Iceland 2016

I feel like I've made a stepping stone in my travelling journey, by finally bucking the courage to do a trip by myself. There was only one destination that could receive my full attention, and that was the one and only Iceland.

If you haven't done a trip by yourself, I highly recommend doing so. Why?

  1. It's highly liberating.
    You have the chance to go and see the things you want to see. Time is in your essence, and you can do exactly what you want to do.
  2. It's a great way to make new friends from new places
    Meeting new people in a new country is always refreshing. You already have so much in common with your love for travel.
  3. There's time to reflect and relax
    You have the time to do things that you never normally have the chance to do. Read a book, reflect in your own time and stop at the world to take it all in for once.

What better place to do all three, than in Iceland?

With it's flair for natural beauty, care for conservation and love for joy - it's an interesting country to say the least. When I arrived and hopped on the bus to the Reykjavik, I couldn't help but notice that people were sparse and the land was almost untouched. Reykjavik itself however, was full of charm, quirkiness and yet such a simple city where you could feel the pride they held to their independence and community. Most of all, the one thing to take away from Iceland is that you can appreciate their friendly, open approach flavoured with a pinch of hunour.

One word of warning, the rumours are all true - Iceland is expensive! Expect an average of 50-60 pounds for an average evening meal in the city centre of Reykjavik. I recommend bringing snacks to take across especially if you're doing the Golden Circle tour!

What was on the agenda then?

Day 1:

  • Blue Lagoon
 I started the morning in the most magical place. One piece of advice, April was a good time to go - although you miss the Northern lights, you miss the peak wave of the tourists during the Blue Lagoon. Although the biggest tourist attraction, it was a great place to relax and enjoy the hot, misty atmosphere.

  • Reykavik City Centre
 After spending more than enough hours at the Blue Lagoon, I took the chance to go back to Reykavik to enjoy what the city has to offer. Most outstandingly, the Hallgrimskirkja parish church on the top of the hill is a must. Apparently the largest church in Iceland and named after the Icelandic poet. It really is quite a magnificent piece of architecture, resembling a rocket like feature. The view from the top is also very beautiful but be careful it can be very windy up there! After walking down the road from the church, I went to Reykjavik Roasters to warm myself up from the cold - a quirky and vintage café fully packed with customers! The area in itself is a great place to walk around, with brilliant street art and creative shops with a focus on independent artists, fashion labels and Scandinavian design. I even spotted a Christmas Shop in the city centre! (It's never too early)

  • Harper Concert Hall
 One of the most beautiful buildings I have seen in a while. With the winds being incredibly strong outside, I made sure to make the most of my visit in the Harper Concert Hall by admiring the steel framework filled with geometric shaped glass panels of different colours. Incredibly mesmerizing to look at with a great touch of modernism and simplicity. I highly recommend visiting if you have time.

  • For dinner, I recommend trying the local delicacies. There are most definitely a few where I wasn't brave enough to try, for example rotten shark! However as I met a lovely new friend, we spent the nice drinking cocktails and munching on puffin, whale and lobster tailfish. The whale and tailfish was suprising nice, but I wouldn't recommend the puffin - incredibly chewy!

  • Day 2:

    • Golden Circle Tour - Icelandic Ponies & Gullfoss Waterfall

    The second day I was up incredibly early to go on the Golden Circle Tour, allowing me to visit some of Iceland's most stunning sights. As we started the journey visiting the Icelandic Horse Park to stroke the local horses, we then moved on to the mother nature of beauty, the Gullfoss Waterfall. Breathtakingly stunning, photos of this waterfall really doesn't do it justice.
    • Geysirs
    We shortly moved on to the Geysir - the geothermal area where the Strokkus geyser shoots water up to 30 metres into the air every 3-3 minutes. Although my chubby finger got in the way of one of my action shots - there was definitely enough time to see it shoot up a couple more times. There's something deeply satisfying with bubbling mud ready to explode.

    • Fontana Wellness
    After all the excitement, we moved on to the Fontana Wellness spa centre where I saw rye bread get slow made and digged up from the hot natural springs. The Fontana Wellness was a great break, with far less people than the Blue Lagoon located in Iceland's top summer location.

    • Þingvellir National Park
    I ended the day at the spectacular sceneries of the Þingvellir National Park where I saw cracks slicing through the landscape due to the tectonic plate movement in the ground. Apparently the wall of the Pingvellir National Park was also where Game of Thrones was also shot (as I'm not a big fan I was more impressed by the views on offer).

    Day 3:

    • The last day I had in Iceland gave me some time to relax and view the Icelandic street art around the city. I found a gem of a café called Vinyl Café - a vegan only place where they served really delicious food and great coffee. Just off the beaten track, this café was perfect for catching up on Icelandic journalism (where I absolutely loved their tone of voice - taken with a pinch of sarcasm). 
    Overall Iceland is a beautiful and endearing place to visit, whether you go on your own, with family or friends. Although you definitely will need to save a few pennies in the pocket before you go, it is most definitely worth the trip. I hope to go back and experience the Ice Glaciers and ofcourse the Northern Lights.


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