21/11/16-25/11/16

This trip to Iceland took place over a month ago now however we all  lead busy lives don’t we therefore I haven’t had much chance to post. It is half 11 at night as I type this on my day off and I rarely get the chance for an early night therefore the writing will be short and sweet however you are free to enjoy the photos! Some were taken from my phone and others from my Dad’s old Fuji camera so some of the quality will be better than others!

We arrived at our guesthouse in the late evening after setting off at 9 in the morning so were pretty hungry. The Sunna Guesthouse is just around the corner from one of the main streets of Reykjavik so we had no trouble finding somewhere to eat. Most places do have a vegetarian option, however I hadn’t realised how expensive Iceland is until the bill for the food came and I almost had a heart attack. After this I was a lot more careful with my money and found that as long as I watched what I spent carefully I was able to just about stay within budget.

The next day we were picked up and taken by bus to the Blue Lagoon, one of the very first things that attracted me to this stunning country in the first place. It did not disappoint. The bus took us through miles upon miles of volcanic rocky terrain which made you feel as if you were on another planet, and then suddenly we came across little pools of bright blue water that looked as if it was glowing and the excitement built up.

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20161122_132706Upon arrival we were given a towel, however if you paid a little bit extra you were equipped with a robe, flip flops and a face mask. 20161122_134355We changed into our swimming costumes and made the very cold mad run to the outdoor pool. The relief upon running into the gorgeous warm water felt amazing. There was quite a few people in attendance however the lagoon is quite big so the further away from the main building the quieter it was. I could have floated around all day!

That evening we ate in a quirky vegetarian cafe called Babalu, there was disco lights outside and inside was stuffed with interesting and cosy decor, would definitely recommend!

That night we took a bus tour which was intended to show us the Northern Lights, however we were unlucky and did not manage to see them very clearly, as there was a cloud covering where all the activity was. However a guarantee by the tour company is that if you do not see the Northern Lights your ticket is valid for two years therefore you can keep returning until you do see them!

dscf607620161123_10073920161123_103957The next day we took another bus tour (it is the best way to explore Iceland if you do not have a car) through was is called the ‘Golden Circle‘, which covers a few of the main tourist attractions in the country. First of all we came across the large crater that was once a volcano, it was fascinating especially when the guide informed us that Bjork had actually turned it into a huge amphitheater and performed on a floating stage in the middle of the lake! Next we were driven to the smaller waterfall, this was one of my favourite parts of the tour as it was just so picturesque and peaceful. 20161123_11314820161123_11432520161123_111723dscf6108The pictures above are of Gullfoss, one of the more famous sights in Iceland. Its dramatic and majestic beauty took my breath away!

20161123_12145220161123_12321120161123_122013dscf6123Next on the trip was the geysers. Standing there and surveying the strange hot pools and streams of water felt like you were in the middle of a post-apocalyptic film. img_-1x18di20161123_14402320161123_145827Finally on the tour we came to the Thingvellir National Park, which is where the American and European tectonic plates meet. They are slowly drifting apart a few centimeters per year, and we had the honour of walking along the European cliff-side. The Icelandic parliament was also formed there in the year 930.img-20161123-wa0004On out final full day in Iceland we decided to look around the city. I would had loved to buy everything I saw however the prices in Iceland are sky high so I simply settled on some Icelandic chocolate and some postcards. Reykjavik is a very cute and quirky city yet it is quite small, one of the must-do things is to visit the Hallgrimskirkja, where you can take the lift up the tower and survey the colourful buildings and coastline from a height. We also walked down to the pond, surveyed the amazing street art, brightly co loured houses and beautifully decorated streets and gardens as well as explored some of the record stores and vintage shops.

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Icelandic people are big fans of fish, which I don’t have much taste for however there are plenty of pizza places and cafe’s where you can find food if you are not in the mood for sampling the local cuisine.

Some interesting facts I found out about Iceland:

  • the majority of the island is uninhabited
  • in fact the warm gulf stream which crosses the southwest of the island is the only reason it is inhabitable in the first place.
  • there is very low crime in Iceland, around 100 prisoners
  • the population is around 300,000
  • the Blue Lagoon is man made
  • The roads and pavements in the city hand underground heating – hence the lack of ice and cold feet!

I definitely want to return to Iceland, there is so many things we did not manage to see, such as the black beaches, many of the waterfalls and the Northern Lights. I would also love to go on a boat trip out to see to go whale watching. See you soon Iceland!

 

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