On a visit to… Denitsa Stoyanova (Iceland)

Other posts from the On a visit to.. series:

Since I was very little I have always dreamed about faraway magical lands, and as much as I continue to travel and learn I see that they really exist on our wonderful Planet Earth. This year is crazy strange, I can’t even find a proper word to describe it. I have cut so many travel ideas (can’t call them plans) but thanks to this virtual place of mine, I can have my #omtrips in the company of so many inspiring people.

Recently, I really enjoy the feed of Denitsa Stoyanova, a travel blogger who after moving to Iceland does not stop exploring this beautiful country and shows wonderfully green pictures on Instagram.

Today, we will open the door and we will take a calm walk with Deni through the magical land of Iceland.

How do you imagine the ideal “om trip”?

I feel like I need a long beach holiday after experiencing several months of strict lockdown at home, followed by several months in chilly Iceland. So, my ideal “om trip” would be to a less-visited seaside town in Portugal or France, where I could enjoy the sun, sea, and local food.

Is it possible to take an “om trip” to Iceland?

Yes, definitely! Nature here is still largely untouched and even during the tourist boom, there were enough remote places, where you can relax and feel connected to nature.

As a travel blogger, you travel across so many countries. What makes Iceland so different from the other part of the world?

Geologically speaking, Iceland is very different from any other country in Europe and many landscapes here seem extra-terrestrial, almost like the Moon or Mars. Furthermore, this is the only place in Europe where you can find geysers and, unlike the one in Yosemite National Park, the Icelandic geyser Strokkur erupts every 10-15 minutes! Historically speaking, centuries of isolation have produced a unique Icelandic culture and way of life, including exceptional artistic output like the sagas, and very unusual foods, like smoked sheep’s head and rotten shark. These cultural differences appeal to many people nowadays.

Share your experience from your first days in Iceland?

Since this is my fifth time in Iceland, I wasn’t really surprised by anything. However, moving to a country is a lot different than simply visiting, so my first days in July 2020 were mostly taken with different admin tasks and only a bit of traveling to favorite places.

There are lots of clichés about Iceland, which ones proved to be false?

That people believe in elves. You can see the famous elf houses in people’s backyards or at different places on the ring-road, but I don’t think that people are taking this very seriously. It’s just a part of their folklore they want to preserve and promote, and rightly so – I find the elf houses incredibly cute too.

Three things which we absolutely have to take with us when we travel to this part of the world.

The weather here is unpredictable, so three things I always have with me are sunglasses, hats, and gloves. Of course, don’t forget your camera too.

How to look like the locals?

Generally, fashion in Iceland is very low-key and basically, anything goes. People are dressed comfortably; however, Iceland also has a large proportion of artists and some people dress extravagantly. So, having a bold accessory to your outfit is a good idea to look like the locals. I personally would encourage you to dress for the weather, but this might immediately mark you as a tourist.

What should we absolutely try when we’re in Iceland?

You should definitely visit one of the famous spas or any municipal hot-water pool and relax with the locals. The visit should be followed by the Icelandic national meal: hot dog and ice-cream.

Where would you take us to have a cup of coffee/or tea?

I would take you to a cute café called Kaffibrennslan, which is situated in an old house right downtown and, rather unusually for Reykjavik, has a garden area.

Special places in Iceland you’d like to share with us.

There are so many! I personally love the remote little villages in both the West and East Fjords of the country. For example, the towns of Ísafjörður in the West and Seyðisfjörður in the East.

We can’t travel around without stopping by some galleries and museums. Tell us which are your favorites in Iceland?

The National Art Gallery and the National History Museum in Reykjavik are worth a visit if you would like to learn more about the country’s culture. I would also recommend several open-air museums, such as Skógasafn, Glaumbær, and Keldur, where you can visit reconstructed turf houses.

Which book do you think will be most suitable for our trip to Iceland?

Iceland is the country with the most published authors per capita in the world, so there are very many good Icelandic books I could recommend. However, I think that The Blue Fox by Sjón (на български преведена като “Сказание за лисицата”) is a beautiful tale that can help you tune in with the feeling of Iceland.

Do you practice yoga? Where would you take us for a yoga practice in Iceland?

Unfortunately, I do not practice yoga, but I know that there are free yoga classes in some of the parks in Reykjavik in summer, so this would be the place to go.

Can you describe your life here and now with just one photograph?

You travel a lot. Tell us about your healthy routines on the road.

When it comes to eating, I always try to have fresh fruits and vegetables when I am on the road and if possible, to prepare some snacks in advance. Whenever I can, I would also do my stretching exercises in the mornings/evenings. Finally, I try to sleep for at least 7-8 hours even when on a long road trip.

Where do you find inspiration for doing all the things you love? Tell us about your recipe for happiness.

I don’t really think I have a recipe. I am thankful for each day and I try to make the most out of it.

 


Who is Denitsa Stoyanova?

 

 

Denitsa is a travel blogger and primary school teacher, who has lived in Bulgaria, Austria, and England, and is currently based in Iceland. She is passionate about exploring other cultures through their language, art, and cuisine. She is also a nature-lover and a recent hiking enthusiast.

 

 

P.S. All pictures are kindly provided by Denitsa Stoyanova.

 

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