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Day 1 of Iceland

Updated: Jan 21

Iceland in Winter… What an amazing way to spend time with my girls! They love a good adventure and they know I’m always up for one. We might be farm girls at heart, but we LOVE to travel and experience new things! 

So far Iceland is definitely not like Italy and known for its food, but rather the most amazing landscape we have ever witnessed and we have seen some amazing sites. 

Probably got our rapid sightseeing skills from Grandpa so we have plans to cover some serious ground. The cold 🥶 has kept us moving quickly as well. We have stayed between -6 and 15 degrees Celsius and have experienced up to 40 knots winds. The girls are working on the picture collages to go along with the journal so we are working together to make them match. 

Day 1

Left Nashville airport and headed to JFK. We left 45 minutes early because of the wind coming, but it was still one on the worst flights I’ve ever experienced. The turbulence shook the plane like a rag doll and it took everything for me to not loose it. I couldn’t even check on Callie who also gets sick easy, because I was stripping clothes off trying to get air! We were so happy to finally be back on the ground. We left the airport and went to a super cheap and delicious local deli where the girls had pastrami and cheese bagels that were huge and delicious and I had a Philly Cheesesteak Hero. There wasn’t even a name on the deli. It was on the Jamaica Train exit on the corner before the bank. We needed to go to the bank and didn’t want to stay on the airport for 6 hours so this was perfect. I also like to let the girls experience less than ideal situations with me so we can discuss safety for when I’m not there. 1. Backpack worn on your front. 2. Purse under jacket, wear Fanny pack or purse in luggage. 3. Just walk past haggling. No need to be polite. 4. Don’t stare at random people peeing on the sidewalk 🙃🙃 (They know this one from Mardi Gras already!) 5. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Local food places aren’t always top notch on the outside but when you enter if the kitchen area looks clean and the locals are getting food there then it’s usually a winner! After taking the subway/tram back to the airport, we waited for our flight. We flew Icelandair to Keflavik and met two young ladies from New York in their 20’s that were a breath of fresh air. Their parents did amazing raising them ❤️

Upon arrival, we got our rental car we reserved through Europcar and navigated the iced over parking lot death trap and then took a tour of the parking lots trying to get out. It was quite dark and I couldn’t get the Wi-Fi to work. After 10 minutes, we were on our way. The girls slept and I drove to our first stop, Thingvellir National Park, where we planned to sleep until sunrise. Here we experienced the divide of Eurasian and North American division which was just amazing. You could see the farmhouse and church at the base. We were quite tired so didn’t hike down. The large lake caused by the volcanic crater is impressive. There is also a small waterfall and rock formations, but looking back, these are nothing compared to the other ones we ended up seeing. (Photos below)


Our next stop was Geysir and Strokur. The stop to see the geysers didn’t disappoint. It was much larger than we expected. The smell of the sulfur was strong and you could feel the heat just walking through. The girls and I startled when it went off. We got a great picture of the girl in front of us who jumped right in the way, so got a different angle for the second shot. 

Next stop was Gullfoss Falls! It was a stunning and massive waterfall into the divide. WOW 🤩 Our pictures don't begin to do this justice but we weren't properly dressed, remembered 1 phone and no one wanted to take their glove off 🫣 It's worth a google!

The girls and I decided that we needed to have some time to relax and enjoy and not just do hardcore sightseeing. Our next stop was not only interesting to see, but was the most relaxing way to spend 2 hours we have ever done for vacation anywhere. The Secret Lagoon is on a farm where we first ogled over the aquaponic greenhouses growing cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and greens. The greenhouses were warmed and used the same water we were going to relax in at the lagoon. The water coming out of the ground was 200 degrees Celsius. You could see and hear the water boiling. We headed into the locker room to get our bathing suits on where you go through a process off declothing and showering and like any place on this side of the ocean, the ladies were much more free with their bodies than Americans lol. Once we got out the door into 12 degree weather and then into the water, it was well worth it. Unlike the Blue Lagoon, it wasn’t crowded at all. It was about the size of an Olympic swimming pool just more oval. We propped up ourselves on our pool noodles and relaxed. I’m not sure how we didn’t drown, because we all fell asleep at one point or another. We tried out different spots for different temps and chatted about our plans. It couldn’t have been more perfect and quiet! We didn't care much about pictures and having a phone out so there's just one steamed one that isn't even us!

We showered and headed back to the car to head to Bonus (the grocery store) and then the hotel for the night in Selfoss, but there was a trap in that town better known to us as a bakery 🤣😬🥴 Almar Bakery was absolutely delicious! We got enough for the week and ate them all for dinner! There was a strawberry cinnamon roll, marzipan dipped in chocolate, a churro type pastry but flat dipped in even more chocolate, strawberry Angel food cake that was to die for, garlic and olive focaccia, cream cheese, cheese and ham wrapped inside a bread log and some bread dipped in chocolate and filled with the the kind of chocolate on the inside of a lidor ball. Absolutely worth every penny! We stayed at a Gesthús Selfoss in a duplex type cabin with a community hot tub that we had full intentions of using, but were exhausted and fell asleep at 4:00 for a nap and woke up at 7:00P… oops. We got up prepped for the next day and decided not to cook, but eat all of the pastries and watch out the window until 1:00A for the lights, but saw nothing so we went to sleep. 

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