In November, I flew to Iceland for a 3 day road trip around one of the countries that holds a larger portion of my heart than any other.
Having visited back in January 2013, I had already stood at the top of the Gullfoss Waterfall, swam in the Blue Lagoon and wandered the rift in the tectonic plates – but I couldn’t wait to go back, as there was so much I hadn’t had chance to see.
Iceland is one of the only countries I’ve ever been to which I would gladly choose over going somewhere new, to return and witness its sights, over and over again. I can say without a doubt that the second time around it was no less breathtaking – in fact, it was more so, as we were able to see so much more this time around thanks to the 4×4 we hired to get us around.
I’ll be posting pictures from the road trip over the next week – day three was one of the most special days of my life, so do check back for that!
Day One: Keflavik Airport > the Blue Lagoon > Reykjavik
The Road to the Blue Lagoon
After landing, we immediately collected our Toyota Land Cruiser and headed straight to the Blue Lagoon. In our excitement, we missed the turn off and stumbled upon a beautiful stretch of lava field. The light – as it was every hour of the day we were there – was perfect and we couldn’t resist stopping to soak it all in.
The Blue Lagoon
I defy anyone to only spend an hour or so at the Blue Lagoon. Although we were technically on a tight schedule, I happily dedicated my entire morning and afternoon to this man-made geothermal lagoon, bobbing about exploring the heat pockets in the different areas, putting on (FAR) too much of the naturally-occurring silica mud masks, trying out the sauna and waterfalls, and drinking prossecco from the swim-up bar.
We had a particularly special moment watching the sun disappear gradually behind the mounds of lava that border the lagoon, at sunset. The way the light played with the steam rising off the surface of the water was breathtaking.
Reykjavik City Center
Our flat for the Thursday and Saturday of our trip, one of the Briet Apartments, was on a road directly off the city’s main high street, Laugavegur, and was adorable. The house was originally built in 1880 and had been beautifully restored. The two bedrooms were painfully cute, with country-style floral patterned walls, and the apartment was surprisingly warm and cosy.
Not wanting to waste time, we headed straight out for some food at the restaurant next door to our apartment, Sushi Samba. Normally I wouldn’t be that lazy and would’ve researched the hell out of places to eat, but it was such a happy accident. The lobster cigars and the truffle fries were particularly delectable.
We also stopped by Kaffibarinn, a bar and restaurant formerly owned by Blur frontman Damon Albarn, the Big Lebowski-themed Lebowski Bar,Vegemot (a favourite of mine, having been wowed by their incredible steak sandwiches and cosy-cool ambiance on my last visit) and a slick, industrial new addition to Reykjavik nightlife which is now definitely on my must-visit list – Bunk Bar.
Details and pictures from days 2-3, when we hit the road to explore South Iceland, will follow this week. These days were truly special and I can’t wait to share them.
P.s. Apologies for the radio silence, but it’s been crazy, thanks to decorating, three different trips, Christmas and my birthday!
Photo Credits: Briet Apartments images by the apartment management, Bunk Bar image by the bar management, everything else by me.