Admittedly, I didn't know much about Iceland apart from the inside of the Keflavik airport and my experiences with Icelandair, which were always delightful; however, I had always heard good things, and I've been curious to see for myself. My housemate Rita shared by curiosity about the mysterious land of Iceland, so we got to be travel buddies and explore together.
The first day was a bit rough, as I arrived at our hostel at 7am after an overnight flight on which the man behind me coughed incessantly the entire way and I got no sleep. Unfortunately, check in at the hostel didn't start until 2pm, leaving me to sit in the lobby, eyelids heavy, almost falling asleep multiple times. In a fortuitous turn of events, I was able to check in early and immediately took the world's best nap until it was time for Rita to get in! We took it easy that night, going out for a nice dinner before getting some sleep to prepare for our busy week.
Speaking of which, my questions of "what is there to do in Iceland?" were entirely answered as soon as I arrived at the hostel. I probably read every informational pamphlet available about all the different bus tours/adventures that were offered by companies in the city. They made it super easy to see all the major sights during the day, and they even picked us up right at our hostel!
The Golden Circle: Basically the tour that everyone does while in Iceland. You're able to see a lot of the natural beauty of the island, including lava fields, waterfalls, geysers, etc. Sidenote- it was insanely windy that day, and every time we got off the bus I thought we were going to blow away. I'm sorry to say that neither words nor pictures will do the absolute perfection of this place justice, but these should give you an idea.
|My horse- not the one who sat on me.|
|After the ride, they like to roll around. Funniest thing ever.|
Blue Lagoon: The Blue Lagoon is a huge geothermic bath near the airport, and it is a must-see in Iceland. Rita and I had been looking forward to the Blue Lagoon all week, and nothing- not even a blizzard, was going to stop us from enjoying the hot springs. One highlight of the afternoon was definitely having the workers take pity on us and give us bathrobes (which were otherwise $9 to rent) for free, and also locating the special silica mud outside in the pool to smear all over our faces. Besides being pelted by hail in the violent horizontal winds, and even though it smelled like sulfur, it makes for a good story.
|Can't even begin to describe how cold it was..|
After the Blue Lagoon, we met up with Paula and her friends for dinner. By the way, Iceland has the best fish and chips.
|Red ling with crispy potatoes and basil/garlic dip|