Monday, March 23, 2015

Chasing Fire and Ice- An Iceland adventure!

It's been exactly 11 days since I got back from my iceland trip. That's how many days it took me to recover from my "vacation" and have the strength to pull words out to blog about it. I put vacation in quotes because vacations are usually relaxing and entails lounging on the beach with copious amounts of alcohol in hand. Instead I was trudging through snow, battling a cold, fighting jet lag, hiking around. So nope, this was not a vacation...THIS WAS AN ADVENTURE.

Saturday (March 7)- Arrived at reykavik at 7 am and promptly boarded the "Fly bus" to our guest house. We stayed at Guesthouse Galtafell, super close to the city center and bus station. It's super cozy and quaint and not to mention there was free breakfast and a cat and puppy :) Oh. and it looks like a castle! We spent the rest of the day touring the city on foot on which I quickly learned that I am a horrible map reader and I blame that on google maps and its awesome ability to safely guide me in the right direction without too much thought.

*Sights we saw: Hallgrimskirkja (the church), Harpa (concert hall), the harbor, the museum of iceland, Tjornin (pond), flea market.
*Ate: Hot dogs from Baejarins; Lobster soup and whale steak from the Sea Baron.
*Tips: You don't necessarily need to buy a ticket to go up the church....

Sunday (March 8)- All i can say is that iceland definitely has amazing scenery and is so beautiful when its covered in snow and all you can see for miles on out is white.

*Sights: Golden circle tour: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfalls, geysir, skalholt church, and a powerplant.
*Ate: Lamb soup at Gullfoss and a Seafood pizza at Hornid! Delish!
*Tips: The lamb soup is delicious at the waterfall stop, especially after being out in the cold for so long! Its also free-refills!

Monday (March 9-11): What was supposed to be a 1 night 2 day trip to the southeast coast of iceland ended up being a 2 night 3 day tour due to a pretty bad storm that kept us from traveling back on tuesday night. We missed the glacier hike and the must-do blue lagoon trip, but thankfully the weather didn't stop us from seeing the beautiful ice caves. Huge props also to Mama S for being adventurous! She was a bit nervous when our entire tour group ended up being in their 20s and 30s, but she was a total trooper! At one point we had to hold on to a rope and slide down into a lava cave. She was the first one to go down!

*Sights: Batman cave, secret waterfall, seljandafoss, skogafoss, glacier lagoon, ice cave, Reynisfjara beach, lava field, and probably more i cant pronounce or remember!
*Ate: wherever they stopped.
*Tips: Definitely travel with a smaller tour group! you do way more cool things and guides are so much more fun. We went with Goecco on their Chasing Ice tour.
*Favorite memories: Stopping by a farm to have icelandic pancakes and petting iceland horses!

Iceland was such an amazing trip. It was full of unpredictable weather and breathtakingly beautiful sights. 

Iceland, I'll see you again some day. 

***Here are some more travel tips I learned and plan to keep under my belt for future trips:

1) Go with someone who knows how to take flattering pictures- mom i love you, but you need to learn to take better pictures. or else we may have to rethink future trips. She insists its just my face but I swear its her picture taking skills. 

2) Travel insurance?- A little iffy on this still, but when we had to stay an extra night, one girl had to pay an extra $800 to rebook her flight. I'll definitely have to consider it carefully for my next trip.

3) Lodging with continental breakfasts are the way to go- Iceland is a bit expensive so it was nice to have breakfast taken care of, allowing us to be super full and still save some money. 

4) Take a deep breath and enjoy- This one should be a no-brainer, but at times traveling can be a bit stressful and its easy to forget to  relax and just let it be...especially when unforseen weather messes up your schedule and half the time one eye is on your mom, making sure she isn't going off to areas our tour guides clearly said to stay away from!!! hah! 

I've definitely caught the travel bug again and can't wait to start planning my next trip! 

1 comment:

  1. Hello there,

    I am intending to go on the Chasing Ice tour with Goecco. Is the tour worth it?
    Please email me at thongyongjie@gmail.com
    Thanks for the help!


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