Ice Ice Baby
In June I convinced a lot of people to go to Iceland with me. Actually, it didn't take that much convincing, everyone was more like, "yea absolutely I'll go." We were there for three days and stayed in the capital city of Reykjavik which is on the western side of the country. We actually used Iceland as a "stop over" on our way to Europe (FUN FACT: technically Iceland is part of North America!) because you can get a sweet deal on airfare if you use one of the Icelandic airlines such as WOW or Iceland Air. Ryan and I got a flight from New York to Iceland to Ireland and back for well under $1000. I would highly recommend doing an Iceland stopover if you are traveling to Europe any time soon!
Here was our itinerary for 3 days in Iceland:
Volcanic rocks? Science teacher GEEKIN'
Let me begin by saying that this day was NUTZ because Ryan and I had flew in on a redeye flight where the sun never set because we happened to be visiting Iceland right after the summer solstice so THE SUN DOESN'T GO DOWN. So, we were on a plane which appeared to be flying into the sun all night and got no sleep, and then landed in Iceland at around 6 a.m. and just decided to start our day because we didn't want to miss anything by sleeping. On our first day we drove along Iceland's "Golden Circle," which is basically a circular route you can take to hit a lot of the major sightseeing on the western side of the island. I was beat but I'm so glad that we powered through! Iceland really reminded me of... the moon. There are almost no trees on the whole island and it's filled with these lava rocks so it really feels otherworldly. Couple that with steam rising out of the ground and waterfalls that you can't see until your right next to them and lakes shaped like perfect circles and water that is the lightest, opaque baby blue color and you are really feeling like your on a different planet.
Here's a list of the spots we hit up on our drive! We rented a car for the trip as well. It was super affordable and well worth having it the whole time.
A trip to Iceland would not be complete without visiting the Blue Lagoon. It's the most incredible experience, don't let anyone tell you it's over-rated! We stayed the entire day and I still didn't want to leave. The water is this incredible blue color and sooooooo perfectly warm, and we happened to go on the only day of our vacation when it was not pouring rain which rocked. With our ticket we got a drink at the bar (which you"swim" up to in the pool!) and 3 different types of mud masks. It was funny and also a little bit eerie watching everyone float amid the steam clouds with mud all over their faces.
The basic story of the Blue Lagoon is that the water was accidentally discovered while digging for geothermal power and it was so full of these minerals that wherever the water pooled it sealed up all the rocks underneath so that it couldn't soak back in to the ground. Locals would go to the pools because they were soooo warm, and one of them had eczema that was cured after sitting in these pools. His dermatologist realized what happened and he bought the area and opened it up as a spa with healing blue waters. So cool! I didn't get many pictures because I didn't want to risk dropping my phone in the water, but I did get this one from the outside.
See how the rocks around the edge are all white? Those are the minerals that coat the whole bottom of the pools. The science nerd in me was GEEKING.
This was an extra special day because Ryan asked me to marry him :) Afterwards, we spent the day with his parents by the ocean and then went out on the town in Reykjavik. It was perfect and I was thrilled to have my closest friends there to help us celebrate.
Whale vertebrae?! Yea, I was geekin' again.
View from the top
View from the bottom
We had maybe a little too much fun *ahem* but you know, the sun never set so you could say that we just lost track of time. We had to wake up after literally 2 hours of sleep to get on the plane to Ireland sooo... that was unfortunate but also just added to the whirlwind of merriment.
I am already daydreaming about making another stopover in Iceland during the winter to see the northern lights. A few of the locals said it is incredible to be at the Blue Lagoon in the dark with the aurora overhead... so that's next on my list.
If you've been debating whether or not to take advantage of the cheap airfare on WOW or Iceland Air, stop thinking and book it! You should absolutely go!