Iceland | Part 1

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{jökulsárlón glacier lagoon}

Iceland is simply incredible!!! I’m definitely going to run out of over-excitable adjectives in this post because it really is an experience that requires you to lift your jaw up off the floor and say wowsers every few minutes. I surprised my hubbage with a 7-day trip straight after the New Year (that extra week off work went down a treat!) – he had no idea as I had sneakily booked his time off work, planned a full itinerary and even briefed Santa to bring him some Iceland worthy clothing, so he was prepared.

I always search blogs for suggested travel itineraries when I’m planning a trip, they are super dooper helpful for me, so as well as sharing lots of piccies, I’ll give a rough outline of our itinerary including places to stay, things to do and where to eat. If you don’t know me by now, I tend to babble, so sorry this is a bit long, just enjoy the pics if you like!

Day 1 – We flew into the Keflavik International Airport. I’m a throw-money-at-the-situation (TMATS) kinda girl and would always take a taxi from an airport to my hotel, but the taxi rank at Keflavik airport is a bit hit or miss (there were none when we arrived). You can order taxis or arrange car pick-ups via your hotel/Air BNB in advance, but I forgot to do that; so we took one of the Reykjavik Excursions coaches straight into the city center and it was actually totally fine. It took about 40-minutes.

I booked a really stylish Air BNB studio apartment in Reykjavik for the first two nights. The space was great (huge compared to our New York apartment) and although we didn’t use any of the mod cons in the kitchen, it was really well equipped. Most of all (besides also being really clean) it was in a perfect location to wonder the streets and stumble home from the fun restaurants and bars.

I reserved us a table at one of the fancier restaurants for dinner on our first night. Grill Market or Grillmarkaðurinn in Icelandic was so much fun! The decor is really cool, the food was amazing, the wine was delicious and it was the perfect introduction to Iceland. We had the tasting menu with matching wines and although expensive, it was worth every single penny. They are very, very generous with the wine servings. Point to note: we found that all the food options in Iceland were pretty expensive, but you get used to it. I had done a fair bit of research in advance so I was prepared for the hefty bill each meal, I don’t want people thinking that I usually spend this much dollar on grub, I don’t!

Day 2 – I heard about a Reykjavik walking tour operated by the blogger behind IheartReykjavik.net (thanks to Miranda from Rock My Style for the recommendation). We met at 10am, in the pitch black, and walked around listening to the historical facts and sweet tales told by the very lovely and very witty Auður. Her passion for Iceland and namely the place she grew up, Reykjavik, was so interesting and gave you the warm and fuzzies even though you were actually so freezing cold, your breathe looked like puff the magic dragon.

Some places we ate and drank throughout the day/evening: we had grilled cheese and super tasty tomato soup at Cafe Babalu, had dinner at a cute French restaurant called La Bistro (we are just a sucker for all things French) and did some ale tasting at Kaldi Bar. All really luscious and worth a visit.

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{colourful houses are a thing in Reykjavik, this lime green abode is the brightest in the city}

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{reykjavik concert hall, like a scene from Secret Life of Walter Mitty}

Day 3 – We drove East along the southern ring road towards Hotel Ranga, in Hella. On our way, we stopped off at the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, hidden away in a canyon and smelly geysers in Geysir. Touristy? Absolutely. Worth stopping to see? Absolutely. We also had some Kjötsúpa, quintessentially Icelandic lamb soup for lunch in the Geysir visitors cafe, which was yummy.

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{gullfoss waterfall – excuse all the water droplets on the lens, it was impossible to avoid while being so up close to that spray and it was snowing!}

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{gullfoss waterfall}

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{waiting…}

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{geyser}

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{crystal blue}

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{a lonesome pony}

We ate dinner in the restaurant at Hotel Ranga, it was very delicious but we both agreed it was probably the most over-priced meal during the whole week. We had a Northern Lights sighting call during dinner but, unfortunately, when we went outside to see them they were nothing spectacular. Actually it just looked like some green slime smeared in between the clouds. I didn’t have my camera, so no piccies to share of the faint bit of Aurora we saw. We were actually really unlucky during our week in Iceland, we didn’t get another chance to see the lights, there are so many variables and the cloud was just too dense while we were there. Oh well, next time.

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{typical driving view in iceland}

If you like what you see, pop back for some more Iceland amazingness tomorrow including the glacier at Katla Volcano (where scenes from Game of Thrones and Noah were filmed), a husky dog ride with two A-list pooches (featured in Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and the epic glacier lagoon (where scenes from Die Another Day, A View To Kill and Tombraider were filmed). Ooooh, I want to get my duvet coat on and go back immediately.

4 thoughts on “Iceland | Part 1

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!! Iceland is very high on my list for when we go back to Europe so I’m so excited to read more tomorrow! xxx

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    • Oh Soph, it really is wonderful. Iceland gets less than a million tourists a year at the moment so I would urge you to go sooner rather than later, it’s defo going to get popular (under 3 hours from UK and 4 hours from NYC!) xxx

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