Thursday, August 25, 2016
When writing about our long route home, I thought Iceland deserved a post all to itself. Because, lets face it, it was an entirely different world than the other places we visited along the way. The way it came to be a stop on our trip was almost an accident. When looking at flights from London to DC, it was cheaper to stop in Reykjavik than it was to book direct. And with many flights continuing from Reykjavik to the east coast of the US every day, it only made sense to us to spend a few days checking out this weird and wonderful place. It also happened to be our 7th wedding anniversary! So we booked in for about 48 hours in Iceland.
I cannot compare it to much, because Iceland is so unique and different to anywhere I have ever been. The landscape is gorgeous; with geysers, waterfalls and natural hot springs everywhere you look. Tourism has jumped in recent years, and the locals are taking full advantage of people coming from all corners of the globe. We went on a tour with Golden Circle, and while we are not big "let's go on a bus with tons of other tourists" people, this one was very good. It was nice to sit back and take in the scenery, without having to translate a map and follow our GPS to each spot.
Iceland has a lot of history, and one of the places we went was the location of the first ever parliament which was established in 930 AD. Thingvellir National Park is also the meeting place of 2 tectonic plates, so basically where Europe and North America meet. How crazy to be on 2 continents in the same afternoon! We also stopped at Gullfoss falls, which we were told is the 2nd largest waterfall in Europe (Google says it's 3rd). We both were soaked in the mist while hiking to get the best view. It was simply gorgeous.
In the end, we loved Iceland a lot, and there was far too much to squeeze into 48 short hours. The only downside I can admit was that things were quite expensive. But I'm not one to drop $250 on a sweater--that's just me (I settled on a pair of socks). Even so, it was an awesome last pit stop on our journey before returning to the US after 10 months of being away. 48 hours was not enough, so a return trip to Iceland will have to be arranged! Who's in?