Land of Fire and Ice: Day One
Wow you guys - we just got back from the most amazing trip ever. Dan and I agree it was our best idea since getting married
We road tripped around Iceland for a week in a camper van to celebrate Dan's birthday (which happens to actually be today! Happy Birthday, darling!) Since it truly was a trip of a lifetime, I'm gonna have to break this up into manageable bits for you guys or I'll just overload you with pictures and be THAT person. Well I'm already THAT person who is going to overload you with Iceland posts, but I'm trying to minimize the amount of scrolling through pictures that will inevitably happen.
Iceland has been on both Dan and my bucket lists for a long while now. It pretty much has everything we look for in a destination - vibrant landscapes, rich culture, interesting experiences and varying weather patterns to keep you on your toes! Ok, maybe we don't look for that last one in every place we visit, but Iceland surely has it.
"It pretty much has everything we look for in a destination - vibrant landscapes, rich culture, interesting experiences and varying weather patterns to keep you on your toes!"
Upon our arrival, we stayed our first night in Reykjavík and picked up our camper van first thing the next day. We jumped right in and headed for the open road...except for the fact that we misjudged our electronic converter capabilities - see we have pretty much every converting type available in our bag of electronics: EU to US, US to UK, US to EU, US to any other country, and (most) other countries to EU. However, we did not in fact have UK to EU or UK to US (in order to utilize those other combos) - and we needed to make a UK camera charger fit into our EU inverter. What's a person to do? Well, you go to the nearest electronic store and hunt for something that will work. We ended up getting pretty lucky and finding a cord that would fit our charger and THEN headed for the open road...again. With that all sorted out, we were ready to explore what Iceland had to offer.
The plan was to drive all the way around Iceland's Ring Road in 5 days. It was a bit optimistic, but it can totally be done - and we proved it! However, there will have to be a second trip back just to experience everything else that we missed this time around...but that's for another post. Our first day we drove to Vík- famous for it's black sand beaches. It's only a roughly 2.5 hour drive from Reykjavík so naturally it took us like 9 hours to get there - because it's impossible to drive through Iceland and NOT stop every 2 seconds for a gorgeous picture. I dare you to try it, it's impossible. So on our way to Vík, we saw approximately 500 waterfalls. I am only sightly exaggerating here.
We stopped along the way and hiked around the famous Seljalandsfoss, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Iceland, that you can walk behind and get sprayed with water! Because that's pretty much the dream of every waterfall explorer.
Next to that were a few more and we climbed to the top of one (Gljúfrafoss), which also happened to have a little cave entrance that you could go to the bottom of as well. It was incredible.
It seems like Iceland should be nicknamed the land of waterfalls and rainbows, because I swear they were everywhere.. and it was beautiful. Something we had heard a lot about and were just the slightest bit hesitant to try at first was the suggestion to eat hot dogs while in Iceland. Neither Dan or myself are big hot dog fans, but something about the way they prepare it (toasted bun, fresh AND fried onions, and three types of sauces) just made it so delicious. We had one of these bad boys every day for lunch - so easy when you are road tripping it through the country and can't stop for a long lunch every day!
We pulled into the campsite near sunset, which was around 9:30 pm each night. We then made dinner, set up our bed and were completely comfortable for a night of strong winds and low-ish temps. The first of many times I was grateful for the van. It was somewhat glamping since we had running water, a cooler, dishes and a gas grill...luxury living, folks!