Thursday, May 28, 2015

My Icelandic Adventure

Yes, I missed my last post. Thing is, it was the day we were leaving for Iceland and I got caught up in making sure the house, kids, dog, packing were all set before we boarded our plane. Um, I forgot. However, I do have some fab pics to post now!

This trip was a reward through Stud's work, and everything was planned and taken care of by his company. There were 45 of us, so that's no easy feat on their part. The itinerary was pretty intense, starting out with us boarding a plane in Boston at 10pm and arriving in Iceland for a 6:30 am breakfast the next morning. Except Icelandic time is 4 hours ahead, so really, we were having breakfast at 2:30 in the morning before hitting the deck running. It didn't help that our first impression flying in and after an hour bus ride to that breakfast was flat, rainy, and cold.

Our first stop was that private breakfast at the Blue Lagoon, a famous geothermal spa. The breakfast was surprisingly good and the coffee in Iceland superb. Then we suited up and chased warm spots in the lagoon while our faces felt like being pelted with ice (from cold wind and rain), but it was pretty cool. I swear my skin is still soft from it. We also got to know our 2 guides who picked us up from the airport, and they were our guides for the entire trip.

After a few hours at the Blue Lagoon, we finally got into Reykjavík for a private group lunch. It cleared a bit at that point, and this was the view from the window of the restaurant.

After lunch, we were finally able to get into our hotel rooms for our first rest in over 24 hours. This was the view from our hotel room.

It was a short rest before we had to get ready for dinner, which was amazing. In fact, the food at every restaurant was 4-star all the way. This one was 2 blocks from our hotel. Uh-huh. Turns out everywhere is 2 blocks from where you want to be, no matter where you're going! None of our dinners ended until at least 11pm, but it didn't matter. It was still light out. 

The next morning, after a great buffet breakfast at the hotel, we boarded our bus for a trip to the glaciers for snowmobiling and highlights of the Golden Circle Tour. Despite that first observation, Iceland isn't flat after all. Duh. Famous for volcanoes and glaciers, but take another look at that first impression pic. Iceland is also bigger than expected, and each expedition took at least an hour and a half to get to, but the bus was luxury and the terrain beautiful. 

Our first stop was at a remote outpost to switch buses to a bigger one with bigger tires to get us farther up the mountain.

About 1/2 hr later, we had to switch buses again for the last 20 min or so. This monstrosity took us the rest of the way, and they let a lot of air out of the tires to glide on the hard ice and snow.
Unfortunately, as you can see in the pic, it started to snow a bit at that point. We were supposed to snowmobile our way to lunch, served on an ice table carved into the glacier. Instead, after snowmobiling, we wound our way back down just as the snow got worse. That kinda sucked, but we had it way better than the group coming in as we were leaving!

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at an incredibly beautiful waterfall where I snapped some of my fave pics of the trip. 

And then we went to the geysers. It is incredible what they do here with harvesting steam, etc, to have all of the energy they need - and then some. Have a video of a geyser eruption right in front of me, but can't get it to post. :(
Dinner that night was "2 blocks" from the hotel, and awesome.

Next morning was a super jeep expedition up to the volcanoes. Wasn't sure what to expect, and about 5 or 6 of these  jeeps showed up at the hotel. When we got to the bottom of the volcanoes, they let air out of the tires, this time to glide over ice and rocks.

Love this pic because it shows on the gps that we are driving through what used to be a lagoon before the big volcano eruption of 2010 changed the landscape. Funniest part was seeing the line of super jeeps with Go-Pros hanging out the windows! 
For lunch, we stopped at a remote outpost where our guides bbq'd lunch while we hiked. Wish I could say that meal was good, but I'm pretty sure we ate horse.
On the way back to the city, we stopped at a gorgeous waterfall that you could walk/hike behind. 

We also stopped at a cool cliff area, but I didn't get off the bus. A lot of us didn't. We were cold, hungry, tired, and wet from the waterfall. Turns out it was The Wall from Game of Thrones! Yeah, I'm still kicking myself.

Guess what? Dinner that night was awesome, and "2 blocks from the hotel!"

The next day we actually had a few hours to ourselves in Reykjavík before our flight home to Boston. Oh yeah! Our luggage came in on the same carousel as one from Panama. I was sniffed by a DEA dog! When we arrived home, the house was still standing, our dog still alive, and the twins hadn't killed each other, though apparently that was a close call. 


Margie said...

Sounds like you had a really great time. I'd love to visit Iceland sometime.

Victoria Adams said...

Looks like you had a fabulous time. Iceland is a country I'd love to visit. The photos are stunning.

Dalton Diaz said...

It is an adventure trip, that's for sure! Well worth seeing.

Ashlyn Chase said...

What a great trip! It looks like a beautiful place that most of us will never see. Thank you for sharing it with us!