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American traveller creates a superb Iceland travel-log we can recommend to any visitor

By Magnús Sveinn Helgason

  • Primal earth  "It really feels like the core of the earth is trying to get out, through all the cracks and crevices." Photo/Alex Cornell

An American designer and filmmaker, Alex Cornell, has created a travel guide like no other. The travel guide, which is set up as an itinerary for an 8-day road trip around Iceland, contains tips and suggestions we at Iceland Magazine can recommend to any visitor. 

Alex_Cornell.jpg

Alex Cornell

Tries to visit as often as possible
Alex has visited Iceland multiple times and hopes to come back very soon, “I love it more than any place in the world and try and go back whenever possible. I’ve been there before multiple times and hopefully again soon! I usually stay for 10 days.”

On his last visit he planned to “create a travel-log unlike any other”, and brought along equipment to capture the experience. The results can be seen in the travel guide, which is available at his personal web page, as well as the following video:

Planet Iceland - Expedition Memories from Alex Cornell on Vimeo.

Iceland is "like a beta-version of another planet, being tested on Earth"
What draws Alex back to Iceland is the landscapes, which never fail to surprise him:

"The terrain is like a beta-version of another planet, being tested on Earth. That or the workings of a crazed videogame designer run amok using a terrain simulator. It really feels like the core of the earth is trying to get out, through all the cracks and crevices."

In his travel guide Alex advices future visitors they are not coming to Iceland to stay in Reykjavík, sit on a tourbus or play it safe:

"You go to Iceland to have adventures … You want to design your trip so that you see as much of the island as possible."

This does not necessary mean you need to rent a four-by-four or travel to the central highlands or trek to the glaciers: Alex’s advice on how to find adventures and see as much of the island as possible is simply to drive the ring-road!

"The Ring Road is designed perfectly for a road trip. According to Google Maps, and under ideal circumstances, the total drive time is around 17 hours. I recommend undertaking this in 8-10 days, which allows for plenty of time to explore (and importantly, venture into the West Fjords)."

You need to prepare well before entering Icelandic highways, because the roads are scary, the landscape is distracting and insane and Icelandic motorists act as if they all have a death wish:

"Driving in Iceland can be really scary. Even on the Ring Road, on a flat straightaway, things can be nerve-racking. The issue is lane-width. Icelandic roads are thin and people drive really fast (think the Golden Gate bridge middle lanes, before they put in the barrier)."

You need to see more than Reykjavík and the "Golden Circle"
The most important advice Alex gives travellers is to get further than Reykjavík or the golden circle.

"My favorite place in Iceland is the Myvatn region. A perfect day for me starts with breakfast at Vogafjós Guesthouse, then a trip to Dettifoss and the Horse City, a small tour of Krafla and Viti, and then a relaxing afternoon at the Nature Baths. If there is any time left, I like driving around this region and looking at the geothermal sights."

The one area Alex has yet to visit is Hornstrandir, which he hopes to visit at some time:

"I've actually never been there myself, but I feel like it sort of represents the ultimate "remote" destination in Iceland."

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