This post is going to be a long one! My husband and I, along with my brother in law, Daniel, and our friends Trevor and Colin, all just got back from an amazing trip in Iceland, Amsterdam, and Paris. It was my first international travel (unless you count Canada last summer), and I loved it so much. I’m only going to cover Iceland in this post, but it may have been my favorite part of the trip. 🙂
We flew with Iceland Air using their stopover program, which means we booked a flight to Paris and stayed in Iceland for three whole days with no added airline fees! I love this system, and if we get the chance to travel to Europe in the future I would definitely do the same thing!
(Also, if you’ve been following along on instagram and wondered what #bfht2016 was about, it stands for best friend hangout time. I’ve been using it for a couple years whenever I get to see my long distance besties! If you want to see what it’s really like traveling with four guys, watch Trevor’s video HERE)
PRO TIP: If you go to Iceland and you want to do any exploring at all, rent a car and ask for the wifi hotspot instead of the GPS. It was so nice to be able to have wifi for almost our entire trip, as none of us had international cell phone plans! We used the wifi to navigate our road trips, as well as keep up with our instagrams. 😉
Day One: Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon
We flew overnight to Reykjavik and landed at 7am Iceland time… and it was a little rough. We drove straight to the Blue Lagoon Spa as it’s on your way from the airport to the city, but we didn’t realize that the Blue Lagoon is by reservation only, meaning we had to drive an hour back to it later that night! We ended up spending most of the day wandering the streets of the city, buying groceries and drinking coffee until we could get into our Air B&B. It was a fun but difficult day. We were all pretty exhausted, and we ordered pizza twice that night!
There aren’t many photos of me from this day, but can you blame me after flying overnight and not showering for way too long? 🙂
Reykjavik is a relatively small and quiet city, and we all enjoyed wandering the streets.
We only bought our go pro’s into the Blue Lagoon, and it was already dark by the time we got there, so the pictures aren’t anything spectacular. I know it’s beautiful to go there during the daylight, but we had a lot of fun in the dark too! The best part was that we got to watch the Northern Lights from the water. It was the only time we saw the lights during our trip, as all the other nights were too overcast. I was a little disappointed I didn’t have my DSLR to try to capture them, but it was still pretty incredible!
Day Two: Route 1 – Southern Coast Road Trip
This was the day we were waiting for – waterfall chasing! We all needed to catch up on our sleep, causing our start to be a little later than desired. We still managed to hit most of the stops we had wanted to on this route, only skipping the airplane crash site due to it being about a two hour walk total, and exploring a little further into some of the waterfalls.
Stop One – Seljalandsfoss
This waterfall made a fun first stop because you can walk behind it! It also had a little stand selling coffee and pink sprinkle donuts – a white girl’s dream come true.
Basically the whole time you’re driving in Iceland, the scenery is photo worthy volcanoes and glaciers and who knows what else, probably troll villages or something.
Stop Two – Skogafoss
Each waterfall we stopped at was so unique. Skogafoss was neat because it was 1) huge and 2) you can walk up the never ending staircase to the top. I’d be lying if I said my fear of heights didn’t kick in on those stairs, but I made it to the top and it was gorgeous.
In the photo looking down the stairs, you can see just how many cars and tour busses were there… and basically every other stop along the way. Iceland has it’s fair share of tourists these days, but I honestly didn’t ever feel that it took away from the beauty of the natural scenery.
Stop Three – Black Sand Beach, Vik
As I sat on those weird rock formation things that everyone takes photos on, I had a strange moment of existentialism watching the waves crash on the beach, thinking about how that was the same ocean that crashes on the rocks in Maine. And how I love my husband. Then we ate burgers and fries and watched the sunset next to a narwal skull.
Day Three – The Golden Circle
Of course we drove the golden circle. This was the best and the worst day – best because we had a blast and got lost hiking to a hidden waterfall, worst because it was freezing, windy and rainy.
Stop One: Thingvellir National Park
So beautiful. So cold. We lasted about 20 minutes. This could be a really long, fun stop on a nicer day!
Stop Two: Bruarfoss
I think we all agreed that this was our favorite part of Iceland, and maybe even the whole trip. There’s something about hiking in the mud and the rain to find a hidden waterfall that makes you feel like the most adventurous viking in the world. It was super pretty, and the water is really that blue. This was also the only stop that we were completely alone. My introverted self was pleased.
Stop Three – Geysir
I hadn’t ever seen a geysir before, so it was kinda cool to see the earth just explode like that. But, soooooo many selfie sticks.
Stop Four – Gullfoss
This was definitely the biggest waterfall we saw. We all were pretty wet/cold/exhausted by this point and didn’t linger long. It was still gorgeous.
The boys also stopped at Crater Lake… I may have slept in the car. 🙂
I honestly loved every minute in Iceland and I would go back (and do the same things!) in a heartbeat. It is 100% as beautiful as all those hipster photographers make it seem. On that note, if you want to book me for your Iceland elopement, let me know!
Thanks for looking at this ridiculously long blog post, I hope you enjoyed it! Stay tuned for parts two and three – Amsterdam and Paris!