For the longest time, I’ve been wanting to visit Iceland and I finally got there by taking a trip with www.zirkeltheworld.com.
The tour was for five days and four nights and I knew that would be enough for me at this point in the summer and to bring me into the Fall.
So first let me give you some facts about Iceland and then I’ll take you on my journey…
Iceland(which means island—did not know!) is a Nordic country between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean(and oh yes, LOL! it was cold!…)
Iceland has a population of about 350,000 people and it is the most sparsely populated country in Europe.
The capital and largest city is Reykjavik (where I spent two nights) and you’ll read more about it later in the article!
Iceland is volcanically and geologically active (hence the heavily recent volcano warnings) but I decided to take my chances and go anyway!
So now after taking a midnight flight out of Kennedy, I landed in Reykjavik about 9:30 in the morning. There is a four hour time difference. They are four hours ahead of New York.
So here I am…sooo tired but Yeah! at the Reykjavik airport!
So when I got to the airport I missed the connecting fly shuttle bus to take me to Alfred’s Apartments where I was meeting the other members of the group. But for now it was kinda of fun to hand out at the airport, with these yummy Icelandic yogart rice cakes and just get to people watch.
Then I got to Alfred’s Apartments at about 2 and was ready to unpack a bit (was only going to be there for 2 nights) and then planned to go out to the main street and join the fun as it was Reykjavik’s Culture festival and the town was hopping!
Here is an outside photo of Alfred’s Apartments.
Now don’t be deceived by the outside facade.
The inside was stylishly decorated and had a full kitchen with a few suites and most importantly it was off the main street. So Yeah!
So then after quickly unpacking, I left Alfred’s to join the Reykjavik’s Culture Festival and the streets were packed and then some.
So as I wandered in and out of the shops and the art galleries there was a choir singing on the street and all in all it was great fun!
So soon after exploring most of the town I met up with my other tour mates and we had dinner at an amazing bakery named Sandholt (See article under food tag!) and there the absolute highlight was sitting and speaking with the world renowned baker and author who who shared some of his baking secrets from this five generation bakery in which he was now carrying the torch!
So my second day in Reykjavik we started out at The Phallological Museum and that was definitely an educational experienceLOL.
Then at 1:00 we had a walking tour of Reykjavik and I found that to be very interesting. We learned about the history of Reykjavik and the role of the Vikings and then we learned how one’s names are chosen in Iceland.
Did you know-that no one in Iceland has a last name. That there’s only the first name and then “son or daughter of” and believe it or not that is how you are listed in the phone book!
So here are two pictures from the walking tour just to give you a sense of “Reykjavik.”
Then after the walking tour we visited an exhibit called The Settlement Exhibition. Here we witnessed the archeological remains of the oldest relics of human daily life in Reykjavik dating back to about 871AD.
The goal of the exhibition (which was very well done!) wanted the visitor to feel what the environment of Reykjavik farm life was at the time of the first settlers and that included many dug up artifacts with the help of modern technology.
Then off to eat at The Sea Baron where we had lobster soup and Minke Whale tasting and that was really fun!
Then more walking, more shoppingLOL!( You can see one of my purchases in my latest Fashion tab post!) and then time for dinner!
Dinner was AMAZING!!!
We wound up at this very upscale restaurant name Grillmarkadurrin where most of the food is skewered. I had a small puffin burger, a minke whale burger and a lobster burger and more about that in a separate article under the Food tab heading.
Well, here we are on Monday morning and packing the car to drive to The Blue Lagoon which is part of our Golden Circle Tour which holds many of Iceland’s most popular attractions.
So here we are at The Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon is a man made by-product of a hydro-thermal power plant which supplies Iceland with a high percentage of its electricity with most of it going to Reykjavik. I didn’t go swimming or take a partially under-water massage because truthfully, the lagoon is all out and it was freezing that day and no way was I willing to subject myself that experience.
So I just hung out in the lobby and read until some of my tour mates who were far braver than myselfSoLOL returned from their swim for lunch!
Then we drove to visit to Pingvellir National Park which is where Iceland’s first parliamentary assembly was held and now it’s more like their national park.
We took a wonderful nature walk and it’s a very lovely, quiet and serene place to visit!
Then we went to the original hot spring and saw yes, actually saw a few geysirs spring up. It was very nasty weather but very entertaining!
Here’s are two photos which shows you how it’s set up.
Then time to check into where would be spending the next two nights.
Yes, as shown below it was a very amazing cottage basically in the middle of nowhere…
But check out the Architectural Digest inside!!!
Didn’t I tell you!!!
Now I must admit that the first experience on Day 4 was my favorite.
We got to take The Amphibian Ride on The Glacial Lagoon.
Words don’t really do the experience justice so here are some photos to let you see it…
So all I can say is that I completely recommend a visit to Iceland. The people are very friendly, the air is cleaner than ANY AIR THAT I CAN EVER REMEMBER BREATHING and the landscapes are full of natural beauty and wonder.
So check out the photo below, plan your trip and have a great time!!!