Puffins, Seals, and Glaciers, OH MY!

Helloo all,

   As some of you already know, and maybe some others have gathered if you follow me on Instagram (feel free to here), I spent the week leading up to July 4th in Iceland! Not the most patriotic thing I've ever done, but it was certainly, capital D, different. I traversed a small bit of the island that is Iceland with four, mostly random people (a post for another time), and here are some of my takeaways.

First of all, Iceland is ridiculously beautiful. I have said the following phrase to multiple friends of mine since getting back, but it has never rang so true in my life: I'm not an outdoorsy person, but Iceland brought it out in me and I see myself doing more active vacations in the future. I mean, just look at this: 
Beautiful, right? What you can't see from this photo is the path leading up to the top of the mountain so that you can actually stand ABOVE the waterfall. Crazy. This was actually the SECOND waterfall we saw that day. The first waterfall that we saw, you could actually walk behind and, let me tell you, nature is a force to be reckoned with. There were multiple moments where I thought, "hmm...if I slipped here, this would be the end." Kids, never wear worn out sneakers on hikes. That's the main takeaway. Oh, and here's another amazingly beautiful shot of Iceland.

Because, you know, this is what you see when you're just driving around in the countryside looking for natural wonders. Also, glaciers.
This is not an impressive shot. This is the shot that you take when you're freezing and in awe of all of the natural beauty that surrounds you. Luckily, I also took a video.

Also, I don't know how to rotate it. Sorry. 

 The food.

 I enjoyed the food in Iceland. I say that cautiously since, we just used Trip Advisor to find places to go, or we walked around until somewhere looked good and ate there. No disappointments whatsoever. At the Gastropub that I list below (a tapas place with interesting furnishings), among the tapas I had was a pulled pork sandwich, where the 'bread' was a glazed donut. So.Delicious. So, either we went to horrible places that Icelanders would turn their nose up at (I doubt it) OR we went to awesome places that are must tries. Unfortunately, I was so ravenous each time I ate that I took ZERO photos, but, the names are listed below. And, a picture of the menu at "A Pizza Place with No Name" (right near Grai Kotturinn) because, even in my hungover state, I found the graphics pretty hilarious.

Grái Kötturinn
Pizza Place with No Name 
Public House Gastropub
Also, you guys, you guys, I PET A REAL-LIFE HORSE!!
That was post-Blue Lagoon. So, I was so zen'd out and chill that the horse couldn't help but be into it.

Here's a quick run down of the things we did (after looking at the abysmally short food list that I gave you all, I feel like I need to redeem myself/convince you that I wasn't just drinking and meeting douchey people):

  • Blue Lagoon
  • Kerið Crater Lake
  • Gullfoss Waterfal
  • Geysers At Haukadalur
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (this is the waterfall that you can actually walk behind)
  • Skogafoss (waterfall in Picture 1)
  • Dyrholaey (or Vik) 
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
  • Lewbowski Bar
  • Whiskey Bar Reykjavik  
  • Harpa Convention Center
  • The Sun Voyager
  • Hallgrimskirkja
We also went to the Black Sand Beach in Vik, which, again, AMAZING. A puffin was spotted by moi, nbd. 

And before you say, "Pics or it didn't happen." Psh. I got this. 

We ended up staying within the city of Reykjavik (at an AirBnb), renting a car, and traveling to all of the sites in Iceland. What I've heard is more common though is to stay one night in the city, travel throughout Iceland, and stay at places along the way. Or, renting a camper and getting around that way. Though, a lot of the further out sites have ONE LANE roads, so...not sure that I would suggest that. We also saw a wreck of two campers, so...proceed with caution.  Also, apparently, it's common to hitchhike in Iceland, so you could also do that. Icelanders struck me as an incredibly nice people, despite naming a bar after Chuck Norris, so I suppose that's safe.

All in all, a great trip and my wanderlust is STRONG. I find myself researching other places to go now. I'm interested in going to Barcelona, but could easily be persuaded in going to Berlin, or...Argentina, or....Hong Kong. THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER! You know, provided that I win the lotto and can just travel all the time. Sigh. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend you all, and when in doubt, just remember: Chuck Norris Grill. 


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