Iceland at Dawn – Somewhere In Time Weekly Travel Photo.

By Posted in - Camping & Iceland & Photo Journal & Photography Posts & Photos & RTW travel & Somewhere In Time on March 26th, 2011

Somewhere in Time is a weekly photo from around the world. Enjoy! (You can click the photo to make it bigger.)

One day in Iceland we rented a car and drove from Reykjavik to Hofn. It took 5 hours and we took our time so we didn’t arrive until late at night. All the hotels we happened upon on the way were really expensive ($200+/night) and we couldn’t figure out why. They looked nice but there were in the middle of nowhere. We concluded that they get away with charging that much just because of that fact. Needless to say, we continued on.

Around 11pm we arrived in Hofn and found a hostel. Only thing is that it was definitely one of those annoying hostels with a lot of rules. Due to a lot of water drinking and lack of facilities en route when we arrived in Hofn I really needed to use the ladies room – coincidentally the hostel was the only spot open in town. I went in to inquire about 2 beds and I stood around a while – no one showed up. So finally I just decided screw it and I went in to find the bathroom. Turns out it was a really small hostel with only a handful of people in it and they were all in this next room. Awkward. I stood out like a sore thumb and it wasn’t because I was a new face sneaking into to use the co-ed bathroom. Nope, I had broken the cardinal rule which labeled me as an outcast – I didn’t take off my shoes.

I’m not going to lie – I HATE the rule of taking off shoes, especially in public places. Hate it. (Disclaimer: Except in Diane’s house. Love ya Diane:)).

Now I didn’t really see the sign (ok, I did) but no one was around initially and the place was very quiet so I figured what the heck, I would run in and out really quietly WITH my shoes on – I mean who would know right? Right off the bat Randy was mortified. He absolutely hates it when I do things like that and takes it personally when I do something directly against the rules. He threw a little hissy fit at me with his eyes but I marched on – right through the glares and whispers and into the bathroom. Randy retreated, thoroughly embarrassed, to the car. He didn’t want to be involved in my crazy shoe wearing, bathroom seeking, late night Hofn shenanigans.

It was insane, before they looked at my face, they looked at directly my feet and I’m not lying – everyone’s face fell when they spotted my clunky hiking shoes traversing their tiled floors which, duly noted, were sparkling clean. A man & woman followed me into the bathroom (not gonna lie, freaked me out a little) but their ruse did not stop me -I was on a mission. No doubt irritated, they waited for me, right outside the stall – weird. After I peed I was descended upon immediately- who was I, did I need a room and why for the love of God, why did I have my shoes on? Did I not see the sign?

Above all else this was the major faux pas I had committed. Their faces were priceless, as I’m sure was mine – shocked I was just followed into a bathroom I wasn’t supposed to be in and lectured about my ‘indoor footwear’. Thank god Randy had gone back to the car.

Nope – guess I didn’t see the sign- oops. After some not so pleasant pleasantries I discovered it was $30/per person for the hostel. Ahhh $60 to spend like 6 hours in a place where I can’t wear my shoes (hello it is Iceland, it’s freaking cold!) and would have to deal with their weird attitudes after I had already alienated myself and Randy by association. I could imagine the bunk whispers if we stayed -“That’s her -the rouge urinator in shoes!” I declined the beds and woefully went outside to deliver the news to a less than enthusiastic Randy who was not pleased.

So now we’re in Hofn, it’s 11:30 at night, I’ve pissed in and pissed off the only hostel in town, which was overpriced anyway – where would we stay? There was a campground down the street so we decided to pull in. No one was working so we couldn’t pay. We debated for a bit on this- was it wrong to sleep at the campground and not pay? Should we park on the street instead?

We decided to sleep in the car at the campground and pay in the morning. We woke up before dawn because Randy was uncomfortable in the car and no one was there to collect money so we left. We did feel a little guilty about it but there wasn’t much we could do and they didn’t have a box to leave a payment in.

Thanks to our early morning wake up we got to see this out of control sunrise. On the ride back we stopped along the road when the sun started to rise over the Norwegian Sea. It was spectacular. The color was hypnotizing.

If you go to Iceland, make sure you wake up early to see the sun rise. You won’t be sorry. I have never seen a sunrise like this anywhere else. It was outrageous and absolutely gorgeous.

Just think, if we had stayed in that hostel then we probably wouldn’t have woken up early enough to see it!

*Please remember all photos on this website are copyrighted and property of, & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(20) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Allison -

    March 26, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Wow. This is an awesome picture. Totally worth the stares and the not-so-comfortable sounding night.

    The one difference that blows my minds between Americans and Canadians is the shoes. We take them off when we go into other people’s houses. I think it is because (as a generalization) our winters are so much worse and our shoes are always gross and dirty.

    • Bethany -

      March 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      Yeah, it is common in some homes here but not all. I didn’t grow up in a house-removal household so I don’t like taking mine off. Randy did grow up taking his shoes off at the door so he does it automatically but it drives me nuts because i always trip over them! @Allison,

  • Sonya -

    March 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Gorgeous photo and story about Iceland!
    I’ve been to Iceland many times and experienced earthquakes there.

    • bethany -

      March 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm

      wow -earthquakes?! That must’ve been crazy. I don’t know why but an Iceland earthquake just sounds more crazy than a California one. 🙂@Sonya,

  • Icelander -

    March 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I find your attitude about the shoes odd to say the least 🙂

    • Bethany -

      March 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      I know some people are into it, I’m just not. I think it’s because my feet are always cold. 🙂 @Icelander,

  • World Spinner -

    March 27, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Iceland at Dawn – Somewhere In Time Weekly Travel Photo ……

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  • Erica -

    March 29, 2011 at 1:16 am

    I love the mist that can be seen off in the distance near the mountains. Looks magical.

    • Bethany -

      March 29, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Thank you Erica. 🙂 @Erica,

  • Brooke vs. the World -

    April 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    The photo is that much cooler with the story behind it! What a weird (and expensive) hostel… those be Sydney prices. Ack.

    • Bethany -

      April 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      Hahaha… Thanks Brooke – glad you like it. 🙂 Yeah te way to go 🙂@Brooke vs. the World,

      • Bethany -

        April 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm

        oops it cut off my comment – I was going to say for budget in Iceland, camping is definitely the way to go. @Bethany,

  • […] I spotted these swans floating around in this little pond, and I asked Randy to pull over so I could get a better shot but in a moment they scattered & fluttered away. It was very cold & early in the morning–it was actually the same morning as the other photo of the blue Icelandic sunrise. […]

  • […] Lodging: We stayed in Iceland a week, leaving on the 7th day and one day we unintentionally car camped for free, so we actually only paid for 5 nights of lodging. We highly recommend camping in Reykjavik, […]

  • Kelsey -

    April 12, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Depending on the size of the car and the number of occupants, sleeping in a car can actually be quite comfortable, especially in good weather or if you have a sleeping bag. I did it a lot during my year of driving around the US, and you can even brush your teeth if you’re creative with a bottle of water.

    • Bethany -

      April 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      I hear ya. I actually don’t mind it either, depending on the car. Randy and I were just saying today if we went back to Iceland we would put money into a bigger car (A campervan would be amazing) and then just street camp for the most part. @Kelsey,

  • Rebecca -

    April 17, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Glad you got to see this beautiful sunrise!

    • Bethany -

      April 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

      It’s not very often I see the sunrise so it was pretty nice! @Rebecca,

  • […] and Beans has a gorgeous photo of an Icelandic sunrise, and an amusing story of how they got the […]

  • Grace @ Green Global Travel -

    December 18, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Hilarious post! Hopefully the beautiful sunrise made sleeping in your car worth it 🙂