Exploring Reykjavik and the Blue Lagoon

Reykjavik

We had one day with no specific plans so we took some time to do some exploring in Reykjavik.  As the temps have been below freezing, we’ve been heading outside for little bits at a time.  While we may be from New England, after 4 winters of blissful 50 degree weather, this is a bit of a shock to our systems!!

One of the things I’ve found about being in Europe is the difference in the daylight.  I know this changes in the US as well but having lived in Massachusetts my entire life up til our move to Spain, it’s not something I witnessed or noticed very much.  Because of Iceland’s latitude, their winter means very little sun and their summers last 24 hours!  Our tour guide one morning said that in mid February, they were already getting 4 hours more Continue reading

Exploring the South Shore of Iceland

With one more free day left for us in Iceland, we weren’t sure what to do.  Most of the options were too advanced for the kids like diving, exploring volcanos and climbing glaciers.  And I poo pooed Josh’s idea of a helicopter ride over the island – if I can barely handle a plane ride, you can most definitely count me out for a helicopter as well!!
 
In the end we went with the option of another bus tour.  The first one we took thru the Golden Circle showed us some really amazing sights in Iceland.  While we don’t usually go with big group tours like this, preferring to do our own thing, it really made sense on this trip and was well worth it for the education alone on the history of Iceland.  It continues to blow my mind how far this country has come in a mere 70 years or so.  For an island Continue reading

A Trip Around the Golden Circle

Tuesday we did a trip around the infamous Golden Circle in Iceland.  It was an 8 hour (8 LONG hours) bus tour that covered the Thingvellir National Park, Gulfoss Waterfall, the Geysir hot springs, Skáholt Church and finally Hellisheidavirkjun Geothermal Powerplant.  You’ll read more about it below, but know that we probably could have skipped the last 2 places and shaved a few hours off our day.  It was still a great day but exhausting by the end.  Our tour guide was fine but she wasn’t the most enthusiastic guide I’ve had (it’s still going to be hard to beat our Scottish Continue reading

Moment of a Lifetime – the Aurora Borealis

So when we booked this trip, I’m going to say the big decision in leaving the warmth of Barcelona for the freezing cold of Iceland was not just for the beauty of this island but for the opportunity for us to see the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis.  Given Iceland’s geographical location and the time of year, we figured we stood a pretty good chance that we would see the lights.  And to be honest, I think if we missed them, I was likely going to cry knowing that it was unlikely we would ever have reason to come back to Iceland again.

We booked the tour thru a company that a friend recommended which did private jeep tours – and by jeep I mean a massive 12 person jeep that really could have used a little step to get into as it was just that high off the ground!  By doing the private jeep we were able to go off road as well as go off the official tour route a bit better than the huge tour buses.  We paid a hefty price for it but figured it would be worth it. Continue reading

Iceland Bound!

Iceland was never really in our top tier of must visit places when we arrived in Barcelona.  I honestly don’t even think it ever made our second tier list.  Yet somehow in recent months both Josh and I were drawn to visit here.  I don’t know if it is the abundance of news articles that we’ve read about the northern lights or what it was, but before we knew what was happening, we decided let’s do it!

Top of our list, of course, was to see the Aurora Borealis.  Second is the Blue Lagoon.  And then anything else goes.  We found that a lot of the fun tours were not appropriate for the kids given their ages but figured we would plan what we could and wing the rest.  Vacation is about having fun, not packing in “stuff” in every moment Continue reading