Iceland has always been my favorite country, even before I made my first trip to the place. I remember checking out library books as a kid about Iceland. The books had photos of majestic scenery that I just salivated over. The people had such an alluring appearance and style that I was drawn immediately into the culture, even at such a young age. I was always such a beach baby, but there was something so captivating about this island nation in the Atlantic that made it my favorite place on the planet. A place I had never even traveled to.
In July 2011, I moved to Norway and the one-way flight took me through Reykjavik and gave me a twelve hour layover. With a dog in cargo and my nerves arisen, I decided to not go into the city. I was adamant that I didn’t want my first meeting with Iceland to be with my mind frazzled for my dog’s sake and on a twelve hour layover at night. More often than not, I go to a place and leave with little desire to go back, even if the trip was fantastic. I didn’t want my only meeting with Iceland to be a short layover in which I only saw Reykjavik at night.
To make the story short, I ended up in Reykjavik anyways… and I fell in love with the city. I walked around all night (it never gets pitch black at night in early July) and just relished in the fact that I was in a country I had obsessed over for around twenty years. And after I left Iceland, I desired to come back almost immediately.
In the summer of 2013, Andre and I were booking a trip to the US for a month in the fall and we immediately knew we had to fly Iceland Air and take advantage of their long layovers and see a little of the country. Between my first trip and this one, I had lost a little interest in Iceland after seeing nearly every travel blogger out there succumbing to press-trip junkie syndrome and writing reviews of the place solely based on all of their sponsored activities. Nothing wrong with press-trips for bloggers, but I don’t usually read articles by bloggers who take many sponsorships because it comes across as void of authenticity. You can only read about so many glacier hikes and road trips around the island that move so fast that the people spend much of the time in the car and not exploring the pristine nature Iceland has to offer visitors. I think this is why I really loved Alex in Wanderland‘s recap of Iceland, as it was a genuine experience with her family.
That lost interest in Iceland quickly vanished as we officially booked those tickets through Skyscanner. We had decided, since Iceland is a middle-point between Norway and the US and we can go there yearly if we wish, to take it a little slow on this trip. We rented a car and planned a rough itinerary. We had planned to use our five days seeing a little bit of the south coast and getting to know Reykjavik. I love exploring the countryside, but I really enjoy exploring cities just as much. Our future trips would consists of exploring new regions of the country, allowing us to focus on small areas each time.
Our trip is long over and I’m finally here to start writing about it. It was mind-blowing. We were there at the end of September and the weather was immaculate. Blue skies, sexy sunsets, welcoming people, and scenery so spectacular that there is no way the images could ever escape my mind.
We traveled around the Reykjanes peninsula (although no Blue Lagoon this time, which we weren’t upset about), some of the places around the Golden Circle, Vík, and Jökulsárlón. We took our time and enjoyed every minute of this trip. The Golden Circle is very touristy and we figured if we saw it now, we would not find a need to go back on future trips. Which we don’t, and yes, it is most definitely touristy, albeit very worth the trip. I thought Vík and Jökulsárlón would have some tourists in the area with it only being September, but there was no one in sight. We pretty much had Vík to ourselves and we definitely had all of Jökulsárlón to ourselves. I never in a million years would have thought I’d have the Diamond Beach in Iceland all to myself.
Now that I am long back from Iceland, I can honestly say that my Icelandic infatuation continues. We have already decided that our next trip there will be to explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the northwest fjords. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get enough of the country. I never thought in a million years that my expectations would be exceeded after visiting a place I had mentally hyped up for so long. Iceland somehow managed to do just that.
I can’t wait to share more about the places visited in upcoming posts! Stay tuned!