Warning! You are about to see an outrageous number of photos from my trip to Iceland. Like, tons. If you are easily annoyed by Iceland, please do not scroll down any further. I have a problem. I'm completely obsessed with this country.... I don't know what to do about it. My husband says we can't move there....
1. Reykjavik. I LOVE Reykjavik, possibly more than anywhere else in the world. It's a beautiful city, full of sweet (and English-speaking) people. The streets are small with beautiful little shops and restaurants that have colorful roofs and big windows. We loved to walk around downtown in the evening in the glow from the shop windows that somehow made it feel like Christmastime. It never felt crowded, yet always bustling. The temperature was in the 40s and 50s while we were there, and it was cloudy and rainy for most the time, which just added to the fairytale-like mist that Iceland has anyway. ::sigh:: I'm in love.
2. Harpa. Goodness gracious. The most beautiful building I've ever seen. Harpa is the concert hall on the harbor in Reykjavik that opened in 2011. It's just a puzzle of different colored glass panels in geometric shapes.
3. Grillmarkaðurinn. Hands down the most delicious decision we've ever made. We were given a tip to eat granola bars for days and then splurge on the chef's menu here. And oh so glad we did.
4. Hallgrímskirkja. The other signature building in Reykjavik. It's a gorgeous church that sits at the end of one of the main streets. It's about 800 krona (like $6) to go to the top and I highly recommend it - the view from the top is unparalleled.
After 3 days, we tearfully left our Little Red House, rented a car, and set out to explore the country.
5. Skogafoss. Along the road, we stopped at the Skogafoss Waterfall. Iceland is seriously jampacked with waterfalls, but this is one of the most famous ones. Gorgeous!
6. Vik. This gorgeous little hilly town on the Southern coast, with about 450 residents. It's quiet and peaceful and has a beautiful view of Dyrhólaey Beach and its towers.
7. Jökulsárlón. This is it, folks. This (and the elusive whales I never saw....) is what brought us to this amazing country. I had seen photos and couldn't believe my eyes. And it did NOT disappoint. This is hands-down the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life. It's where the Vatnajökull Glacier meets the Atlantic Ocean, and chunks of blue ice fall off and slowly make their way to the ocean. WOW.
8. The Golden Circle. This is a 300km loop that basically consists of Þingvellir National Park, Gulfoss Waterfall, and Geysir. It's close to Reykjavik and pretty touristy, but totally beautiful and worth it.
9. Stykkishólmur. This is where we spent the last few days of our trip before heading back to Reykjavik. It's a beautiful little harbor town on the West Coast. We stayed at this incredible B&B and loved getting to know the host, the other guests, and the sweet people that live there.
10. Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Stykkishólmur is on a peninsula and we spent a day driving around the coast before heading back to Reykjavik!
11. The Blue Lagoon. I almost forgot to mention! We actually stopped here right after we landed - to soak off some of the jetlag and pass away the time until we could check into our house that afternoon :) OK - so it's obviously touristy and kind of expensive, but totally worth it. If you go to Iceland, please just do it. The milky blue water is magical and warm and there's a swim-up bar! It was the perfect way to start the trip. *Note - in Iceland, "touristy" means there are like 30 other people there. Seriously.