Friday, November 18, 2011

flashback friday

We’ve been really blessed to be assigned to Europe so much over the past 3 years.  We’ve seen so much and visited almost every country we ever hoped to visit on the continent.  It’s disgusting really how lucky we’ve been.

We fell in love with so many places in Europe, but I’d say my favorite was probably Iceland or Island as the locals spell it.

Today’s flashback takes us back to last year’s visit to this incredible country. We had crap weather the entire time we were there, but nothing could take away from the sheer beauty of this place.

I still believe everyone should put it at the top of their vacation wish lists.  If you do want to plan a visit, be sure to check out the travel piece I did for EW on it. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Even rain couldn’t take away from the beauty of this country. Blast this rain! I think God is trying to get us ready for living in Ireland.
Anyhoo, back to our weekend…

We arrived early morning on Thursday and headed directly to the Blue Lagoon from the airport. Almost immediately you feel like you’ve landed on a different planet with all the green spongy moss covering fields of black lava rocks. Then you see the ethereal blue water and you’re even more convinced you’ve left Earth...

The Blue Lagoon is a hot spring and full of silica which makes it delightfully relaxing and leaves your skin super soft. I think it may be the best thing we’ve ever done after a long and early morning flight. Very relaxed girls...

After we were done soaking we made our way to Reykjavik and to our hotels. We quickly popped out to grab some food and see the town. I know it is technically the capital of the country, but I just can’t call it a city. Reykjavik feels far more like a college town than an actual city and not at all like a capital. Cute little restaurants, bars and stores selling Icelandic “woolens” (sheep outnumber people in Iceland) fill the small streets and thanks to the earthquakes there isn’t a building over a few stories high. It was ridiculously quaint.

We had one of those weird too late for lunch but too early for dinner meals and after milling about had a couple of local beers (Gull-not bad, not bad) and went to bed. We had been up since 4:30am so our 10pm bedtime seemed more than reasonable.

We set off after breakfast on Friday for the golden circle tour. This is kind of the quintessential tour in Iceland since it covers some of the best of their natural sites. We first stopped at one of their newest geothermal energy plants. What a snorefest. I’m all for being green and I actually find the concept interesting, but it was a bore of a tour. We then hit the Gullfoss Falls- really beautiful and we even had about 5 minutes where it wasn’t raining...

We saw 2 of the world’s 5 geysers although only one blew…or spurted…or erupted or whatever it is they do. Very cool...

Then we ended our day visiting the site of the world’s oldest parliament. Iceland was founded by Norwegians that wanted to escape their king’s rule. AKA- they were over the taxes. With no monarchs to rule them they created the world’s first parliament to still keep it somewhat civil, keep in mind they were Vikings. They chose the site due to the large amount of space, grass to feed the horses and available drinking water. No building was ever erected as the chieftains stood on “law rock” to announce new laws to the citizens each year. It is a place dear in the hearts of Icelanders as the birthplace of their country and government. Just so happens this is also where you can see the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia which was just freaking awesome…

Saturday we headed to Southern Iceland where drove through awe-inspiring farmlands to see waterfalls,tons of ash from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, a glacial tongue (also covered with ash from Eyjafjallajökull), some black sand beaches (one with very cool basalt formations) and visited a little museum founded and still run by the cutest little old Icelandic man you could imagine that focused on the culture of the Southern way of life complete with farmhouses from the 18th century…

It was a really great, but also long day- made even longer by our 1am flight out.
Iceland is just so unique and truly breathtaking. I’m sure many of you have never even thought of visiting it. God knows I didn’t a couple of years ago, but really you should put it at the top of your travel wish list. There is no other place like it.

This weekend is our last in Germany and we’re actually staying in the country to spend some QT with KS in Berlin. Can’t wait! And I’m sure I’m cursing us right now by typing it, but the weather called for rain all week but is now saying an entire weekend of sunshine. I’m still packing the umbrella.
**more photos to come as soon as i get them from our travel companion who played personal photog all weekend- thanks, v!!**

Posted by MAV at 9:38 AM

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