Being a Post Grad who sits at a desk 9+ hours a day, sometimes I need to get out and actually live. Iceland was a perfect destination for an adventure vacation. We went on 5 different organized tours as well as some of our own and still there things we didn’t have time to see!
Before I left I mentioned that 85% of people in Iceland at least entertain the idea that elves exist. I get it now. They are not on drugs (well they might be but I no longer attribute this to the belief in elves) and they are not crazy. It is the landscape! Between the lava rocks, the hills, the waterfalls, the glaciers, the fog, I expected to see an elf or two.
When we began the glacier hike we all were handed ice axes. After looking at each other wide eyed wondering what exactly we had signed up for, the guide told us that the axes were for defending ourselves against trolls, and for pictures. We let out a sign of relief. Well, until on the way down the guides could not find a safe path and had to use said ice axes to literally hack out a route down. This was after the main guide mis-stepped and fell into a glacial lagoon. The glacier hike was not easy, it got real, real quick. But it was amazing in every way.
The Blue Lagoon was one of my favorite adventures. It is a natural hot spring, and in the middle of nowhere. The water was so rich with minerals that you could not see anything below the surface. We all could’ve been naked and no one would’ve known. The fog was almost as thick as the water. I was barely able to see my travel buddies who were right next to me. Oh and did I mention you could see snow capped mountains and moss covered lava rocks in the distance if you went close enough to the edge? It was like being on mars, or another world of some kind. The entire experience was surreal.
Other sights included about 4 waterfalls and an active geyser. At one of the waterfalls there was a DOUBLE rainbow. And next to the waterfall and double rainbow were rolling hills that had hollow rocks scattered across them. It’s where the hidden people live.
In Iceland they have a lot fewer safety measures than in America. It was raining and windy for almost every tour we went on. We were on top of a huge waterfall, walking in mud, in the rain, and there was absolutely nothing but our own common sense preventing us from going over. None of us are stupid enough to get that close, but it was raining and I was a little worried about slipping. I think we had about three near death experiences on this trip.
The final sight/adventure I want to share is the Northern Lights. I have no pictures of this one, it was impossible to get it right. We had been waiting at the National Park outside in the cold for about 2 hours and had seen nothing but the “dust” that was described to us. The dust is apparently one of the signs to look for and means that the real show should be following. But after two hours the tour guide decided we would head back to Reykjavik.
On the bus ride back the lights started. They stopped the bus and ushered everyone off and we stood by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere Iceland and watched the magic unfold. The lights were not a bright green like you see in pictures, the pictures often bring that out with the technology and such. We saw a pale green glow light up the sky and dance along. There was some pale purple that came through as well. It was a magical sight.
All in all Iceland was everything I wanted it to be and more. I would certainly go back if ever the chance arose. I am happy to still be in one piece and to have such beautiful pictures to remind me that I was actually there.