I hope you’re recovering from a fun and restful Memorial Day Weekend! Since Kevin and I returned from Iceland and London, I’ve been coding my new online portfolio (and a new home for this blog, hooray!). While I focus on learning Github and figuring out what the heck I’m doing, I hope you’ll enjoy seeing some pictures from our trip!
We did way too much to cram into one post. So this week, I’m sharing three things: Everything we loved in Iceland, Sights we recommend seeing in London, and Everywhere we ate in London. It was without a doubt the best vacation ever.
First up: Iceland! Iceland was unlike any place I’ve ever traveled. From all of the pictures we saw beforehand, I thought for sure we’d land on a stretch of green grass surrounded by bright blue waters with whales swimming in the background. But from the plane we saw nothing but brown grass. The initial view was not what I had expected, but the sights the next few days more than made up for it.
We rented a car so that we could move at our own pace and adventure outside of our Airbnb in Reykjavik. The drives were the best part! The views were take your breath away stunning. One minute we were on winding roads surrounded by black rocks and gray sky and the next there was a huge lake in front of our eyes and snow was coming down. The largest lake in Iceland is pictured above. I took that picture from the side of the two-lane highway. Can you imagine if that was your backyard?
On our first day, we grabbed sandwiches at the airport and drove to Pingvellir National Park. The walk along the path was mostly flat with the exception of some rocky places at the end in which you can see in the second picture. Although there were warnings posted all along the winding path noting to watch out for falling rocks which was quite the welcome.
This might sound funny considering it’s called Iceland, but I couldn’t get over how cold it was, especially on our first day. Maybe it was some combination of jet lag, but the weather really is no joke. It was really windy, and by the time we left the park, piercing rain was falling, and then it started snowing as we got halfway home. Reminded me a little bit of this tweet about one week of weather in Indiana, except Iceland crams all of it into one day!
On our second day we drove to Geysir and Gulfoss Waterfall. The geyser erupts into the sky every few minutes and everyone stands around with their cameras poised and ready. Because of the wind, anyone standing to the right in the image got drenched. Waiting around with people from all over the world speaking different languages was as fun as hearing everyone’s delight as the geyser exploded each time.
We checked out the nearby hot springs before stopping at the cafe inside for some snacks and shopping.
The wind at Pingvellir the day before was nothing like the wind at Gulfoss Waterfall. We couldn’t have stayed more than thirty minutes because from the moment we opened our car door, I was convinced someone would get blown off the edge and into the water. I distinctly remember thinking, “This is it. This is the moment someone gets swept off the edge by Mother Nature like some horrific movie scene.”
The top picture was taken from a small bridge which overlooks the waterfall. I lasted less than a minute on that thing before nearly crawly further from the edge. Thankfully my fears never came true, and everyone was fine. The windy dirt path was under construction, otherwise I’m sure someone would have been crazy enough to venture down there. Can you see the tiny specks of people in the top right of the second photo? Everywhere we went, I felt very small in the best way possible.
Our drive home after Gulfoss didn’t take nearly as long as the way there because we were no longer pulling off the side of the road for views like this one. #worthit And just as we got back to town, it started snowing!
One of my favorite things about Reykjavik was all of the street art. There was something fun around every corner. It made exploring on a snowy night even better!
While we were visiting, the sun rose around 5a.m. and set about 10p.m. each night. We did technically enjoy more daylight than usual, but Iceland was gray unlike any gray day I’ve ever experienced in America. Within our first few hours of driving, Kevin and I kept comparing Iceland to what we imagine Mars must look like. There were multiple layers of gray clouds in the sky and the dark rock everywhere gave off a dystopian movie vibe.
You won’t find much about the food we ate in Iceland with the exception of the bakery Sandholt. Their long marble countertops had two (!) dessert cases full of croissants, danish, cinnamon rolls as big as your head, and so many other delicious treats. It was only two blocks from our Airbnb and I have no shame admitting we ate breakfast here twice.
Otherwise, most of our meals were sandwiches grabbed on our way out of town. Before visiting we read the food is more expensive that it’s worth, so we decided to save our pennies for London. Thanks for sticking around til the end of this post. I hope you’ll drop by tomorrow to see Sights we recommend seeing in London!
More from the trip: