May 16, 2016

Iceland: Reykjavik, See You Later

We wrapped up our inside jokes with dinner and drinks at Snaps and a trip to the Blue Lagoon before we all flew home. See you later Iceland!

May 14, 2016

East Iceland: Sneafellsness Peninsula

Sneafellsness Peninsula was very cold. We tried to go camping but the campgrounds were closed due to the bathroom pipes being frozen. Ya, not tourist season for a reason. We ended up in an Airbnb in Grundarfjörður near Kirkjufell Mountain. 

We spent the next couple of days exploring the peninsula. We found Hotel Budir (black church) and we decided to hike along the coast to Arnarstapi. From the trail sign it didn't sound like that long of a hike - we were hoping to be in Arnarstapi by the afternoon for tea and cake (I mean, I was traveling with the Scottish). Well, we got lost or the trail ended somewhere in the swamp flats. That is up for debate. We were getting desperate to make it to Arnarstapi before the coffee shop closed so we trudge along, in defeat, to the road to hitch hike the rest of the way. Car, after car, after truck, after car drove past us and no one, no one (!!) offered to pick us up, so we became a road block and a very nice couple gave us a lift. I think we overwhelmed them with our thankfulness and relief for finally getting a ride. Sometimes, you just really need cake. 

One of the days, we ate at Sjávarpakkhúsið which was the cutest restaurant, in a cute town with great food. Later we found Grindavík Lighthouse. Wow, that is orange. And we wrapped up our tour of East Iceland at Laugar I Saelingsdal hot spring for a night of camping and cards.

May 12, 2016

Iceland: Dog Sleeding

We spent a night in a Reykjavik Airbnb between a week in South Iceland and the upcoming week in East Iceland. We needed a real bed, hot showers with clean towels, wifi and a place to defrost. And then this life of Airbnb "luxury " led to another night so we took a day trip and went dog sledding. This was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity because I have done it once and I don't need to do it again. I feel bad saying this but it is true. It is a very expensive hour of figure-eights in a snowfield while learning Icelandic dog sledding commands and driving over dog poop. Yup, the dogs poop on the go and the sled (with us on the sled) runs right over it. Anyone who has been dog sledding before, can probably relate to our initial shock when we found this out. However, there is nothing like a navy blue one piece snowsuit and learning about each dogs style of poop to make the day memorable! By the end of the ride we knew what dog had pooped by just looking at it. FYI. 

May 11, 2016

Iceland: Golden Circle

After exploring South Iceland on our own for a week the Golden Circle was like "Oh, this is where all the tourists are." With that being said, you have to THANK Iceland for not having an entrance fee to see any of the Golden Circle tourist attractions. Nowadays, it is amazing that you can still visit something this touristy for free.

The highlight of the Golden Circle was meeting an Icelandic stag do. My curiosity led me to a group photo and trying to bargain for their handmade by grandma sweater. I failed at bargaining for the sweater but I did come away with a viking hat and a group photo. So maybe I didn't fail at all? 

May 9, 2016

South Iceland: Westman Islands but really Heimaey Island

Heimaey Island, the largest island of the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar), was spectacular. It was almost like we were in a movie. There were young local families walking the neighborhood, people working on their homes or gardening, and others moving in. Everyone seemed happy. We drank the Kool-Aid, as they say. We definitely should have stayed the night. We couldn't believe how amazing it was. Were we really on an island that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption?

The ferry over to the island was easy and organized, classic Iceland. We left the car for the day and walked on the ferry. Heimaey Island is small so it was easy to get around. While there, we hiked the red volcanic mountain, visited the Eldheimar Interactive Exhibition (most well done museum, ever. Ever.) and hiked Herjólfsdalur behind the music festival venue. Of course, the views were stunning. Can I move in?

{ Herjólfsdal and the the very steep zigzag hill }