Iceland, Day 1 and 2.
After landing in Keflavik at around 5:00am, we picked up our rental car (an incredibly tiny 2-wheel drive hyundai) and drove (what should have been) about an hour and 20 minutes to Seltjarnarnes for the sunrise. This was most definitely easier said than done. Knowing that our phones would not work to pull up directions, I had done as much map research as possible and had even printed out directions from google prior to our trip… but they proved to be useless. Road signs simply did not correlate to the map directions that I had and because it was well before sunrise it was just about completely pitch dark outside so we could barely even tell if we were in a town that was relevant to our map or not. Doug and I very quickly became wifi pirates and pulled over to any and every gas station to try pick up on their free wifi and get proper directions. An extra hour and quarter tank of gas later, we finally arrived at the sunrise destination point and enjoyed a cloudy but incredibly beautiful sunrise that felt as if someone was lifting a curtain and revealing Iceland’s beauty to us.
Having only 6 days to properly explore the entire country of Iceland, we acted fast. Immediately after the sunrise we found some wifi and headed towards the very famous Blue Lagoon. Needless to say we were incredibly lucky with our visit. The Blue Lagoon is a highly popular tourist site and so we made sure to be the first ones there. Checking in at exactly 9:00am, we were able to enjoy a relatively empty Blue Lagoon before the major tour busses showed up. The weather was also completely clear skies for the duration of our visit, making it truly enjoyable.
With a 30-page itinerary and just about everything planned out, one thing we did completely forget about was the effects of jet lag and hunger. Because of the odd time of our plane trip, we hadn’t really gotten solid sleep while traveling and weren’t prepared for the wall of sleepiness that hit us on the drive from the Blue Lagoon to our AirBnB. There are also no restaurants open at 5:00am so we hadn’t exactly eaten any food yet. We very sleepily went to get some lunch at a restaurant called Hofnin. Before boarding the plane to Iceland, multiple people had told me two things: 1. the coffee in Iceland is amazing. 2. The food in Iceland is terrible. Well we quickly learned that the food in Iceland is not terrible. We were both so beyond satisfied with our dishes we almost couldn’t believe it and were wondering if our state of exhaustion and hunger had anything to do with the experience.
Because of the jet lag, we weren’t exactly able to explore Reykjavik after lunch and instead spent our first afternoon sleeping before heading to dinner at a restaurant called Islenski Barinn. Feeling fully rested and still satisfied from our lunch, our dinner properly proved that we weren’t just tired and hungry before but that the food in Iceland was actually amazing. We are pretty adventurous eaters and so we absolutely had to try the whale appetizer, which was delicious. Followed by the lamb shank and then icelandic pancakes, I can say that this was one of the best meals I have had to date.
The next day, we found out that everyone was right about the coffee: we went to Reykjavik Roasters and enjoyed absolutely delicious cappuccinos and the softest croissants. Before almost buying all of their croissants, we set off to see Gullfoss. The drive was a beautiful hour and a half and as you can see from the pictures above, we were able to stop along the way and hangout with some Icelandic horses.
Coming soon… driving from Reykjavik to Höfn.