Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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New Year, New Blog, and Why I Have a Love Affair With Iceland

T says he’s jealous of my love affair, but I can’t help it.  I went to Iceland last June and haven’t stopped thinking about it since, and I’m not even a glamperReally.

Where else can you see jagged mountains, plentiful waterfalls, drive through lush moss-covered lava fields, drink 10,000 year old melted glacial water, walk on black sand beaches, walk behind a waterfall, sit in a hot spring at the base of a volcano, and take a ride in the middle of a glacial lagoon…. all in one day?!  And that’s just the southern part of Iceland.

I had been wanting to go to Iceland for a some time, and I managed to convince my girlfriend, K, that if she agreed to go, she’d see natural wonders she’s never seen before (not to mention that the guys in Iceland would be tall, hot, and blond).  Luckily, she bought it, and after a couple of months of planning, we were on our way.

Over the 6 days we were there, we managed to squeeze in the Blue Lagoon (how cool is it that you can order beer and ice cream from the lagoon?!), rode snowmobiles on a glacier (we’re bad@$$ like that), walked beside 5 beautiful waterfalls, basked in the midnight sun, rode Icelandic horses (they kind of look like “my little ponies”), played with the cutest newborn sheep (at times I think I should live on a farm), and sat in a natural hot spring in the middle of lava fields (hello, fountain of youth!).

Other notable things:

  • We had a couple of hotdogs from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which besides being the cheapest meal we had in Reykjavik, is rumored to have the best hot dogs in Europe (I can see why even though I still love Dogzilla).
  • I finally learned how to spell “Reykjavik”.
  • I gagged when trying putrefied shark; mink whale tastes better raw than cooked (K brings out the adventurous eater in me).
  • Iceland’s really not as cold as you’d think.  The Midwest winter is colder than Icelandic winters, but it is friggin’ windy (I’ll reluctantly admit all the REI clothes we bought were worth it).
  • There are barely any trees in Iceland and the ones that exist are kind of short as far as trees go.

Seriously, if you’ve been thinking that Iceland was just a cold, unforgiving place, think again.  This country has been blessed with natural phenomena that just don’t exist elsewhere in the world, and with global warming and the Icelandic government pushing to develop the land, this attraction might be gone tomorrow.

When you go, make sure you sign up for a tour or two with GoEcco! I’ve been on a lot of tours before and that one ranks in the top two of tour companies I’ve ever used. For starters, it doesn’t feel like a “tour” – instead, the guides treat you like a friend in town for a visit.  Jonas, one of the owners, is hi-larious, tells the most entertaining stories (he’s convinced his son is a superhero so you know he’s not your average anything), and he keeps the tours small to maximize your experience.  I’m convinced I wouldn’t be this in love with Iceland if it weren’t for the time I spent with them.

Anyway, now it’s winter in Iceland and it seems like the aurora borealis is large and in charge this season (see what I mean about all the natural phenomena?)….which means I’m dying to go back.   Next time, I’ll bring T — both of my loves at one time.  Awesome.

Until then, here are some of my pics from the last visit to Iceland:

(Snaefellnes Peninsula)

(Icelandic horses)

(Natural hot springs by lava fields and beautiful purple flowers found along a road)

(A family of sheep)

(A road divides moss covered lava fields)

(Geysir area geothermal springs)

(A view of midnight sun from behind a waterfall and lava columns behind Svartifoss)

(Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon)

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Arlene - January 5, 2012 - 11:17 am

Those pictures are amazing! Seeing the aurora borealis is on my bucket list. Also seeing fireflies. Wow is the ice really blue like that?

Just Wanderlust - January 5, 2012 - 4:53 pm

We should go plan an aurora borealis trip! 🙂 Yes, the ice is blue like that – so beautiful what nature does on its own when man doesn’t intervene…

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Tine - April 10, 2013 - 10:43 am

What a difference to visit Iceland in the summer… Where did all the ice go?! 😉 Very impressive…

Janet - July 21, 2016 - 6:01 am

Hi there! I’ve been really inspired by blogs like yours and many others that just rave about Iceland. I’m about to book a last minute trip there but I’m worried it’s just going to be mostly seeing and admiring landscapes. Can you suggest things to do? Like swimming in a hot spring at the base of a volcano sounds EPIC. Do you remember where that was? Thanks!!

JustWanderlust - August 3, 2016 - 5:41 pm

Hi Janet- I took a tour with GoEcco that finds unique and hidden places/experiences for travelers. They brought us to the hot springs. 🙂 Other things you can do include: snowmobiling on a glacier, dog sledding, hiking through volcano tubes, whale watching, scuba diving, riding horses– there’s actually a lot of activities beyond just sight seeing. I’ve yet to talk to one person who went to Iceland and hated it. I think you should go! You’ll love it.

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