Iceland is one of those places that I dreamed about visiting. What I really mean by “dreamed” is that I stalked a bunch of travel bloggers on Instagram and marveled at all of their pretty nature pictures. As soon as I realized that London was merely a three hour plane flight, I was hooked. I had to go. That being said, my expectations were incredibly high. Probably too high for a spontaneously planned weekend trip.
The first couple of days were hilariously rough. For one, Iceland is cold. Yes, I know it’s literally called “Iceland” but for some inconceivable reason, I figured I’d be fine with my light, hooded (but not waterproof) jacket from H&M. Obviously, I was mistaken. The wind and rain combined felt we were walking through a hurricane. Let these photos be proof that I am not exaggerating:
We braved the cold on Saturday and went on an eight hour bus tour of “The Golden Circle.” Everything we saw was gorgeous, but we learned that spending eight hours in the freezing rain with lot of old people on a bus is not exactly the best way to fall in love with any country.
Also, on both Friday and Saturday night, we attempted to see the Northern Lights by paying to go on a “Northern Lights Bus Tour.” Both times were unsuccessful due to weather conditions, but I did find this lovely photo of them on Google Images.
To make matters even more fun, my ears popped on the plane and left me partially deaf until late Saturday night. Props to Sophia for ignoring my incessant complaining (If she was in fact yelling at me, I couldn’t hear her anyway).
We knew that we were in this incredible country and we had seen some beautiful scenery, but we were also pretty cold and miserable. So, we brought our expectations down a notch, ate some awesome sheep burgers from “Islenski Barinn” and looked forward to Sunday and Monday.
The next morning, we skipped out on another bus tour and rented a car. After about an hour of trying to read a paper map (I know, curse my generation), we headed south to do some exploring. I’m going to give a shout out to my friend SAHARRA GRIFFIN, who told me go straight to the South in the first place. She (and also Instagram) may or may not have planned my entire weekend for me.
We stopped at Seljavallalaug, Skógafoss, Vík, and Fjarðabyggð, because Icelanders seem to like nothing better than an unexplainably long word. One of the most hilarious parts of the trip was attempting to pronounce anything in Icelandic. I thought American words were hard, but Icelanders have it rough.
Everything about these places was rugged and beautiful. It didn’t rain nearly as much, and when it did, we found the rental car’s heating system to be quite comforting. In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a good road trip, and this one made the whole trip worth it.
We woke up the next morning, packed our bags, and headed to The Blue Lagoon. I knew that the lagoon was a tourist trap (I mean, Ali Fedotowsky went there in Season 6 of The Bachelorette), so I tried not to get too excited. To my surprise, it was the most magnificent tourist trap that I’ve ever experienced and probably my favorite part of the trip. I would’ve stayed there all day, but I had a plane to catch.
All in all, Iceland was really cool to experience. It was definitely not perfect, but I am so glad that we did it. Someday I will return, and when I do, I will go on days that are warmer and I will stay for longer.