If you have been following along on my Instagram recently, you already know I just returned from an amazing trip to Iceland! This trip was planned in only a couple of months and sparked from a Facetime with my BFF. Kate was my college roommate and is currently living and playing volleyball professionally in Reykjavik, Iceland. I absolutely love to travel, so I thought this would be an incredible opportunity to go visit her and explore the country! I asked my current roommate and a friend from high school if they wanted to join me. Sure enough, they couldn't pass on this trip. We drank a ton of wine, closed our eyes, and booked the flight!
The flight there was quick and easy, and when we landed, I discovered that Iceland was even more beautiful than I imagined. I still feel like I was not able to capture how stunning the views were, even though my camera was basically glued to my hand the entire trip. What was really incredible was to see how much untouched land there was. I could really appreciate the open space and how beautiful the scenery was without any distracting buildings, resorts, or construction.
We traveled around the Golden Circle, which is a geographic circle of several of Iceland's popular tourist destinations. This included their National Park, wild horses, geysers, and waterfalls. We also booked an early morning trip to the Blue Lagoon, took a road trip to Vik, and spent a day strolling around the city of Reykjavik. I really can't put into words how amazing this trip was and it has only encouraged me to travel more. It is amazing to experience different cultures, try local foods, and see how lifestyles vary across the world. I'm so excited to share my trip with everyone and can't wait to travel to Europe again this Fall!
We watched Kate play in her volleyball match! Kate and I played volleyball together in college at Pitt, so it was a really cool experience to see her playing professionally overseas.
We hung out with the locals at a craft beer joint and then stopped at Iceland's best hot dog stand. Their special mustard and onion straws on top were the perfect touch, (hence the doublefisting).
First day driving the Golden Circle. The views were amazing!
We hiked to a waterfall at their national park.
We also stopped and ordered some ice cream from a local dairy farm.
My dream came true! Here we are roaming around with some wild horses.
These are NOT hot springs. You would not want to sit in these geysers.
I am so happy we were able to see the Northern Lights on the very first night. I was nervous we wouldn't get the opportunity to see them while we were visiting. We also saw them in the city our last night too!
BLUE LAGOON! This spa, (and Sam's sparkling wine), was a perfect way to start the day.
On our road trip to Vik we stopped and visited some stunning waterfalls. This big guy is Seljalandsfoss. What is cool about this one is you can actually walk behind it.
Our second stop was Skogofoss. Some brave souls were walking up the side of this waterfall, but we were on a mission to see the black sand beach.
Black sand beach! I've never seen Kelli more happy in my life.
Walking around the streets of Reykjavik. Sam tried the Nutella Cheesecake at Cafe Bablu! We heard they had the best cheesecake in town, but they had nothing on The Cheesecake Girl.
There it is ladies and gentlemen; fermented shark. We were advised to take a shot of Brennivin after eating the shark to help stop the taste! I wish I could show you the video Kate took of us trying it, but I did not get approval from all of the parties involved.
We hiked up the mountains for about an hour and headed towards a natural hot spring.
This was my favorite part of the trip. I could sit in that hot spring and look at those snowy mountain tops all day.
We stopped at a greenhouse for lunch as we finished our route on the Golden Circle. This place uses their own tomatoes to make bloody marys and the best tomato soup I have ever had!
Our last stop on the Golden Circle was Gulfoss.
On our flight home we were able to see a mountain range in Greenland from above. The pilot said this sight is rare, because it is almost always cloudy.
Photos were taken with my camera as well as Kate, Kelli, and Sam's iPhone.