Iceland

11:39 PM

Iceland Travel diary written by Alex Perez
The first day in Iceland went smoothly, we arrived in the morning at the Keflavic airport so we had most of the day to explore and sightsee after we left the airport. After getting our rental car at the airport headed out on a 40-minute drive to our hotel, since it was my first time driving outside of the United States I was quite excited. The view of the snow, mountains, and moss was amazing.
When we arrived at the hotel we attempted to check in early so we could start our exploring started, but unfortunately, we could not check in yet. If you know Ana and me then you know that doesn’t faze us, we are adventuring regardless. We had not eaten breakfast so we decided to stop and get Icelandic traditional food. We stopped at Café Loki for a quick breakfast, Ana got the meat soup and I got mashed fish, smoked trout, sliced lamb, dried fish, and fermented shark. Ana enjoyed her soup and I surprisingly enjoyed all of my meal. The mashed fish on rye bread had the right amount of flavor. The smoked trout was probably the best on my plate, it had a really mild fish flavor combined with the right amoung of smoky flavor. The lamb tasted like typical lamb you would eat in the US so I was not very impressed. We headed off to see the Golden Circle which is a route that takes you in a circle to see three landmarks of Iceland: Geysir, Golfloss, and Kerið crater, We headed off to the first stop of this circle but everything started being covered in more snow. Before we knew it we were driving in pretty heavy snow and wind so we decided it would be safer to turn around and travel to another stop on the golden circle by taking another route. More detailed information in a future post ;)


 

On the second day we woke up bright and early to get some breakfast before our excursion bus picked us for our two-day adventure. The breakfast was surprisingly good, we had eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, and juice. A little after 8 a.m. our driver Francois arrived at the hotel to begin our adventure. The drive was going to be long so Ana and I decided to nap on the way there. Our first stop was Seljalandfoss, a gorgeous waterfall in the southern part of Iceland. After spending about 45 minutes there, we boarded our bus and continued our tour. The next stop on the tour was the Renisfjara beach, now this was amazing, the sand on the beach was completely black and it wasn’t like black pebbles that made up the beach it was actual sand. After enjoying the view, we had lunch at the Black Beach Restaurant. I ordered the fish and chips while Ana ordered the lamb burger. We had to eat on the go because our bus was getting ready to leave. Our next stop was quite a bit away and it was called the Glacier Lagoon, this was a sight to see I could not believe how big the chunks of ice were in the water and how the water was moving them as if they weighed nothing. Some of the chunks of ice were blue and that was because of the density of the ice. After this we drove just across the street to Diamond Beach now this had to be my favorite stop of the tour. The sand was again black but there were huge chunks of ice all around the beach like giant diamonds. Everyone was pretty much exhausted at this point and the driver took us to the hotel that we would be staying at for the night. We made group reservations for dinner and enjoyed a warm meal before heading off to bed to rest for our next adventures.


On the third day, we were heading to a glacier walk. We arrived at glacier guides and began getting fitted for our crampons and any waterproof attire we needed. We were soon loaded on another bus and began a small drive to initial destination. We got on the bus and began walking toward the glacier which was about 30 minutes away. We then put on our crampons and helmet and begin trekking up the side of the glacier now when I tell you the view was breathtaking, I mean it. When we finally made it to end of the glacier we entered a very small ice cave it was very cool seeing the air bubbles trapped in the ice and going deeper seeing how blue the ice was. We began to make our way back to the bus, I tell you what I had never in my life been so happy to see a bus driver waiting for us, I was exhausted! We headed back to glacier guides to meet Francois so we could make head back to Reykjavik with a few more stops of course. After grabbing some lunch our first stop was a secret little canyon that the driver surprised us with. It was gorgeous, covered in snow and honestly kind of difficult to climb up and see the river cutting through. We boarded the bus once again and headed off to our next stop was the Rangarping Eystra Waterfall. The waterfall was gigantic and the climb to the top was very demanding we had to take breaks on the way up! But once we reached the top it was well worth it. When we finished there we headed to our last stop which was a church on the top of a hill in a small town, the name was difficult to pronounce and even more difficult to remember. We only spent about 20 minutes here before heading back to the hotel, the drive back was about two hours. When we arrived in Reykjavik we grabbed a quick dinner and dessert so we could turn in early that night.


Our last day in Iceland we really wanted to relax and enjoy the end of an adventure. Ana made us some reservations at the Blue Lagoon, a heated spring where the water was rich in minerals and silica, which are great for your skin. As we walked out to the pool you could see all of the steam rising from the waters in enormous clouds. We both grabbed some drinks and hung out for a bit before we go get our face masks. The first was a cleansing mask that we had to leave on for 10 minutes while the second was an algae mask that helped moisturize our skin. As time drew on we had to make our way back to the changing rooms so we could board the bus to the airport. When we get outside we saw that the bus had already left and we really didn't want to wait risking missing our flight home. Another frustrated tourist offered to split a cab to the airport and we jumped on that offer. On the way to the airport we took in all that was left of our stay in Iceland, the view to the airport was perfect for that. I couldn't help but smile as we flew out of there, another adventure in the books.

Thank you so much for reading!

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