I will never be a travel reporter but...after three weeks of our first ever summer visit to Iceland - some thoughts:
There are a lot of flies
There are a lot of tourists
It's hard to sleep the closer you are to the Arctic Circle
The horses aren't as fluffy
The north is stunning and one of our favourite parts - we need to go back there
The south is far too busy in the summer
Car hire is double the winter price
Accommodation is double the winter price
It's probably best not to visit when the pound has just taken a nose-dive
Puffins are hilarious (but I'm not allowed one)
You need to book your hotels very early - don't leave it too late as there will be nothing left to choose from
The days are very long - and if you're up in the north, they don't end
Restaurants are expensive - expect to pay about £15 (or much more) for a burger and chips.
Self-cater. It's far cheaper.
Don't be fooled when you pop into a hotel and they say 'help yourself to tea and coffee - it's free. And would you like cake?". The cake is VERY VERY expensive (around 2000ISK per slice).
Similar to winter - don't trust the weather reports. Iceland has micro-climates. You can be driving in 7C one minute then baking in 15C the next.
The town of Vik (south coast) has its own weather. Clouds literally hang over the town. The same applies to winter there too. Of course either side of the town the weather is lovely.
There are lots of sheep. And they are everywhere. How the hell the farmers find them at the start of winter I've no idea. You can be driving up the most rugged and steep mountain roads in the middle of the highlands and there's a sheep. Just chewing away. Not for budging.
Sheep are basically a bit dim. I've said this before. But they are:
"Mum, mum...run..car coming!"
"It's ok junior...follow me and run like hell. Straight down the road. Stay in front of the car."
"Mum...we could run on the grass"
"Trust me junior, I know what I'm doing (jesus I'm knackered)"
And so on.
The sheep have horns. They're butch. The rams are bloody scary.
Arctic Terns are terrifying.
There are more English tourists in the south
There are more German tourists in the north
Campervans come in all sizes. The smallest we've seen is a Ford Transit Connect.
I love the F roads and the unmade mountain tracks. Partly because there are less tourists on those and partly because you don't get to go on them in the winter. Oh...and mainly because some of them are just downright scary - sheer drops, no-grip surface and very steep.
I miss the snow.
I miss the Northern Lights
I love the midnight sun and the sunset / sunrise
The car gets filthy in summer
18C here feels tropical
Humpback whales are just amazing and a huge reason for visiting in the summer
There are a lot of birds - you see very few in the winter.
I'm still not one for the hot springs. The idea of sitting in a bubbling pool in the great outdoors with a bunch of strangers doesn't do it for me
The views are stunning in the summer (though I still think I prefer the blanket of snow on the mountains)
There are flowers everywhere. Purple nootka, or Alaskan lupine (introduced in 1885), covers fields and lines roads.
You can see the trees! In winter you can hardly see any.