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Just before leaving the UK, the weather forecast had given out a storm and we were expecting to be landing into Iceland with 50mph winds, snow and freezing cold temperatures. I expected that this trip would be somewhat a test of survival skills and seeing how much our bodies could take. Fortunately, we were very wrong and what met us was crystal clear blue skies as far as the eye could see…and although the temperature was hovering around freezing, it was far from unbearable. What I loved most about landing in Iceland however, was what my best friend Frank had arranged for me – for the first time in my life, somebody waiting at the airport with a big sign with my name on it.
As we were walking out of the airport, I saw some of the coolest vehicles I had ever seen; minibus-monster trucks. Mercedes Sprinters and Ford E-150s with jacked up suspension and wheels very nearly as tall as me. My immediate thought was I gotta get me one of these and even to this day I fantasise about driving around suburban England in a 20ft tall go-anywhere people carrier. They’re built to take tourists into the middle of this rugged volcanic country and I’m sure they’re perfect for it…but they’d also look fairly rad parked outside Ambleside’s Tesco Express.
We arrived at the rental depot (curiously named S.A.D. cars) to find a decade old, quarter-million km Subaru Forester waiting for us. Christened ‘Ru a coloured a dark red, the car immediately had more character than most. badged Turbo-S and curiously low slung at the back, with an aux socket and enormous sunroof, not much could make this car any more ideal…apart from being curiously low slung at the back, but I’ll get to that later…
About two hours later, in fact, as that’s when we pulled into our first destination and realised our car was sick. Do we keep going or do we take it back and swap it? Well, it had an aux socket, so we could musically connect any of our devices. Therefore it was the best car in the world. Did I mention it was badged Turbo-S?
We parked up in the smallest of capital cities, Reykjavik. A city which feels much more like a country village – all of the infrastructure but none of the scale of any other city. It has quaint streets, lovely cafes and restaurants and