When you fly Iceland Air you can have free stopovers there and we were excited to have a bonus adventure before we returned home.
But it exceeded our expectations.
It is one of the most interesting and different places I have ever visited.
From majestic waterfalls that took our breath away:
To a huge sea of gigantic icebergs:
To vistas of volcanic rock covered in gray-sage-green moss as far as the eye could see:
To lush green fields of lumpy moss where horses ran free:
These purple flowers grew wildly EVERYWHERE:
(see them carpeting the hills below?)
And they lined the streets all over the place.
For a while we thought that was the only kind of flower on all of Iceland but we did spot a few other flower variety stragglers here and there:
And a random huge field of yellow too:
We walked up and down hundreds of stairs and climbed up and over countless boulders.
We scaled the sides of mountains:
And the cool thing was that even though we were only there for two days, the sun never set, so we had enough daylight to squeeze in so much that we wanted to see.
This time of year the sun hangs low in the sky when it gets super late (11:30ish) and then comes up again. It was never dark. This was our landing there at 11:30 at night:
We lucked out because we got a rental car that was teeny tiny like we did in Switzerland, but it was making some crazy weird noises so before we got too far we took it back to have them check what was wrong.
Sure enough, there was something quite wrong and they didn’t have anything comparable in size to trade it out for. So they handed us over the keys of this whiz-bang humungous van that we got to tour that place with.
It was luxuriously wonderful.
It didn’t hurt that we had some treats left over from England to keep us company on the road:
But let’s back up for a second and start at the beginning.
We packed up our little apartment in London’s Covent Garden (London is back HERE),
Traded in our beloved tube passes:
…and headed to the airport.
Both times we landed in Iceland I was mesmerized. The first time on our layover en route to Europe I found it fascinating that there were no big cities I could spot, just volcanic rock for as far as the eye could see and some bunker-like buildings.
The second time we flew in (to stay a while this time) we passed some pretty gorgeous sites. Lakes in the middle of high plateau mountains:
All the tour books suggested this might be a little touristy, but Dave decided it was still worth it to check it out.
So we did. And we were pretty glad about that.
They were right about the touristy part, there were a lot of people there.
And it was funny because supposedly the minerals in that thing are so healthy and healing for skin so everyone was swimming around this huge lagoon with their faces plastered with white mineral foamy stuff (including us). Which cracked us all up. And in turn, our cracking up cracked that white stuff right off our faces that we were trying to let dry so we could have the fountain of youth.
But despite the touristy stuff, it was worth it. We loved that place.
(Gotta love the “don’t kiss me” post Lucy does quite often. It’s hard not to kiss off those cheeks though!)
Pingvellir is a National Park where Iceland held open-air assemblies starting in 930 until 1789. They would meet here every year to set laws and settle disputes.
It is also where there is a huge divide of the earth.
See those cliffs off to the right below?
Each year those get further and further apart from each other.
There is a gorgeous view there:
And there was a random group of girls doing a jump too…
Next we went to the GEYSIR field where there are a lot of steamy hot springs:
…and a huge geyser called STROKKUR:
We were mesmerized by that thing.
We wrapped up the day at GULFOSS, this massive waterfall:
It’s so hard to describe things like this because there are just no words.
And no matter what I try, pictures cannot do it justice.
The power of WATER is astounding. See that rainbow it’s making below?
It helps to get an idea of the majesty of that thing when you see the teeny tiny people next to it.
That’s a LOT of water shooting off of that thing I’ll tell you that.
First we went up to check it out from above:
…with our “Grumpy Tourist” tour guide:
Why do I love this side profile so much?
And then headed to get soaked in the spray:
Pretty powerful force right there below us…
We ended the night by eating at this little Ethiopian restaurant randomly found on the side of the road at around 10:00…
And stopping by this gorgeous lumpy field full of horses.
We breathed it all in.
To be continued tomorrow…