Iceland travel report

Well, I managed to get it all into a carry-on...but the carry-on was so heavy I had to check it in. :) Oh well. It worked out. There was time to collect my bag at the airport before meeting at the car rental place for travel to final destination, and the carry on (just) fit into the tiny vehicle with the others' bags. 

Iceland was amazing. I only wish I could have stayed for longer and explored more. Since I was on retreat and then at a conference, my excursions were limited. 

I took a lot of clothing and needed every bit of it. I wore every single thing -- most things multiple times. I'll post a full list of items below and you will see many in the Finds. 

It was cold in Siglufjörður (N. 66, just slightly below the Arctic Circle) and also at Þingvellir. So, taking a cue from Smittie, I layered a raincoat over my North Face puffer (which I threw into my pack at the last minute and very glad I did!) Reykjavik was chilly rather than cold, and rainy, except for one lucky morning. 

I had only my iphone with me so photo quality is not fabulous, alas. 

Back home now with a sore throat! Hoping to heal up over the weekend. 

1. My pretty room at Siglo hotel
2. The view from the window seat.
5. The view at 11:30 never got dark. 
7. The evening we arrived was the occasion of the first gay marriage ever officiated at the local church. BIG celebration. Whole town came out and there was much dancing and quaffing of champagne. 
18. We heard the famous Karl Ove Knausgaard talk as a keynote in the conference.
19-20 -- some fashion fun. The designs were wonderful. I bought a ring (which I will show later). My friend bought a sweater. 
22-23 -- the art was amazing...the first photo is all hair from Icelandic sheep. 
24. Haldor Laxness's house (Nobel winning Icelandic author). 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Jenn replied 4 years ago

    I'm glad you had such a great trip, and that your capsule worked out. The light there is just AMAZING. Every picture looks wonderful.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    What I brought: 


    J. Crew waxed cotton coat
    North Face puffer
    McGinley rain jacket
    Reiss navy tuxedo blazer


    Cropped jeans
    Sloan navy trousers
    Black Kit & Ace wool/stretch trousers
    Zella leggings
    Rain pants


    Grey striped cashmere sweater
    Navy & blue stripe cotton sweater
    White and navy stripe cotton sweater
    Grey Kit and Ace turtleneck
    Navy merino tee

    Knitted tops

    Zara navy striped blouson tee
    J. Crew peplum top
    Out of Print library stamp tee
    Silver linen tee

    Shirts/ blouses

    Denim shirt
    Silk kitty print shirt
    Silk toile print blouse

    2 belts (silver and navy)


    Hiking boot
    Silver sneakers
    Grey rainproof booties
    Flip flops for pool 

    Bathing suit 


    4 brightly coloured spring scarves plus cashmere wrap

    2 purses (small black and white and larger tote)

    Undies and base layers: 

    Thermal t-neck
    Merino top and pants
    Heat-Tech top and pants 
    Camis and undies/ bras

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    Ohmigosh. It's beautiful. I just knew it! I love the red and blue buildings. I love your travel wardrobe. I have hearted all your finds.

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    Oh, hey! Were you actually warm enough?

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Jenn, you are so right about the light. I just soaked it in. It is truly out of this world. Most of these days were extremely overcast but even in overcast weather the light came through. 

  • Style Fan replied 4 years ago

    Looks like a great trip Suz.  As Jenn says the light is amazing there.  It looks incredible.  So glad your capsule worked out.  Great idea of Smittie's to layer the raincoat over the puffer.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Rachy, I was warm enough with hat and gloves and layered coats and base layers. :)   It was kind of like early March in Kingston so I was pretty much prepared for it. The wind is incredible, though, and that is the part that shocks. 

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    YAY! I was waiting for this. I only have a moment, but what a treat to see your photos. Now I want to go back (next time I'd like to just rent a car and explore on my own). Isn't it such a fascinating place? I'm so glad your capsule worked out and you had a good time. You look totally fashionable and fab. :-)

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    Love your scenery pictures. It's so beautiful. It looks really cold! I'm glad your wardrobe worked out. Funny about checking your carry on!

  • replied 4 years ago

    It looks a bit like Newfoundland!
    I love the picture of the clothing display in the shop. The clothes seem bright and cheery.

    You must have fit right in with your North face Puffer and rain pants. I can imagine your hikes were pretty amazing.

  • replied 4 years ago

    The pictures are gorgeous and you looked SO STYLISH.  You did YLF proud.  

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    You look beautifully turned out from a carry-on, despite the weather. It sounds a bit like the west coast of Ireland in early spring. (I wore a puffer jacket with a hood, wool sweater and more under my trench, with hat, warm scarf and gloves and the wind was still very cold on a sunny day.)
    My favorite outfit is #3. Are you wearing the cashmere scarf here?

  • deb replied 4 years ago

    Beautiful pics!

  • Joyce B replied 4 years ago

    Glad that your capsule worked out so nicely for you. You look fab in all your outfits. Thank you for sharing your trip with us and the pictures of that beautiful trip.

  • Sveta replied 4 years ago

    I agree with Smithie: it does look as Newfoundland (especially #2). Now I need to go to Iceland in person in compare :-)
    Suz, I think you packed as a pro for such a challenging trip and looked wonderful in every picture. Compared to you I looked like a hot mess on my recent vacation to Italy (but it was hot there:-) ) I especially like how you layered a coat over a puffer (love the color for you BTW) - such a brilliant idea. I took my lightweight puffer to Newfoundland last June and was so glad I did - I wore it half of the time.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    YAY. I have been waiting for this. Welcome home. Glad you had a wonderful time. 

    SOOOO glad you packed a lot, AND needed it. Great layering technique too. Happy you were sufficiently warm. (Very glad you brought our lightweight puffer. Life saver). 

    You look gorgeous, fresh, pulled together, practical, and fab no matter what. Not an easy feat when you travel, yet you succeeded. Nicely done.

    You look "local" to me - although I haven't visited Iceland yet. I think your hair complements and blends with the scenery in the most natural, hip way - that you simply pass for Icelandic! 

    Thanks for sharing the fun pics. 

  • columbine(erin) replied 4 years ago

    You are an inspiration! Hope you feel better soon and glad you were warm enough! The photos are beautiful. 

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thanks for all the kind words. Angie, I do look a bit Icelandic, and there is a reason. My heritage is mostly Scottish with some English... (at least as far  as I know). Well, it turns out that Icelandic DNA is at least 62% Scottish/ Irish (Celtic) and not Nordic (despite the fact that the Norse conquered them and ruled them, and then later the Danes.) This is because the wives of the Vikings were mostly Irish/ Scottish slaves. When their husbands left to continue their explorations, these wives often kept themselves warm with the male slaves -- who were also Scottish/ Irish. I know all of this because on our first evening I was watching and listening to the two Icelandic presenters and kept seeing resemblances to my I went and Googled the situation later on.... 

    My fashion sense is a bit Icelandic, too, or perhaps Scandinavian -- I thought a lot of Harmonica and Ingunn, too, with their love of bright hits of colour and how happy colour can make me on grey days. Mostly cool neutrals with hits of super bright. I will also say that the light is so astonishingly clear that the colour seems even more welcome than it does in my home environment! Even the greyest day "read" as very bright to my eyes. I absolutely loved it. (Though I wonder how people manage in winter???) I did not buy any clothing but that is what I saw on the streets and in stores, although there were also some warmer earth tones. 

    The puffer really was a life saver. I could have managed without it (with all my other layers) but it made dressing much easier. 

    Sveta and Smittie -- parts of Iceland do resemble Newfoundland. Which makes sense, of course. Other parts are quite different. The topography changes enormously in a short space. And now, Sveta, where are those Italy pics? ;) 

    Joy, the scarf in #3 is actually a wool and cashmere woven from Land's End many years' back. I don't wear it often but it seemed to work well on this trip. 

    JAileen, it was chilly, but not as cold as a Canadian winter, that's for sure. It really felt like early spring in Canada, which was one reason the pink puffer seemed perfect, esp. with navy and white. In fact their winters are far, far warmer than ours. The Gulf Stream keeps them warm in winter but their summers never really happen. They have a great sense of humour about this. See photo. 

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing such fun pictures and your outfits were very put together.  Happy to hear the layering worked and you were warm. 

  • merwoman replied 4 years ago

    Beautiful pics and you look absolutely at home in Iceland Suz. What an experience! What was the food like? You've got me wanting to see this beautiful country for myself - thanks for sharing!

  • Isabel replied 4 years ago

    WOW !!!  Amazing. I am SOOOO glad that you shared all this. You looked fantastic and the place looks incredible. We came so close to going this past April...but family obligations derail it for us. The wonderful thing is that it is a relatively short flight to such a fabulous place.

  • Karie replied 4 years ago

    WOW. Sounds like you packed perfectly and had a wonderful time. I was also wondering what the food was like. It sounds like the trip of a lifetime!

  • Barbara Diane replied 4 years ago

    Fabulous clothes and stunning location. You and Iceland both look great.

  • JAileen replied 4 years ago

    Suz, interesting about the genetics. I did genetic testing this year (as part of a large study) and although I'm primarily British and Irish, I was surprised to find out I also have a bit of Scandinavian and Finnish.

  • kerlyn replied 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos, Suz.  You look lovely, and I'm inspired by your smart packing!

  • Dianna replied 4 years ago

    Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing. You look gorgeous in every outfit.

  • Aquamarine replied 4 years ago

    Amazing photos, thanks for sharing. I'd love to go someday.

  • Nebraskim replied 4 years ago

    So very beautiful. Thanks for sharing your amazing photos and experiences. I don't travel as I hate flying but were I to be persuaded to travel, Iceland is my No. 1 destination because I'm interested in the geology and wildlife. I keep urging my spouse as he loves photography and this would be wonderful for him. 

  • Summer replied 4 years ago

    Iceland looks beautiful - if a little chilly! - and it sounds like an amazing trip.  Your travel capsule also looks very well thought out and lovely. 
    Take care of that throat!

  • harmonica replied 4 years ago

    Just a short notice. I have been waiting for this post! So happy you had an amazing time and fun to read how the capsule in action and that the layering worked well. You look so FAB! I'll come back and read more thoroughly later. What a treat :-)

    ETA: couldn't resist. The culture, history and landscape of Iceland is so fascinating! Fun that Knausgård gave a talk. He is an intriguing character, indeed. Literature professor Toril Moi had some very interesting remarks on his authorship that is worth looking at, if you are interested in the fiction/non-fiction/autobiography debate. I think she also discuss how gender influence the reviews and reception in general. And yes, I LOVE the Nordic summer light! I think my location is about the same latitude as Iceland and last night a friend of mine and I saw the sun set at midnight and rise a few hours later. 

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    What a fabulous trip! Thank you so much for sharing with us! The light, the colors, the severe beauty, are all astonishing.  Love the bits of color among the snug and cozy items in your outfits!

  • Mirjana replied 4 years ago

    The pictures are gorgeous and you are so stylish. I am glad you have so wonderful trip.

  • LaPed replied 4 years ago

    Amazing photos, Suz! Glad you brought your puffer. And Knausgaard?! Jealous! I end up with a sore throat every single time I fly -- take care. :)

  • Carole replied 4 years ago

    No doubt you were the best dressed person in Iceland...what a beautiful travel capsule! Gorgeous head to toe!

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    Wow! I am gawking as much at your outfits as the scenery shots :) ! Sounds like a wonderful trip and you were hitting all the style notes perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tanya replied 4 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your travel pics, Suz!   The scenery is stunning, and I can imagine it is even lovelier in person.   You looked super stylish, and am glad to hear the capsule worked so well.

  • Amy Isabella replied 4 years ago

    Your trip sounds amazing, the scenery looks absolutely stunning and you look beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thank you all for the kind compliments. I will look up Toril Moi's remarks on Knausgard, Harmonica. I read Siri Hustvedt on him and that was interesting for sure. I have only read the first volume of his struggle. :) 

  • skylurker replied 4 years ago

    I'm amazed by the 11:30pm light in #5, thanks for sharing.
    You look great, you seem to have a good handle on the colours that suit your grey hair now.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    WOW, Suz. That's fun and fascinating heritage. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading it, and feel a little validated! 

  • Laura1975 replied 4 years ago

    Oh my goodness! You're making me want to go back to Iceland. I had a short trip there about 12 years ago and would like to go back and see more.

    Your travel capsule is stunning. You look very appropriately dressed for stylish travel.

  • Sal replied 4 years ago

    I saw this in the weekend but was on my phone so wanted to see the photos on a bigger screen. It sounds like a wonderful trip and your clothing is very stylish indeed.  So glad it went well and hope the throat is improving!!

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    Beautiful all  around! Thanks for sharing and glad you had a good time.

  • replied 4 years ago

    What an amazing trip - celebrities, nature, current cultural events - WOW!

    I think sometimes we forget that it is possible to under-pack, as well as over-pack.  Sounds like you hit it on the nose in that regard!  Cold weather trips make staying within carryon limits tough - once you need more than one coat and multiple sweaters, it gets difficult.

  • Cee replied 4 years ago

    Good thing you researched what clothes to take, Suz :)

  • Inge replied 4 years ago

    Yay, I was hoping you would post a travel update.
    Brilliant that everything you packed was put to good use. You looked stylish and fab every day, Suz, and marvelous that Iceland was everything you hoped for (it is very high on my travel destination list). Such a stunningly beautiful country, WOW!

  • Sara L. replied 4 years ago

    I love trip and packing posts!  I'm impressed that you fit everything into your carry-on, but I've had the problem of overweight bags too.  I think I'm doing so good in my packing only to find out the bag is too heavy.  Once this happened on the return trip and I didn't realize it was too heavy until the bag was weighed at the airport.  DH and I ended up partially unpacking our bags and moving things around to distribute the weight more evenly to avoid a bag fee. 

  • Julie replied 4 years ago

    Thank you for posting this! I love your photos and your outfits. Beautiful all around.

  • Elizabeth P replied 4 years ago

    I could have sworn I commented on this already... but maybe not! 

    I did a four day stop over in Iceland on my way back from Sweden/Norway, a gazillion years ago.  Loved every minute of it, and it's very high on my list of places to return to some day.  Your photos are gorgeous, you're reigniting my interest!

    I can't believe you did that climate in a carry on... good for you!  And with a variety of needs (conference wear plus retreat wear).  I'm in awe.  Esp as you looked stylish and put together, not just in quick dry gear :)

    Will look at your list carefully and file it for future reference.  I'm heading to Scotland for two weeks this summer, and am wondering if I should take the carry on challenge myself.  Hmm.

    TFS!  Would love to see more photos!

  • JuniperGreen replied 4 years ago

    Fabulous vacay wardrobe and pics!  Thank you for sharing!

  • Chris987 replied 4 years ago

    wow, what a great report, fab travel capsule, and LOVE your info on the history of Iceland ethnicities. I can see how you felt like you fit right in.

    I visited the Orkney Islands some years ago in June. Their climate is similar to what you describe, including those long summer days (and long winter nights). Their ethnicity is half Scottish/Irish and half Norse, although your story about what the slaves did to stay warm in Iceland probably applies in Orkney too :-). I stayed in a Castle-turned-BnB for 2 nights and spent one day indoors in the library while it poured outside....and in that library was a very old copy of "The Icelandic Sagas" that had been collected by the original aristocrat who built the castle in the mid 1800s. I really wanted to look at it but no way they were allowing anyone to touch it. If you run out of things to read on Iceland.....

    That "waiting for summer since 1926" is really funny. I hear that parts of Alaska are similar. Your photos are absolutely fabulous!

  • Laurie replied 4 years ago

    Marveling that you managed to get all of that awesomeness into a carry on, heavy or not.   
    I have no knowledge of Iceland, but I guess I've seen iconic photos over time because this is exactly what I would have imagined, and then a whole lot more. And you really do look like you belong there!   
    Like Joy, there is something about #3 that makes it my favorite out of every last fab outfit.   

    (Side note - interesting information about the ethnicity/heritage there. I'm rapidly learning about ancestry via DNA testing and genetics as my son is applying to companies like 23andme and I'm doing research with him!)

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