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I Haven't Been Everywhere But It's On My List I love to travel and experience the world but part of the fun for me is documenting those experiences through photography and writing. Follow along with me and enjoy the ride!

Iceland 2018

ICELAND | Tuesday, 10 July 2018 | Views [26]

Iceland 2018

Iceland 2018

It has become a tradition to travel with the best travel buddy ever - my friend Jeanette - over the summer and we had an epic adventure planed!  But life happens sometimes so we had to adjust.  While our original plan included a Nordic Tour across Europe hitting 6 countries in 4 weeks, what we ended up with was an incredible trip to the land of fire and ice!  Jeanette was coming from Seattle and me from Boston so we met up at the airport early in the morning (we both landed before 6am!!).  We hopped in our car rental and went straight for the Blue Lagoon.  I always hear mixed reivews about the major tourist attractions but I sort of feel like if I'm there I can't NOT go!  So we went and we enjoyed it!  I think our timing was good because we go there pretty much as soon as they opened and I can see how it might get really busy and crowded later in the day once all the tour groups come.  If you're able to miss those though, it is really enjoyable!  Our trip began and ended in Reykjavík with a tour around the island inbetween on The Iceland Ring Road.  On our second day, we began the first leg of our road trip and we saw waterfalls originating from the lava fields, rushing rivers from glacier run off, and bubbling hot springs!  On day 3 we went to the waterfall of the gods and the gateway to hell! We saw craters and caves and fissures, oh my!  Day four was epic! We raced through a mountain range so we would make it in time for our glacier kayak! We donned some dry suits, kayaked between icebergs at a glacier lagoon, got to climb up on one of the icebergs, and saw a heard of reindeer on our way back! No sheep were harmed (by us) during today’s activities.  On Day 5 I completed the longest hike I’ve ever done and it was up a glacier! Starting in the glacier lagoon, we learned about how glaciers are moving ice rivers that carve out the mountain around them. We slapped on some crampons so we were able to dig into the ice and we had ice axes for stability and badassery to make our way up. We saw compression arches, crevasses, an ice fall (like a waterfall but with ice), and moulins as we navigated up and down Svínafellsjökull. It truly was awe inspiring.  Day 6 - so much happened! We found diamonds at Diamond Beach, walked to the edge of a waterfall at Skaftafell, had our second amazingly delicious lamburger in two days, journeyed to Fjadrargljufur canyon that looked like it was straight out of Lord of the Rings, next we went to Reynisfjara where nature created rocks in the shape of hexagonal columns on a black lava sand beach with puffins flying overhead, finally we went to Seljalandsfoss and walked behind a thundering 62m waterfall. It was a good day.  Day 7 - Jeanette was real trooper! I convinced her to come to Silfra and she faced her fear of drowning as we snorkeled between two tectonic plates (the North American and the Eurasian plates) in 3 °C water, we then went to Efstidalur for some incredible rhubarb caramel ice cream and saw all the baby cows too. Our last stop of the day was Gullfoss which rivals Niagra Falls in size, power and volume.  Day 8 - we had a low key day back in Reykjavík after a wonderful breakfast in an adorable inn. But the most exciting part of our day was the puffin tour complete with an Icelandic lullaby sung by our captain! Puffins are very short, coming in under 10 in, and they have to flap their wings extra hard to fly because of their rotund body shape. They prefer flying with the wind and crash landings. They mate for life and their babies are called pufflings! Couples click their beaks together like they’re kissing and this is called billing. Iceland is home to 60% of the world’s puffin population and today we saw a colony of 10,000 pairs of puffins.  On our last day we hung out at the hotel, ate breakfast and did laundary before heading out to the airport.  Another incredible adventure in the books!

 

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