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Tips for driving abroad
Belgium, Blog, Iceland, Travel Tips, United States

Tips for driving abroad

On August 20, my friend Pascale, from the blog Scouich asked me to write a collaborative post with her about driving abroad. Since her blog is in French and mine is in Frenglish English, she wanted to translate it so both our audiences can benefit from our tips. That’s so nice of her! So here’s the edited post, originally published as Conduire à l’étranger: règles de base While she was in Belgium, Pascale had the privilege to have access to a car for free, but she was scared to death to drive in another country. She was even scared to drive her own car through USA and she likes to know exactly where she’s going. For my part, I drove 2000km during a road trip in Iceland and I drove along the Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to L.A. Funny thing : both roads are called Route 1! Fortunately, no left-side driving, but a good exercise of my capacity of adaptation. So here are a few lessons Pascale and I learned from our experience of driving in another country. In black, you can read Pascale’s tips and mines are in green. 1- Learn to drive manual vehicles It would be better to learn […]

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10 Things You Should Know About Iceland
Blog, Iceland

10 Things you didn’t know about Iceland

There’s more original things in Iceland than the cohabitation of fire and ice. I never stop studying this country and here are 10 things I learned recently about Iceland. 1. There’s no mosquitoes Iceland is the only country in the world where there’s no mosquitoes. The climate there is just not compatible with their reproductive cycle. Maybe this fact is a reason for the second point… 2. Nudity is something normal If you go to public pools, you’ll have to take a shower completely naked in front of everybody. No swimming suit. While it is certainly not common in other countries, it’s totally normal in Iceland and nobody will even look at you. If you go to a hot pound in the country-side, chances are high that people will just bath in their Adam’s and Eve’s clothes. 3. Family names don’t exist People have a first name, and their « family name » is made of the name of their father followed by the word « son » or « dottir » (daughter). For example, my father is named Serge, so I’ll be Annie Sergedottir. My brother is named Marc so he would be Marc Sergeson. Everybody refers to other by their first named. It applies for the […]

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Visit Iceland for less than 1000$
Destinations, Europe, Iceland

How to Visit Iceland For Less Than 1000$

Iceland is a country like no other to visit. It is a land of glaciers and volcanos, hot springs and freezing wind gusts. More people would probably visit this small island of 325 000 inhabitants if it wasn’t of its reputation of being such an expensive place. But… Though it is true that it can be one of the most expensive countries to visit, it recently became accessible for budget vacation, given you’re ready to do some compromise. Budget travel in Iceland are not for everyone. Namely, you have to fit in those four categories : 1. You like winter To get the lowest price, you need to travel off-season, so roughly between mid-september to the end of April. That means winter, cold, snow, icy roads, but also awesome winter landscapes and possibly some northern lights. You better have warm clothes and be good to drive in winter conditions. 2. You can travel light The cheapest flights you’re gonna find include only 5kg (12lbs) of hand luggage. You better choose wisely what you want to bring with you. The tips? Search for flight on Skyscanner to find the best deal. That’s how I found a flight for 300$. 3. You love hiking Hiking will be your main occupation […]

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Icelandic sheeps
Blog, Iceland

A Short Love Story (Involving Sheep)

Because it’s Valentine’s Day this week, I thought I should add some romanticism to this blog. And, when I think about a love story, I immediately think about sheep. Let me explain…. When I was in Iceland, I talked with an old Icelander man and I told him how impressed I was by the number of wild sheep there was in Iceland! I mean… you go on a trek for three hours in a mountain, and then you encounter a sheep. You drive two minutes outside Reykjavik, and you see sheep. There are freaking sheep everywhere in the country! The man look at me and laughed! – There’s no wild sheep in Iceland! Every sheep belongs to somebody. – Really? How come they are everywhere, free? « Because, when it’s spring, we set them free so they can eat grass everywhere in the country as wild animal. In September, it’s the Sheep Round-up. Groups of farmers and Icelanders, and pretty much everybody who want to help, round-up sheep and sort them to bring them back to their owner. Every sheep has an identification in its ear. There’s no wild sheep. Traditionally, that’s how people met their loved one. » Isn’t it a great love story, […]

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Iceland Runtur
Destinations, Europe, Iceland

Runtur in Reykjavik – A Crazy Night Under the Midnight Sun

It was Saturday. We were two Canadians, one German, one French, one Italian, and one Icelander. We’ve met a day before in a Bed and Breakfast. It was 11pm and it was sunny, we were ready for the Runtur in Reykjavik. One thing is sure: Icelanders know how to party! We began our Runtur at 11pm and we came back to our room at 4am. At this time, the streets were still full of people! And you know what’s weird? Normally, we don’t clearly see drunk people, because it’s dark… well, not in Iceland in summer! And I must say that I now realize why we mostly get drunk at night. Dillon Whiskey Bar We began our night at this alternative rock bar. Oh you won’t hear Rihanna there! It was pretty early for the runtur so we started drinking and talking but even if you don’t seek the party in Reykjavik, the party will find you! The man sitting at a table beside us asked us to do arm wrestling. What?! We didn’t have a chance to win against these men, but they paid us a drink. Fair enough, folks. Fair enough. I don’t know if this was the Viking rockers way […]

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What to Pack for Iceland in Summer (1)
Destinations, Europe, Iceland

What to Pack For Iceland in Summer

Iceland can be a tricky country when comes the time to pack for your trip. Is it very cold? What’s the weather’s like in summer? Let me simplify your planning answering this question: What to pack for Iceland in Summer? This list is made for a 14 Days road trip in Iceland in a camping car, but, if it’s not exactly what you’re planning, it’ll give you a good base anyway. Clothes Even if it’s summer time in Iceland, it doesn’t mean it’s hot. While it’s not as cold as some may think, I can tell you that it’s absolutely not necessary to pack shorts. You’ll only wear pants. Temperature is around 10C-15C. Some places are very humid and windy, if you’re sensitive to cold, bring a winter hat, a scarf, and gloves. The scarf will be very handy if you visit Myvatn region, to protect you from the midge. Despite the temperature, pools are part of the Icelandic culture, there’s always a pool, even in the very small village. Don’t go without your swimsuit! There’s an expression in Iceland saying  »If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes »! Be sure to bring layers and a raincoat no matter what the weather looks […]

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Iceland_Itinerary
Destinations, Europe, Iceland

14 Days Itinerary in Iceland – Part 2

Since my 14 days road trip in Iceland has been a success, I thought it would be fun to share my complete itinerary so you can use it as an inspiration. There were long days, long drives, some more relaxing days, but each one of these proved that Iceland is one of the most beautiful place on Earth. You probably want to read this first: 14 Days Itinerary in Iceland – Part 1 ** Day 8 – Mývatn Oh, what a strange place is the region of Mývatn! All the weirdness of Icelandic nature concentrate around this lake. We passed the day driving around it, from site to site. You’ll never be bored in this region. ** ** Must-see : Hverir Krafla volcano Stora-Viti crater Leirhnjúkur Grjótagjá Dimmuborgir ** ** It was all an adventure to explore this region. Curious? You might want to read more about Mývatn. Total Km for the day: 220 km Total Km: 1330km ** Day 9 -Húsavík & Akureyri I highly recommend to go out of the Ring Road and take the 87 to Húsavík. As you already know if you follow my adventures around the world, I love everything about fish. In Húsavík, I had the most amazing whale […]

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Iceland_itinerary
Destinations, Europe, Iceland

14 Days Itinerary in Iceland – Part 1

Since my 14 days road trip in Iceland has been a success, I thought it would be fun to share my complete itinerary so you can use it as an inspiration. There were long days, long drives, some more relaxing days, but each one of these proved that Iceland is one of the most beautiful place on Earth. Day 1 – Getting there The first day is generally a  »lost » day, unless you’re a fan of living in a plane. From Montreal to Keflavík, it took about 12 hours, including a stop in New York. We arrived at the airport and just took the Fly bus to go to Reykjavík. I rent a cute room on AirBnb and we rested to catch on with the jet lag. By the way, Airbnb is way less expensive in Rekjavik than hotel room. You should take a look! Sign up to Airbnb with this link and get a $25 credit towards your first stay! Try to stay awake during the bus ride, the volcanic landscapes worth the look! Day 2 – Reykjavik We explored the town by foot. Since is very small, it’s easy to go from one spot to another. This country is already […]

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Destinations, Europe, Iceland

Playlist for a road trip in Iceland

A good playlist is so important during a road trip! I like to choose music that fit landscapes. For the supernatural beauty of Iceland, I prepared a mixtape with Icelandic musicians we already know, some new bands I discovered, and a few of my favorite bands. This playlist will be your perfect co-pilot on the Route 1! 1. Sigur Ross – Lúppulagið This band is one of the most internationally known band from Reykjavík. A mix of classical and minimalist music perfect to go with a look at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. 2. Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks (Bombay Bicycle Club Remix) Of Monster and man is an indie folk band from Iceland. This remix brings a new way of listening to this top 10 song of 2013. On the way to the north to Akureyri, you’ll enjoy the road listening to this. 3. Emiliana Torrini – Big Jumps Don’t you think this song is just perfect to wake up in your camping car beside the Skógar waterfall? 4. Apparat Organ Quartet – Romantika This band form of one drummer and organists comes from Reykjavík, but I’d say this robot music makes a match with the Mars looking landscapes of  Mývatn. 5. Eberg – Love Your Bum I’d totally listen […]

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