Halló Iceland!

Iceland is one of the most fascinating places and it has always been on my list of places to go. I found a flight with a stopover to Iceland from NYC to CPH so I decided to take the chance to visit, even if it was for 2 days.

I arrived at around 11:20pm at night and it was still light. By the time I got from airport to my hostel in Hlemmur Square in downtown Reykjavik at 12:30am, it was still bright but the sun was slowly starting to set – it was crazy to see such a thing! Even though it’s summer, it was a mild 15°C on average, dipping to below 5°C in the night.

With little sleep, I got up early and went on the Golden Circle Tour with Reykavik Excursions. If I had more time in the country, I would have hired a car and drove around but the tour which cost 9,100 Icelandic kroner (approx. $90) was still a good way to see the highlights of Iceland.

The tour started off at tomato farm where we tried fresh tomato soup and then headed to the geysir geothermal area where the Strokkur geyser shoots a column of water in the air every few minutes. Next we headed to Gullfoss (Golden Waterfalls) and then Thingvellier National Park where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.

Area of the geysir
Raining at Gullfoss
Þingvellir National Park

Came back to Reykjavik in the evening and headed to Hostel Kex, a fun place to go with a live band and a cosy atmosphere to try some Icelandic beers – einstok white ale was the way to go. Being a Thursday night, there was limited places to go because everything closes either before or at 1am. However, nightlife here on Friday and Saturday nights are meant to be insane where bars and pubs open til the wee hours of the morning and the locals know how to party! We went to Kaffibarinn and had some more beers and met some Icelandic locals. By 2:30am, the sun was slowing coming back up.

The next day was spent exploring the tiny town of Reykjavik. I visited the Hallgrimskirkja (church) where at the top, you could see a fantastic view of the city. For lunch, went to Baejarins Beztu Pylsu to try the famous hot dog. There are cute cafes scattered around the city including Babalu which was great place to grab a drink. Wandered around the lake and the city which was very relaxing!

                                                   Views from the Hallgrimskirkja
                                                   Views from the Hallgrimskirkja

                                                                       Lake area
On the way to the airport, I stopped by at the Blue Lagoon (Bláa nið). The Blue Lagoon is one of the 25 wonders of the world and the average temperature of the lagoon is 38°C. With an entry fee of 6,700 Icelandic kroner (approx. $65), it wasn’t cheap but it was well worth it! I relaxed in the geothermal baths for about 2.5 hours and it was pure bliss! Minerals, algae and silica are the active ingredients in the lagoon and there was silica mud available for us to use on our faces and bodies as a mask.
                                                      At the incredible Blue Lagoon
                                                                    Blue Lagoon
There are so many beautiful places to go and see in Iceland and plenty of things to do here – I will definitely be back to road trip around the country and also to try more of the Icelandic cuisine!

Next stop – Copenhagen and Aarhus! Cannot wait to see my Danish friends again in my old stomping ground!

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