October 7, 2015

Iceland & Amsterdam | The Part About Iceland...

As promised, here is a big old blog post about the first half of my trip...

Day One - Thursday, September 24th
We arrived at Keflavík International Airport at around 6:00AM after a six hour flight from New York. From there we had a car pick us up and bring us to the house that we rented from Airbnb in Reykjavík.

After picking out rooms, finding something to eat near by and hanging out in the house for a few hours we were picked up by our guide for our first excursion, which was the Into The Blue Snorkeling Tour of the Silfra ravine in Thingvellir, National Park.

For those of you that don't know, Silfra is a rift that is part of the divergent tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates. And it has some of the clearest water you've ever seen, with visibility up to 80 meters. So we literally went swimming between continents.
Honestly, I typically love snorkeling but I hated snorkeling in a dry suit. My suit didn't fit right because apparently they don't have dry suits for fat chicks, so I had to wear a men's dry suit which was bunchy at the knees because apparently when you're fat you're also tall (I'm about 5'6" for anyone wondering). So because the suit was ill fitted I was super uncomfortable the whole time. I couldn't really lift my head out of the water. It was all very very unpleasant for me, but it was also for Erin and Day. The guys on the other hand, loved it.

I mean, I'm glad I did it but I wont be doing it again.

WARNING: This is a theme throughout the course of this trip.
Once we were done our guide (Who we are convinced hated us by the end of the whole thing) drove us back to our house in Reykjavík, where we got ready for our next excursion. A private walking tour of Reykjavík with Ásta from I Heart Reykjavík.

Since we were meeting up in front of Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran church, we decided to go inside and check out the views from the observation tower because we heard that you can see all of Reykjavík from the viewing deck.
After checking out the view from the church, which were amazing, we headed across the street to see The Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden.
Once we were done checking out the sculptures and learning about Jónsson we just walked around Reykjavík listening to what Ásta had to say about the city. Which was actually very interesting.

When we were done touring with Ásta (Who was great and I highly recommend touring with) we had a bite to eat and then headed back to the house before going on a Northern Lights Tour.

Unfortunately the Norther Lights Tour was terrible. The driver was a maniac. The tour guide was making excuses for our maniac driver. It just sucked. It was so bad I'm actually in the process of trying to get my money back from Capital One.

Day Two - Friday, September 25th
The six of us were booked to go on The Golden Circle Tour (An eight hour tour that highlights Iceland's natural wonders) with GeoIceland but Phil and Rob totally weren't feeling it after the chaos that was the night before. So just myself, Justin, Erin and I went.
Our first stop was at the town of Hveragerdi, where we saw a small exhibition about a 6.3-6.6 earthquake that took place in the town in 2008. Which was actually pretty interesting for an exhibit in a little rest stop kinda place.

When we were done at Hveragerdi we drove to Faxi to see the first of many waterfalls (We saw a lot of waterfalls throughout the course of our stay in Iceland).
After we were done at Faxi we drove to see the Gullfoss waterfall (Which was bigger than the first) and have lunch.
Once we were done at Gullfoss we hopped on the bus and hit up the Haukadalur geothermal area, which included Geysir hot springs.

Unfortunately while we were checking out the geysers we got an e-mail that the tour we had planned for the following day (We were going to hike up a volcano and go inside of it) was canceled because the weather was supposed to be bad -- We were bummed about it at first, but two days later when we were going on another tour I was super happy we didn't have two crazy physical tours two days in a row.
When we were done checking out the geysers we got back on the bus and headed for our final location of the tour, the Thingvellir valley (Which is in the area Silfra is in).

We wandered around an area that we didn't see the previous day and took a walk up to the top of a hill to see the views of the valley from above.
Once we were back in Reykjavík we showered and decided that we were going to go out to a gay bar, Kíkí Queer Bar, that we had wondered past during our walking tour with Ásta the day before.

During the process of getting ready I ended up kicking Justin's suitcase so hard that I thought that I broke my pinkie toe. But that did not stop us from going out. I limped all the way to the bar, got a couple of drinks in myself and danced the night away (Gay bars play the best music).

When we were tired of being at the bar and wanted to move on to the next is when chaos ensued. The group got separated. People couldn't find one another. Someone went screaming my name down the streets of Reykjavík trying to find me. Someone got slapped. It was a royal cluster fuck.

Eventually everyone ended up back at the house and we all went to bed to sleep whatever just happened off.

Day Three - Saturday, September 26th
After the chaos of the night before we all slept in, which I think was good for everyone because we talked about what happened calmly and forgave one another.

When everything was peachy keen again we all got ready for a relaxing trip to the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa.
We swam, drank champagne and slathered silica mud all over our faces. It was pretty awesome.

When we had our fill (Basically when our fingers were super pruney and we were tried of floating around) we decided that it was time to head back to the house and get ready for a fancy "family" dinner.

After spiffying up we walking into the city center to have dinner at this amazing restaurant called Grillmarkaðurinn (Grillmarket). The food there was so good. We all really enjoyed our meal choices (I had a trio of fish and Justin had the lamb) and would highly recommend the place to anyone who wants to have a nice dinner in Reykjavík.

Day Four - Sunday, September 27th
Unlike the day before, this was not a relaxing day (It was also our last day in Iceland). This was the day that we were all going on a glacier hike. And from the minute I woke up in the morning I was totally dreading it and I made it known.

Despite not being a happy camper (I bitched the whole way up and the whole way down), I went along with the group and went for the glacier hike.
This was the other "I'm glad I did it but I wont be doing it again" I warned you all about. Plus I would like to note that I had to fake all of the smiles you see in the pictures above.

I did not like the glacier walk but everyone else loved it. So if you were thinking about going to Iceland and doing this, unless you are a mouthy fat chick you will probably enjoy the hike.
After the walk (And forever hike back to the equipment area) was over we stopped off at yet another waterfall before going back to the city.
When we got back we all argued over who would shower first, showered, packed a little bit and got ready for our final meal in Reykjavík. Which we had at The Pizza Place With No Name, followed by drinks upstairs at Mikkeller & Friends.
It was the perfect ending to our little Icelandic vacation.

The next day was a travel day and our first day in Amsterdam, so I'll talk about it in my Amsterdam post...

2 comments:

  1. Your pictures are stunning. I want to go so bad. It sounds like such an amazing country.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      It is so amazing. I honestly would go back in a heartbeat.

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