>  Fire and Ice   >  2.Icelandic Dreams: Commencing the Adventure Tale

Embarking on a journey to Iceland had always been a lingering dream, and as fate would have it, I found myself planning this exhilarating adventure after returning to Chennai from Qatar. What started as a spontaneous European escapade soon turned into an epic road trip through the land of fire and ice.

My route took me from Mumbai to Sweden for a brief sojourn before heading to the captivating landscapes of Iceland. An added twist awaited as a fellow traveler from Mumbai was set to join me on this Icelandic road odyssey.


Touching down at Keflavik International Airport, my first stop was the car rental hub, conveniently located near the airport. Choosing Lotus Car Rental turned out to be a pleasant surprise. They not only welcomed me warmly but also offered the flexibility to use a debit card for payment, a rarity in the world of car rentals. The process was smooth, and their fleet boasted an array of vehicles, from sturdy 4x4s to compact town cars, ensuring satisfaction for every traveler.

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With my compact automatic car ready for the road, I set forth towards the famed Blue Lagoon, renowned for its enchanting hot spring pool. Along the highway, nature treated me to a breathtaking full rainbow, a vivid spectacle resembling a masterpiece painting. The chilly weather only added to the scenic charm as I made my way to the Blue Lagoon, where, unfortunately, all slots were booked. Undeterred, I decided to pre-book for the next day before my early morning flight.

The real adventure began as I headed west, crossing the awe-inspiring Hvalfjörður Tunnel, one of the world’s longest underwater road tunnels. Stretching over 5,770 meters and descending 165 meters below sea level, this engineering marvel dramatically shortens the journey from Reykjavik to the western and northern parts of Iceland.

Exploring the Depths: The Hvalfjörður Tunnel Adventure

In the enchanting land of Iceland, where every turn unfolds a new marvel, the Hvalfjörður Tunnel stands as a testament to human ingenuity and the desire to conquer nature’s barriers. Since its inauguration in 1998, this engineering marvel has been weaving its way under the Hvalfjörður fjord, etching a 5770-meter path beneath the sea level.

As I embarked on my Icelandic road trip, the prospect of traversing one of the world’s longest underwater tunnels sparked both excitement and awe. The Hvalfjörður Tunnel, an integral part of Route 1, beckoned with the promise of cutting through the majestic landscapes, shortening the distance from Reykjavik to the western and northern realms of Iceland.

The adventure began with the descent into the tunnel’s depths. The anticipation heightened as the vehicle embraced the subterranean world, surrounded by rock walls and the echo of the tunnel’s history. At 165 meters below sea level, it felt like delving into the very veins of Iceland, an exploration as thrilling as it was humbling.

The journey through the Hvalfjörður Tunnel is not just a drive; it’s a passage through time and tides. As the dimly lit tunnel embraced me, a sense of wonder unfolded. The tunnel’s fee, a modest ISK 1500 (approximately USD 12 or 10 euros), felt like a token to access this surreal journey under the fjord.

With each passing meter, the tunnel became more than a conduit; it became a narrative of Iceland’s progress, connecting regions and fostering unity. The journey was swift yet profound, an undersea odyssey that seamlessly integrated into the fabric of Icelandic travel.

Emerging on the other side, I carried with me not just the memory of a tunnel but a deeper appreciation for the harmonious coexistence of nature and human innovation. The Hvalfjörður Tunnel, a silent guardian beneath the waves, continues to stand as a testament to Iceland’s ability to conquer the depths and connect its diverse landscapes.


My destination for the night was Akranes, a charming port town and municipality on the west coast of Iceland. With its roots as a fishing village dating back to the mid-17th century, Akranes promised a blend of coastal beauty and cultural heritage. The town’s soccer tradition and the legendary Ríkharður Jónsson, born here, added a touch of sports history to its allure.

The drive and experiences of day one were only the tip of the iceberg, setting the stage for an Icelandic adventure like no other. Stay tuned for more tales from the land of fire and ice!

A Night in Akranes: Aurora's Enchantment and Canine Companionship

As the wheels of my Icelandic adventure turned, Akranes revealed itself as a quaint haven on the west coast. Nestled in a serene residential neighborhood, my abode for the night, “Akranes Rooms,” proved to be a peaceful retreat.

Upon my arrival, a spirited Spanish caretaker, accompanied by the homeowner’s friendly canine companion, extended a warm welcome. His nomadic tales of traversing different countries and embracing diverse cultures resonated with my own passion for exploration. Little did I know, this charismatic Spaniard would turn my evening into an unforgettable experience.

In the company of the amiable dog, we embarked on a leisurely stroll towards a nearby hill. The evening unfolded with the rhythmic flow of a pristine water stream, and as we exchanged travel anecdotes, a shared camaraderie emerged.

As we conversed under the Icelandic night sky, I confided my fervent wish to witness the elusive Northern Lights. The Spanish wanderer, intrigued by the prospect, joined me in the quest for this ethereal phenomenon. A quick research session pointed us to the west coast as the potential stage for the celestial dance.

As we reached the designated spot, darkness enveloped us, heightening the anticipation. Patiently, we waited in the quietude, the only sound being the soft whispers of the night. Then, around 11-12 PM, faint streaks of green began to paint the heavens. A quiet gasp escaped me as the Northern Lights made their graceful entrance.

In that moment, time seemed to stand still, and I found myself leaping with joy, intoxicated by the surreal beauty above. The canine companion, sensing our jubilation, added an extra layer of bliss to the experience. Unfortunately, no camera could do justice to the magnificence I beheld; it was a spectacle meant to be savored through the naked eye.

As the celestial ballet concluded, we returned to the town, opting for a humble feast of Domino’s pizza – a perfect ending to an extraordinary night. Nestled in my room, I drifted into peaceful slumber, the enchanting hues of the Northern Lights still lingering in my dreams.

Akranes Unveiled: A Morning at the Lighthouse

As dawn painted the Icelandic sky with hues of pink and gold, I eagerly set out for another day of exploration in the quaint town of Akranes. My destination: the iconic Akranes Lighthouse, perched gracefully near the tranquil fishing town.

Driving through the silent streets, I marveled at the stillness that enveloped the town. It seemed like Akranes was awakening at its own pace, a secret haven untouched by the rush of the world.

Upon reaching the lighthouse, a solitary figure approached—a custodian of this maritime jewel. With genuine warmth, he extended an invitation to delve into the heart of the lighthouse, sharing its history and embracing his role as its unofficial ambassador.

The interior of the lighthouse revealed tales of maritime adventures, echoing the rich fishing heritage of the town. Climbing to the top, the panoramic view unfolded, a mesmerizing vista of the vast ocean meeting the endless sky.

As the custodian passionately narrated the story of Akranes, I couldn’t help but absorb the charm and authenticity of this hidden gem. Capturing the essence of the moment, he insisted on taking pictures, ensuring my memories were not just in my heart but also framed by the backdrop of the Akranes Lighthouse.

In those quiet moments, standing atop the lighthouse with a kindred spirit, I realized that Akranes was not just a destination; it was an unfolding story, patiently waiting to be discovered by those who sought its beauty.

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