalbard instead. When that place gets overrun, Franz Josef Land will presumably be next on the list.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:19 pm

Luckily I've been to Dubrovnik before it became part of the GoT tour.

Madsci
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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Madsci » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:33 pm

Talk to your oldest niece on Easter weekend, she and her guy went their recently.
Ya, I know it's at the end of the month.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby gargantua » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:31 pm

One of my best friends was there last year. He loved it, in spite of being trapped inside his car during a snowstorm for awhile. Definitely do the hot springs thing.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Madsci » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:29 pm

Welcome back, hope you trip from the airport was not too long and your basement not too wet.

Henry Vilas
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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:21 am

Thanks. Got back yesterday afternoon. I was surprised that our basement, which often gets wet when the snow melts in Spring and after heavy rainfalls, was dry. Our trip to Iceland was great. I'll write more about it later. Lots of laundry to be done today.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:09 am

A few thought on my trip to the land of fire and ice. As Ducatista said, costs of goods and services are very expensive. This has to do with having to import many things and very high taxes. Yet most Islandic people are middle class with a very high standard of living (4th highest in the world after the Swiss, the Japanese and the Danes). Taxes pay for free education and health care. Much better pensions than our Social Security.

As Ned said, lots of tourists. And lots of new construction for hotels and other accommodations. They aren't sick of us yet.

Saw puffins and minke whales, which are both on their diet. Didn't try either. The Islandic horse (don't call it a pony, as it offends their owners) is also raised for food. Had a little, but it was tough and stringy. The minke whale is nicknamed stinky minke because of the bacteria that grows in their lungs, which smells like rotten fish. We got close enough to them to smell it.

Went to Geysir to see the geysers, which are named after that location. Took an amphibious duck to a glacial lagoon that was filled with icebergs. Lots of very good seafood, but also putrified Greenland shark, which I sampled and washed down with a Black Death vodka chaser. Their beer is very good.

Toured a geothermal plant. The steam is used for 99% of their electricity, heating and hot water (which has a slight sulphur smell). Lava fields and volcanos everywhere. And many more sheep than cattle.

Only 340,000 Islandic people on the island, which is about the population of greater Madison. Most live in their capital, Reykjavik. Almost everyone speaks fluent English.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:02 pm

Another thing, I didn't have to worry about getting Icelandic kronas, as they are quickly approaching a cashless society. Plastic for everything, with chip readers everywhere, even for relatively small purchases. And they don't have a tradition of tipping (as wages are high), so there isn't a line for gratuities on the slip one signs for credit card purchases in restaurants.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby JoeT » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:07 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Went to Geysir to see the geysers, which are named after that location. Took an amphibious duck to a glacial lagoon that was filled with icebergs.

Get a chance to see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at Thingvellir -- between Reykjavik and Geysir? Tour with a group or on your own? What towns, regions did you see? Iceland is on my to-do list.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:55 pm

Yes, it's where the North American and Eurasian plates meet. More accurately, it's where they separate. I went with a Collette Tours group. About 45 on our motor coach. Most from Wisconsin. Started and ended in Reykjavik. Went up North to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and stayed in Stykkisholmur. Later down South to Vik (finally a short word in Islandic).


Here is an Islandic joke.

Since the Viking cut down most of the trees some centuries ago, there aren't many left. Iceland is starting reforestation but they have a long way to go. So what do you do if lost in a forest?

Stand up.

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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:35 am


Henry Vilas
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Re: Who's been to Iceland?

Postby Henry Vilas » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:52 am



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