Iceland

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.

We also discovered that coffee shops are where the cool old grandfatherly professor-looking men go to hang out and drink espresso together. I loved it. 

We also discovered that coffee shops are where the cool old grandfatherly professor-looking men go to hang out and drink espresso together. I loved it. 

Meet the Little Red House. This is where we stayed for the three days we spent in the city with Olafur and Birna - the most wonderful Airbnb hosts. This was our first experience using Airbnb and it was so great.

Meet the Little Red House. This is where we stayed for the three days we spent in the city with Olafur and Birna - the most wonderful Airbnb hosts. This was our first experience using Airbnb and it was so great.

Our own tiny door in the back of the Little Red House :) I'm pretty sure it was originally meant for elves.

Our own tiny door in the back of the Little Red House :) I'm pretty sure it was originally meant for elves.

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. 

Shown here is my husband in his happiest state: he loved Icelandic architecture and Harpa was his favorite. He also stumbled upon this lobster food truck on the harbor and this sandwich took him to another place.... Add a coke and this is one happy man.

Shown here is my husband in his happiest state: he loved Icelandic architecture and Harpa was his favorite. He also stumbled upon this lobster food truck on the harbor and this sandwich took him to another place.... Add a coke and this is one happy man.

Said lobster food truck ;)

Said lobster food truck ;)

Please throw me a bone and just admire the fishtail braid. I fought wind and rain and hail and fire and Vikings to keep this thing intact. I was determined to look as Nordic as possible...

Please throw me a bone and just admire the fishtail braid. I fought wind and rain and hail and fire and Vikings to keep this thing intact. I was determined to look as Nordic as possible...

We had exactly 1 (one) sunny day on our 10-day voyage to Iceland. Just indulge the shots of me basking in the sunlight....

We had exactly 1 (one) sunny day on our 10-day voyage to Iceland. Just indulge the shots of me basking in the sunlight....

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. 

Our trusty steed who carried us almost 2,000 kilometers across Icelandic wilderness!

Our trusty steed who carried us almost 2,000 kilometers across Icelandic wilderness!

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!

Side note: Iceland is outrageously WINDY. When we rented our car, they told us to make sure to hold onto the door handle when we opened the door, since the wind sometimes rips the car door off....what?! 

Side note: Iceland is outrageously WINDY. When we rented our car, they told us to make sure to hold onto the door handle when we opened the door, since the wind sometimes rips the car door off....what?! 

We are very proud Boilermakers.

We are very proud Boilermakers.

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. 

Some more windy Purdue lovin.

Some more windy Purdue lovin.

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.

Don't be fooled by the blue sky. It was pouring five minutes later.... But holy cow the rainbows in Iceland are so vivid.

Don't be fooled by the blue sky. It was pouring five minutes later.... But holy cow the rainbows in Iceland are so vivid.

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.

This is the table where we all gathered to eat together and talk. Over those three days, we met people of all different ages, from different countries and different cities, but we all were thrown together in this little town and became part of each other's adventures.

This is the table where we all gathered to eat together and talk. Over those three days, we met people of all different ages, from different countries and different cities, but we all were thrown together in this little town and became part of each other's adventures.

We saw the Northern Lights on our last night there! 

We saw the Northern Lights on our last night there! 

10. Snaefellsnes PeninsulaStykkishólmur is on a peninsula and we spent a day driving around the coast before heading back to Reykjavik!

So we stumbled upon a shark processing museum (??) literally in the middle of nowhere. So naturally, we had to stop. We got about 5 feet from the door, took a good whiff, and could go no further. We are definitely not as hearty as these folks.

So we stumbled upon a shark processing museum (??) literally in the middle of nowhere. So naturally, we had to stop. We got about 5 feet from the door, took a good whiff, and could go no further. We are definitely not as hearty as these folks.

Just a little more....can't help myself.

Just a little more....can't help myself.

Sheep! So many sheep everywhere.

Sheep! So many sheep everywhere.

The hubs had since run back to the warmth of the car so I was forced to take a selfie.

The hubs had since run back to the warmth of the car so I was forced to take a selfie.

One last day in Reykjavik.

One last day in 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.

We had to add a piece of Atlanta to the Blue Lagoon :) Shout out to our buddy Matt at Only You Tattoo!

We had to add a piece of Atlanta to the Blue Lagoon :) Shout out to our buddy Matt at Only You Tattoo!

Remnants from the trip....

Remnants from the trip....

The end! If you've made it this far, you either really love me or you have a lot of time on your hands.... In short, Iceland was the most incredible trip imaginable. Most of the best things weren't caught on camera because we were either staring in disbelief or crying...seriously. I miss the mountains, waterfalls, rainbows, people, houses, colors, and chocolate. I realize people always have a post-trip nostalgia that makes wherever they went to seem like the best. But there's something truly magical about this little island, and I WILL be back.

The end! If you've made it this far, you either really love me or you have a lot of time on your hands.... In short, Iceland was the most incredible trip imaginable. Most of the best things weren't caught on camera because we were either staring in disbelief or crying...seriously. I miss the mountains, waterfalls, rainbows, people, houses, colors, and chocolate. I realize people always have a post-trip nostalgia that makes wherever they went to seem like the best. But there's something truly magical about this little island, and I WILL be back.