Bringing the World Home: Iceland

By Gabriela Hernandez for Thinking Boutique

Day 1- We arrive to Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, very early in the morning. As soon as we got out of the airport, the wind hit us so strong, this is one of Iceland’s factors of why it feels so cold even when the temperature isn’t that low. We take a drive to the Black Pearl hotel, in the heart of Reykjavík. As soon as we arrived, it was time for our whale watching tour. Luckily for us, the harbor was only about a block away from the hotel so we walked to the boat that would take us on the tour. After boarding, we go to the top of the boat and realized it was freezing out there! For most of the ride out we stayed inside. After about 3 hours, we realized that there were more people throwing up than actual whale sightings. In the last 30 minutes of the trip, a minke whale appears for a quick second, which was the most exciting part. By the time we returned to land, the sun was up so we got to see a perfect view of the city.  The port of Reykjavik is a small town with a few modern buildings. By the way along the harbor, there were many restaurants and cute shops!

Day 2- This day was exciting! We had the golden circle tour ahead of us. We got picked up from the hotel in this huge monster truck by our tour guide, NAME?, then we picked up the rest of the group from their hotels. On our way to the Bláskógabyggo, the landscape was breathtakingly unreal. After a ten minute drive through Reykjavík, the city life completely cuts off by a perfect street. From there on, the country was pure mossy rocks and hills. It reminded me a lot of the hunger games! The ride was about one and a half hours east from Reykjavík. By the time we got close to our destination, the sun was up and the landscape looked like a different planet. Yellow grass over the rolling hills, tall naked trees with the rainbow sorbet color beaming through. Our first stop of the Golden Circle tour was the the Gullfoss waterfall, also known as the “Golden Falls” because on sunny days, the water looks a brown/gold tone. Which lucky for us, was the case. We took a walk down the side of the hill to the lowest viewing point of the water. The closer we got, the colder and windier it became! Although the conditions weren’t the best, the magnificent view made up for it.

 

After the waterfall, we took a drive up to Langjökull Glacier, where we would go snowmobiling. The views from the mountain we rode through were gorgeous. The glacier looked like it ran for miles, with a mix of snowy mountains.

 

After snowmobiling, we went to visit Geysir, also known as the Great Geysir. One of Iceland’s famous attraction. There were several different geysers, ranging in different sizes and spots. A geyser is found in high geothermal areas, where the temperatures can reach up to 100°C. If the water reaches past boiling, the hot springs erupt. The water boils, then turns into steam, which is what is seen above the surface. Getting the perfect photo of an eruption could take some time but definitely worth the wait.

Our last and final stop of the Golden Circle tour was Þingvellir National Park, the only UNESCO World Heritage site on Iceland. (need help defining exactly what it is and how to describe it)

Day 3- In the morning, we had breakfast at a cute bakery next to the our hotel before it was time to head to our next hotel. At this bakery they served the most delicious bagels, sandwiches and hot chocolate! After eating, we got picked up and taken to the blue lagoon hotel. Isolated from what seemed the rest of the world, the hotel had spectacular views of the lagoon and a relaxing vibe to it. After getting our wristbands, which had access to our rooms and doors throughout the retreat, we got dressed and headed straight to the water. We took off our robes inside which meant we had to suffer in the freezing weather for a quick second before entering the lagoon. Just within a step into the water, it felt amazing. The water was boiling hot but it evened out with the cold wind. We spent some time along the rocks for our instagram perfect photos!

Then we went to the bar to get a drink. We saw so many people with face masks on and wanted to try it. Lucky for us, a friendly family told us where we could get them. In the lagoon, there was a hut, that had huge bowls of different types of face treatments. We tried the algae clay mask, for nourishment and firm look. The blue lagoon is known for their amazing skin care products, that can be extracted from the water. After the lagoon, we went back to the room for a bit of relaxing time before our dinner reservation at the Moss restaurant. There, we had a seven-course meal with a mix of fruits, vegetables, seafood and meats.

Day 4- Breakfast at the Lava, delicious food right next to one of the wonders of the world. Later, we got ready for the lagoon again and we relaxed for a couple hours before the water got too hot and had to take a break! We had a northern lights tour scheduled for later that night but sadly, the sky was cloudy so it was canceled.

Day 5- Sadly, it was our last day, leaving the hotel at noon. From there, we drove to a nearby city, for some food. Our driver recommended a great seafood place so we decided to try it out. We tried the prawns with a salad and a rice with an amazing spice I’ve never tasted before. The food was so good it made you never want to leave the amazing country.


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