Wow what can I say? Being in Iceland was fantastic. The wind is fierce and constant. The scenery is rugged with raw beauty outside of Reykjavik and the city is colorful and engaging. The Icelanders are friendly, helpful and speak English that is easily understood.
When I texted Ronda and Rob to ask them if they’d like to go. I got a 2 second response from Rob, yes! Ronda echoed a yes a minute later. Traveling to Iceland with my children was really a treat for me. We haven’t traveled with just the 3 of us since they were teenagers. Rob brought along his travel buddy, Fluffy, with the bugged-out eyes. Don’t ask me why. Fluffy was the best traveler of all of us though and didn’t seem to be affected by jet lag at all.
One thing I found interesting about Reykjavik is the unusual use of color on their houses and businesses. The cheery splashes of color brightened the icy streets and distracted us from the windy chill. In the pictures you can see examples of their use of color and playful artistic expressions.
We rented a car rather than go on tour buses. We saw most of the Golden Circle sites, relaxed in the Blue Lagoon and drove to the Black Sand Beach. All of it is not to be missed. My favorite day however was the drive we took from Reykjavik to Vik and back. On the way we saw many spectacular waterfalls, geysers, a farm that miraculously was spared by the volcanic eruption that shut down European air travel in 2010, and frequently the road cut through rough, churned up lava fields of black rocks that are cracked and split. The black sand beach in Vik is impressive, but not a warm setting. I doubt the beach sees many bikinis even in the summer as it rarely gets hot in Iceland. On the beach there is a statue facing south toward the British Isles to commemorate the peace between the two countries when the deadly Cod War was finally resolved. A matching statue is facing Iceland on the British shore. On the return trip to Reykjavik a snow storm blew up suddenly and Ronda drove through white-out conditions to get us safely back to our Guesthaus, Erik the Red. The winds that race across Iceland constantly make even the smallest snowstorm a white-knuckle driving experience. Thank goodness for Ronda! Dinner that night was delicious Reykjavik Crisps and sauces, easily the best seasoned French fries I’ve ever had. Although the harrowing experience of traveling a couple hours in a white-out conditions may have added extra spice to our unusual meal.
If you visit Iceland I highly recommend our guesthaus, Erik the Red, located in downtown Reykjavik, across the street from the spectacular church in the pictures and only a few blocks from shops and restaurants. Our room had a kitchenette and small private bathroom. It was clean and comfortable. This is not your ordinary bed and breakfast inn however. The breakfast is what sets this inn apart. Besides normal fare of cereal and juice, there was 4 or 5 different cheeses, breads, caviar paste, pickeled herring, and sliced fish and meats and fruit. All guests serve themselves and sit together family-style at one big table. The guests during our stay were from Switzerland, England and Pennsylvania. It made our stay even more special to visit with them while we enjoyed the smorgasbord.
Did we see the aurora borealis you ask. Unfortunately, due to very cloudy conditions, we did not. Even so, there were enough other amazing experiences that it is still a trip I’d love to do again.