One of the first things you might think about when planning a trip to Iceland is whether to drive the full length of the ring road that goes around the entire country – known as Route 1, and not to be confused with the Golden Circle which is close to Reykjavik and gives you easy access to some key sights that can be seen in a single day.

To assess this, we needed to first know how far it was and how long it would take. The answer to that question is that Iceland’s entire ring road covers 1,317 kilometres and, in theory, can be driven in just 16.5 hours (albeit through non-stop driving – but even if sharing the driving, you would still need to stop to change drivers and to re-fuel!). This also assumes no traffic whatsoever.

Given that you can, in theory, comfortably get all the way

Read More

Holed up in an Airbnb in Turkey with expired visas, an Oakland man and his wife long for the United States to tell them when, at last, they can come home.

Saleh Khalaf, 28, and Fatimah al-Adhmawee, 23, of southern Iraq, have waited since 2019 for the US State Department to process the wife’s visa application so she can join her husband in California. The couple’s attorney said immigration officials gave them the impression last summer that their wait was over, provided they could travel to the US Embassy in the massive Turkish capital of Ankara.

They arrived four months ago and were told in September that al-Adhmawee would be imminently approved for an immigrant visa granting her permanent residency, but US officials then inexplicably went silent, documents and correspondence shared with The Chronicle show.

The husband, whose story inspired many when as a boy he survived catastrophic injuries from

Read More

Occupying the uppermost floor of the already-renowned Hotel Keflavik, Diamond Suites Luxury Boutique Hotel is Iceland‘s first five star hotel and consists of a collection of individually-decorated suites. Whilst the building’s exterior might seem rather unremarkable, each suite is ultra-luxurious and has its own unique character and theme for travellers who demand the best.

The welcome

Tucked away on the top floor, Diamond Suites is completely private and separate from Hotel Keflavik, and even has its own small reception desk. This was unmanned at the time of our visit, with a smooth and seamless check-in performed instead at the main hotel reception area on the ground floor.

The room

The door into Diamond Suites initially takes you into a private

Read More

(CNN) — It’s been a year of airport chaos and problems with baggage handling have left many travelers struggling to reunite with their luggage.

Flying with only carry-on is as desirable as ever. But for one traveler, even that isn’t minimalist enough. She’s hitting the road with only a small, 12-liter (3-gallon) shoulder bag.

Brooke Schoenman is an American woman living in Australia and the publisher of Her Packing Lista website which she uses to pass on her wisdom when it comes to whittling down what to take on the road.

And that’s something that she’s road-tested almost to the extreme.

Schoenman’s path to burden-easing enlightenment began when she studied in Italy before embarking on a post-graduate round-the-world trip. Along the way, she explored Guatemala and later worked teaching English in Ukraine before moving down under 13 years ago.

“I think I had a 55-liter backpack and a day

Read More

We arrived at Hotel Keflavik ahead of our return flight back to the UK for which we had a very early start. (The hotel is just a 6-minute drive from the airport.) The building actually houses two hotels, both under the same management – the four star Hotel Keflavik and, on the uppermost floor, Diamond Suites Luxury Boutique Hotel. Many of the facilities are common to both hotels. We are able to bring you details on both hotels since our sons stayed in a room at Hotel Keflavik, whilst we stayed in the Diamond Suites.

The welcome

Two large stone lions stand on guard at either side of Hotel Keflavik’s main entrance. Parking close to the hotel entrance was free, with

Read More