Tag Archives: Hotels

Iceland’s Ring Road

Last August, Alex and I visited a place that was on both of our bucket lists: Iceland.

Most travelers coming to Iceland visit Reykjavík, the capital. It’s not surprising, since nearly 2/3 of Iceland’s population lives there. But the rest of the country offers some of the most jaw-dropping sights in the entire world. We covered as much of the country as we could, driving around Iceland on Route 1, also known as the “Ring Road”. It was easily one of the most beautiful drives we’ve taken.

iceland

We rented a car for the journey at Keflavík Airport. Although we paid for a “mini”-sized car, we were lucky to be upgraded for free to a standard sized vehicle, a Skoda Octavia.

car

Some of the best sights along the Ring Road included:

Black Beaches: In Vík 

vik

Glaciers: Including Vatnajökull National Park and Jökulsárlón lagoon (pictured)

vatnajokull2

Wildlife: Including puffins, wild horses, seals, whales, and sheep

puffins

Waterfalls: Including Gulfoss, Seljalandsfoss (pictured), Skogafoss, and Godafoss

falls

Geothermal Sites (Hot Springs/Geysers, etc.): Including Geysir and Mývatn

myvatn

Picturesque Villages: Including Húsavík (pictured) and Akureyri

husavik2

Stunning Landscapes: Around every corner

waterfall

The entire trip is 1,300 km, and can be driven either clockwise or counter-clockwise from Reykjavík (we went counter-clockwise). We drove the Ring Road in 6 days; although, the absolute minimum number of days it would take to complete the trip is 5, and ideally we’d recommend doing it in 7 or 8 days. Trust us, you won’t regret taking the extra time to enjoy the journey!

Our #1 suggestion for this road trip is to book your accommodations in advance. Iceland is very sparsely populated, and places do get fully booked, especially in the Summer. Accommodations along the route include motels, dormitories, farm stays, camping sites, and apartment/cabin rentals.

We were lucky enough to stay overnight at an ocean-side farm. It was one of our favorite experiences on the trip and we’d highly recommend it!

farmstay

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Lund, Sweden: Hotels and Train Stations

My good friend JJ moved to Lund last summer and I had the opportunity to go with her in June and visit. This was my first trip to Sweden, and we  flew into Copenhagen, Denmark, which is only a short train ride away from Lund.

It was really easy to get there by public transportation. The train station is actually in the airport and can take you directly into Sweden, stopping at Lund Central Station. As you can see below, most people either walk or take their bike throughout the town. The station also has a Pressbyrån, which is a convenience store that can be found on nearly every corner in Sweden. They sell magazines, newspapers, and of course, hot dogs. We stopped in here for sodas constantly.

For half of my trip, we stayed at a hostel, which was actually a converted sleeper train. It was really neat, actually! The hostel was literally a walk across the bridge from the train station, so it was an incredibly convenient place to stay.

The interior of the train has a dining cart, a central area for wifi use, shared bathrooms (you do have to pay for shower water), and TINY rooms with a bunk for two that are approximately 6 feet long by 3 feet wide. This was a really cool train and everyone was great, but I wouldn’t recommend staying here for long periods of time if you are claustrophobic. Unfortunately, I got really claustrophobic by Day 3, and stayed elsewhere for the rest of the trip, but the experience was definitely once in a lifetime and I would highly recommend trying it out, especially if you’re on a budget or just want a unique experience.

I stayed at the Grand Hotel in Lund for the last part of my stay. I loved this hotel. It’s about a two blocks away from the train station and is the biggest and most luxurious hotel in town. I actually stayed here by myself and was given a room on the top floor of the hotel. This meant that I had to take the elevator and then go up an extra flight of stairs with my luggage. I loved my little room and it was updated, but there is no air conditioning. This is fairly common in Europe, but being on the top floor with a lot of incoming light left me well overheated.  Nonetheless, room service was nice enough to open my windows for me and let some breeze inside the room.