07.07.2019 – Iceland seemed too far to be included in my travel itinerary until I bought Fjallraven Classic Denmark ticket. I desperately needed to find a side trip to pair with my Fjallraven Classic Denmark trekking to make the journey to the other side of the world worthy. I ran through a random search on Skyscanner to find affordable yet interesting destination.
Why Iceland of All Places?
Ali and Berry planned to trek in Zermatt, Switzerland. I had my eyes and mind on Laugavegur Trail of Iceland or Faroe Island. I decided on Laugavegur Trail as it made more sense for a year full of hiking adventures. This time it would be a solo trek in what is known as one of the most beautiful trails in the world. By the time I decided and purchased my flight to Reykjavik, I hadn’t noticed that Iceland is 1951km from Copenhagen and it is closer to Greenland than the European countries.
Icelandic Air : Copenhagen > Keflavik
After monitoring the fare for weeks, I finally concluded that the fare would not go any cheaper than RM588.20 for one-way flight to Reykjavik from Copenhagen. I purchased the ticket 3 months before departure date. I had booked my multiple city flight going back to Malaysia from Reykjavik with 2 transits. Hence, the need for one-way flight to Reykjavik. Also, I booked through a third party platform ie. Trip.com.
One thing I noticed in Copenhagen International Airport is that there are very limited waiting seats at the boarding gates. They must have embraced the Nordic minimalist concept. Unused to the minimalist concept, my legs somehow got tired of standing.
Onboard Icelandic Air Bound to Reykjavik
As for check-in, I checked-in via the kiosk machine and had to drop my baggage to the Baggage Drop desk.
The flight was uneventful as the plane full to the brim with excited tourists. I did not get the window seat. So I was crammed in the middle seat trying to peep over the window. I was anxious for the solo journey I was about to embark. Most of the passengers were Americans on summer holiday. As Iceland is one of the most expensive and rare destinations, there was a distinct air of snobbishness inside the plane. Or perhaps, anxiety got the better of me.
Welcome to the Land of Fire and Ice
3 hours later, the plane landed in the land of fire and ice. At the hypermarket after the conveyor belt, the arriving guests rushed into to buy enough food to last the trip. It is apparently a duty-free hypermarket. If you are planning to stay for long, remember to bring enough food stock. I brought a lot of freeze-dried food and packed food to last the trail. Coming back from the trip, I bought a salad from the grocery shop and it caused me RM97.
Bus to Laugardalur Campsite
The most important thing for me was to get some Icelandic krona cash for emergency. I paid everything in Denmark using BigPay card, which is a prepaid card only available for Malaysian citizens. I was planning to use BigPay card for Iceland too. However, I might require cash along the way especially when I was heading to the mountainous area. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I bought a bus ticket to Laugadalur Campsite from the airport. I paid ISK 4,499.00 (RM155.00) one way for a journey of 1 hour. That is how expensive Iceland is.
After touring the city on bus and looking at the bizarre earth that formed most part of Iceland (steam vents everywhere!), I had to make a transit at the bus terminal and changed bus heading to Laugardalur Campsite. I did not have to pay additional fare. At around 6pm, I arrived at Laugardalur Campsite.
Laugardalur Campsite – Affordable Accommodation in Reykjavik
Laugardalur Campsite is also known as Reykjavik Campsite. It is a five star campsite located in Laugardalur. It can accommodate up to 650 persons in tents, cabins, cars or caravans. The campsite also implements the Environmental Management Program as a commitment to improve environmental performance, minimizing the environmental impact of its activities and making resource efficiency a core requirement.
Upon arrival, I registered at the receptionist and paid for the campsite. I also bought Laugavegur Trail Map (ISK1,200) and 2 gas canisters (ISK2,200 /MYR111.74) to cook my dinner and for the trail. The receptionist lady walked me through the do’s and don’ts in the Laugardalur Campsite, Reykjavik.
I found a space near to the entrance of the common area to pitch a tent. I also had to put the sticker given by the receptionist at my tent visible to all. The sticker was an indicator that a camper has already paid for the campsite. There will be different colour for the sticker for each day. The reason why I wanted to be as near as I can to the common area was to connect to the Wi-Fi which was only available at the common area.
I joined the crowd in the kitchen. Everyone was preparing dinner at about the same time. I queued up to boil the water and poured the water into my Kembara pack meal. As the indoor area was full, I sat at the table outdoor enjoying chill Icelandic evening. Although it was almost 7.30pm, it was still sunny. It only got dark at around 11pm.
I thought my last proper shower before my Laugavegur trail would be at Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers. Reykjavik Campsite surprised me with clean bathroom and hot shower.
I definitely recommend Laugardalur Campsite or Reykjavik Campsite for those who can forego the comfort of a hotel room. You will be able to meet like minded travellers here. In fact, there are car sharing board, free stuff corner, information about public transport, bike rental service, eco-driving tips, saving water tips, free food baskets, recycling in 6 categories (mixed paper and carton, cans and bottles, metal, hazardous waste + gas canisters and organic waste), eco-labelled toilet paper etc. For more info, please visit https://www.reykjavikcampsite.is/