Rover of the Month: Laura Knits and Hikes!
When you like knitting as much as being out in nature, you need a specific kind of tour. Laura found exactly the right tour for her, “knitting on ice” and went home with a lifetime of memories. Super jeeps, awesome nature and a tonne of knitting are just some of the experiences that we offer to special interests.
What motivated you to visit Iceland?
Knitting! I am an avid knitter and knew that local knitwear designer, Hélène Magnússon, ran Icelandic knitting tours. The country had also fascinated me for a few years, with it’s rich knitting history as well as it’s stunning scenery and natural wonders. So having the opportunity to learn some new knitting skills as well as exploring Iceland was the perfect reason to visit.
There are so many memories and I can safely say that it has been the best trip of my entire life. Every day I could feel my heart expanding with joy of what I was seeing, doing and the people I was with
How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?
The tour was 6 days long and we were a group of strangers, which I was nervous about at first. However, after stripping off and changing into swim suits together before hopping into a geothermal river, we quickly became a bonded group! The whole trip was a wonderful experience to share together and 6 months later and I’m still in contact with many of the strangers, now friends, that I met on that trip.
Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?
The tour is called the Icelandic Knitter's Knitting on Ice and it appealed to me as it incorporated several of the sights I wanted to see as well as learning all about Icelandic knitting techniques, and the Lopi sweater. We hiked in the Smokey Valley where we took a dip in the geothermal rivers and climbed the Sólheimajökull Glacier. I loved how the sightseeing and hiking was broken up with classes, visits to knitting shops and free time too. We had the option during free time to do more activities like horse riding or to simply relax and knit.
What is one thing you will always remember about your tour?
There are so many memories that I can safely say that it has been the best trip of my entire life. Every day I could feel my heart expanding with joy of what I was seeing, doing and the people I was with. Memories that will stand out forever will be seeing the Northern Lights, knitting on a glacier, laying down in river as hot as a bath, eating the delicious meals our guide Kristina cooked for us each night and meeting some lovely people. Looking back on every part of the trip still makes me beam with happiness.
What is something that you learned about Iceland that surprised you?
I was fairly ignorant about Icelandic history before my visit; so many things surprised me such as the folklore around trolls and elves and it’s political history. But I think the biggest surprise was that the Lopi sweater is a fairly recent garment that was popularized by the rise in tourism on the island. I had assumed that it was an ancient creation, but knowing that it was basically a tourist souvenir which is now an important part of Icelandic identity was fascinating.
If you had more time in Iceland, what else would you like to see and do?
I would like to do a road trip around the island and see more of the Golden Circle sights. I would love to join another of Hélène’s knitting tours also. The Hiking and Knitting with the Elves tour is next on my wish list.
What tips do you have for people who want to visit Iceland?
If you can, try to get to the more popular sights as early as possible to enjoy them without buses of tourists turning up. Our guide was great at getting us up and out to places that the tourists didn’t know about yet or took us on a path less traveled which was great.
Also, take the time to meet some of the local people that live in Iceland. They are lovely, really interesting to talk to and are the best way of finding out about what it is to be an Icelandic person today.
What adventure are you off to next? What is your next dream adventure?
I live in London but my father is Scottish, so this summer my husband and I are driving my parents and my daughter up to the Scottish Highlands for a week away. We will be taking long walks, paddling in the mountain streams and visiting places from my childhood holidays. I’m excited to be traveling to another remote landscape like Iceland again, just with a lot more trees!
Want to be our next Rover of the Month?
Laura’s adventure is only one of the many features that make for an unforgettable experience. Book your tour and join us for an excursion that is guaranteed to make memories that last a lifetime!
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