Iceland 2019

Iceland will always hold a special place in my heart. We honeymooned there in 2013 and I credit it for starting our love of travel. It is dramatic, majestic and beautiful. 

We recently spent just a few days there with our adventure pals, my cousin and her husband.

I am going to do a run down of what we did and then in the next few weeks I will post all of our pictures in one big gallery post.

We flew in Wednesday morning to the KEF airport. Alyssa and Ian arrived before us. We showered at their hotel which was a blissful surprise after a full day of airplanes and airports.

We headed into town. We of course stopped by the Christmas shops. We picked up a yule lad ornament and a picture of all the yule lads. Ornaments are the thing we always get on trips.

Ryan stopped in the Red Cross store to look for homemade wool things. We had great success here six years ago. Not so much this time. Could have been the time of year or influx of tourist. Six years ago travel to Iceland was unheard of but now it is definitely the trendy place.

We grabbed a few hot dogs for a lunch/snack before our tours. We did the Puffin and a Whale watching tour. The puffin are adorable. They mate for life and return to the same place they were born for breeding season. Afterwards they float out to sea and live a solitary life until next breeding season. An introvert’s dream.

Our whale watching tour proved eventful with quite a few Minke Whales, Harbor Porpoises, and White Beaked dolphins. I love the way the dolphins show off for the boat.

We grabbed some lobster soup from Saegreifinn to warm our sea wind and rain bodies. Pretty tasty.

Our Air BnB had a beautiful view. Ian made us spaghetti for dinner. We filled the hot tub up. The water in Iceland is very hot or very cold. I managed to get too hot for everyone including my hot lava water loving self. After a quick dip, Ryan and I hit the bed. Alyssa and Ian visited our nay-bors.

Thursday after an omelet breakfast, we hit the Golden Circle. Visiting Geysir, Gullfoss, and Thingvellir. We walked around on the North American tectonic plate and to Oxararfoss enjoying the views.

We visited a church. Complete with an underground tunnel leading to and from the church to the near by old village, currently being excavated.

We had lunch at Fredhemir. Which is a greenhouse restaurant which grows tomatoes. The specialty is tomato soup and homemade bread. ALL dishes are have tomatoes, even the desserts and the water pitchers had tomatoes in them. We dined on the soup and and bread. The cucumber salad to top the bread was delicious. They use hot spring water to regulate the temperature of the greenhouse and it call can be controlled remotely via the Internet. A lovely well run, thought out and designed space. This had us thinking what other fruits or veggies could you use this concep with? Our top picks cucumbers and strawberries.

We continued onward to Kerid crater. We hiked around the top. Took some accidentally silly pictures before heading to Secret Lagoon. A delightful hot springs. We relaxed for a bit before heading home to get ready for tomorrow’s adventures.

Friday, Ian made us toad in the hole for breakfast. We ventured toward Jokulsarlon. Ryan and I missed this stop on our honeymoon because we ran out of daylight. I am so glad we made the four hour drive trip. Extraordinary does not even cover it. Gatorade Glacier  Freeze, right? We took a boat ride. Tasted 1000 year old ice. They have food trucks there so we had more lobster soup and rolls.

The lagoon empties into the Atlantic. When the tide goes out the icebergs float to sea. They quickly breakdown and are washed up on the black sand beach as polished ice aka Diamond beach. Another truly amazing sight.

We headed back towards our Air B& B with many planned stops along the way.

We grabbed dinner in Vik before venturing onto the black sand beach. I had the most disappointing spicy Asian noodles ever. Ha! Ryan and I recreated some pictures from our anniversary. We drive up behind the beautiful church for some good views of the town and ocean.

Afterwards it was on to waterfall land! Driving along Route 1 in Southern Iceland you can see many waterfalls while you are just driving.

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a beautiful canyon not too far off the main highway. You can walk to the top overlook to get a better view. The bridge crossing the stream also provides a great view. There are hikes to do inside tbe canyon but we did not.

We paused at a few and my favorite one you can walk behind.

Skogafoss is right off the highway. An easy flat walk. Impressive. You can walk up some stairs to the top. Ryan and I did on our 1st trip but honestly the impressive view is down looking up.

Seljalandsfoss is my favorite. It can also be seen from the main highway but the real treat is walking behind it. It does require a little scrambling on rocks and take care as the rocks are wet from waterfall spray. I wore my rain jacket and rain pants but also flip-flops so the scrambling is not terrible. Were the flip flops a poor choice on my part yes. Also, we entered to the right walked behind the falls and exited to the left as you are facing the falls. The right side is much easier should you want to double back and exit that way. There are public bathrooms here and a food truck. You can also continue down a trail to the left of the falls to see some other waterfalls a short distance away.

Svartifoss is surrounded by basalt columns and the inspiration for the church design in Reykjavik. The hike is a gradual incline. There are a few waterfalls along the way. Again bathrooms and places to eat near parking. Ryan and I noticed this growth due to the increased tourism. Most places had no wash closets and certainly no food six years ago.

Stjornarfoss is again right off the highway close to a camp ground. We saw some cute sheep frolicking in the area here.

Systrafoss is located in what looks like an enchanted fairy forest. It rivals for my favorite simply because of the surrounding rock and vegetation.

We finally headed to our AirBnB to pack and ready ourselves for a day of travel on Saturday as we headed into the Arctic Circle to visit the Lofoten Islands.

Throwback 2013

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