Friday, October 11, 2013

Travel: Volunteering in Iceland

There's a million things I want to write right now, but I don't even know how to start. I've spent an amazing three weeks in Iceland, volunteering in the south with a lovely family on a lovely farm with 6 other amazing volunteers from all over the world. Antoine and Franck from France, Dorothée from France/England, Mei Chee and Man from Hong Kong and Carlos from Spain. 

We worked at a sheep farm, sorting them and vaccinating them, we also painted some of their buildings, collected driftwood and other stuff on the beach, and then made artsy stuff or games for kids out of it, we drove around their immense farm in the truck, we knitted using real Icelandic wool, we baked so many cakes I wonder how I even fit in the same clothes still, we listened to stories about volcano eruptions, seeing hot lava in the mountains, living in the hard conditions of the 20120 Eyjafjallajokull eruption, we visited hot pools in the nearby cities, we even went for a weekend trip to the East, where the family (the lovely Kidda and Siggi) rented a summer cabin for us, which was beyond lovely, I am dying to have a cabin in the mountains and this one was just perfect. It even had a hot tub and there are simply no words to describe the evening we spent in this hot tub with 40 degrees, underneath a clear night starry sky. We hiked a lot and crossed an icy cold river barefoot, we saw the northern lights, even if they were pale, but I still want to see them again in their full power. We saw all of the amazing places and landscapes that you can see on the photos below, I now wish I made more, but I am still waiting for photos from the other girls, so expect to see some more (possibly with me in them). 

We ate so much good food, rhubarb jam, rhubarb crumble, which I will be making next spring since we don't have any more of it growing around our house, but it is supposed to appear in spring again, delicious lamb stew, pancakes with sugar (apparently they eat them like this there :)) and more and more. I didn't try Hákarl, which is a traditional Icelandic dish - rotten shark meat, because I'm not insane and it's only so far I'll go with trying out traditional cousine, but I did love eating cod and haddock, rhubarb and sweet potato. I came home with so many new recipes that I'm very eager to share. Otherwise, life in Iceland is very expensive, the only thing I bought for myself was a cute pair of gloves (pictures coming soon) and they cost 20€, which was not cheap in my opinion.

Iceland is a breathtaking country with incredible nature and scenery. We spent a few days in Reykjavík, which is a very cosy city, I especially loved the cafés and home decor shops, I bought myself a luggage tag with Not your bag! written on it. Unfortunately it got broken on one of the flights back home, but I can still use it, it's so adorable. :) 

When I was leaving Reykjavík at 5AM on a Tuesday morning, it was snowing. Yes, the whole city was covered in snow and to tell you the truth I was a bit panicky about my flight, because I didn't want it to be delayed, because then I would miss my connecting flight in London, but it was all okay, the snow didn't even reach Keflavik airport and I got home as planned. 

All in all it was a wonderful experience, except for the fact that my debit card got stuck in the ATM machine the first and only time I used one in Iceland, which was a bummer because we were in a town really far from the farm on a Saturday, but out camp leader Carlos took care of everything and they mailed it to me to the farm the next week. First time this happens in my life and it's in Iceland of all places! 

If you're thinking of visiting the land of volcanoes, whales, glaciers, waterfalls, puffins, Icelandic sweaters, fish, etc., etc., I couldn't recommend it enough. I already know I'll return one day, because I would love to see more of the Westfjords and the North of the country. I'll post some more photos when I get hold of them and if you have any questions, just ask. :)

Love, N. xx

Gullfoss waterfalls, part of the Golden Circle excursion:
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A trip to the southern landscape near river Leirá:
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þingvellir national park, the border between the eurasian and american tectonic plate:

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Our summer house in Stafafell we visited one weekend:
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On our way to Höfn:
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A trip to Skaftafellsjökull glacier:
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A trip to Svartifoss waterfall:
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The glacier lagoon:
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A lighthouse on the beach:
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Geysir, a part of the Golden Circle excursion:
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The Reykjavík coast with Harpa in the far right, a culture and conference centre: photo P1023568_zpsae15e5ef.jpg

Höfði house in Reykjavík, the location of the 1986 summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, a step towards the end of the Cold War:
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Cauliflower soup in a bread bowl:
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Our last lunch in Reykjavík, fish stew:
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Signatures of the whole team of volunteers (except Antoine :)) in a shelter on the beach:
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  1. Ou Maj Gawd! Ris breathtaking!!! Kumi čakam de več paviš u živu :)!


  2. Ta dežela je res ČUDOVITA! Popolnoma so me očarale že samo slike! Neverjetno lepa narava res, nimam drugih besed.
    Kje si pa našla, tole potovanje oz. prostovoljstvo? Jaz nikoli ne najdem tako čudovitih priložnosti :) Zmeraj se mi nekako izmuznejo. Res si lahko srečna, da si preživela toliko časa v tako lepih krajih :) Komaj čakam še na več slik ;)

    1. Prijavila sem se preko Zavoda Voluntariat v Ljubljani. :) Tam lahko poiščeš tabore z različnimi temami (okoljevarstvo, skrb starejših, delo z otroki,...) po celem svetu, razen za tiste v južni Ameriki, Aziji, Afriki moraš imeti vsaj en tabor že za sabo. :) Res so super ti tabori, najdeš lahko vse od festivala pravljic v Belgiji, do pobiranja korenčkov na Islandiji, res zanimive stvari. :) Plačaš 90€ prijavnine, in samo potovanje (z letalom, vlakom, kakorkoli že greš), nastanitev in hrano imaš pa zastonj. :)

  3. Vaaaau ful dobro, zelo je bilo fino brat! :)) Jaz bi tudi šla na Islandijo, narava je prekrasna, super fotke in jeeej, da si nazaj :D xx

  4. Vidim, da si se imela super, edino tisti incident s kartico se res ne sliši fino. Slikce so pa božanske in komaj čakam, da še kakšno objaviš. :)

  5. Wow, to pa je res čudovito - kakšne slike.. Kaj šele tam - samo stoj in gledaj :o

  6. Slike so prečudovite, pa narava stoj pa glej kot pravi Evelina:D
    je mogla bit nepozabna izkušnja :)


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