Iceland Itinerary Day 1 + 2



Iceland was truly one of the most beautiful places. It was nothing like I have ever seen before. I have seen lots of photos but they just don't do it justice. Before we went I knew several other people who did and sought them out for advice and tips first. We only had four days so it was going to be a whirlwind trip and our itinerary was jam-packed! We got to see most of what we wanted and hit a lot of the big sites. Here's how we did it.


DAY 1

We landed in Reykjavik about 6:00 AM after taking an overnight flight. Our plan was to get our rental car and head straight on the road. We were hoping we'd sleep on the plane, unfortunately, we couldn't sleep. Whether it was Christmas morning excitement or an uncomfortable seat we barely slept. We basically ran on adrenaline all day. We had a hiccup getting our car (I'll detail more about that in a different post) but we were on the road by about 8:00 AM. On our drive out from the airport we were so taken with the changing landscape. At first it was rocky and with some moss on them, then it was plains, then it was mountains. So crazy how quickly it changed. 



We drove straight out to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. We heard about a waterfall that you could walk behind and this was the one. Little did we know this would probably be one of the smaller waterfalls on our trip. It was also crazy because I expected that we would drive to a site, park and have to hike a bit to see the sites but they were right off the road. We parked the car and walked up to the waterfall. Standing a 197 feet tall pouring into an oddly calm pond and a small stream. It was incredible to see the water rage but no rapids at all beneath. I probably took about a thousand pictures of this waterfall. You could,in fact, walk behind this waterfall. There wasn't exactly a clear path but I will tell you we went right and I"m glad we did. When you walk all behind the waterfall there were some stones to climb up, not in a stair form mind you. Going down them would have been harder so I am glad we went the way we did. It was pretty cool to be behind a waterfall and looking out at the land. There was a cute little bridge too, which was the perfect photo op. We walked a bit on the trails but we had to get going. Looked like the trails went on forever so you probably could have hiked around it. We didn't have time so we grabbed a little sandwich at a pop up and kept on moving.







The next stop was Skogafoss waterfall. By now we figured out that -foss means 'waterfall.' I don't know why we didn't put that together before. Skogafoss, although the same height as Seljalandsfoss is much more massive in scope. It's wider and surrounded by more mountains. We were lucky to be there on a beautiful day with the sun out. The sunlight brought out all the beautiful colors of the landscape and it looked like a painting. This waterfall is fun because they have a lot of stairs and you can walk all the way to the top. Like a crazy person, I counted the steps, 424 to be exact. You can't stop and rest either as it is narrow and there is a line of people. As someone who works out a lot I was surprised how hard it was to get up there. I had to sit down and catch my breath. I took my coat off to cool down. Do not take this lightly, ha! As tough as it was the view was 100% worth it and probably my favorite picture of us the whole trip. You could see the river that snaked all the way back and trail to hike if you wanted. We had one more big stop of the day so we kept on.













Last stop was Vik Black Beach. For you Game of Thrones fans, this is Dragonstone. I.was.so.excited. This is one of the things I desperately wanted to do. Apparently, there is a full day Game of Thrones bus tour you can go one too, just in case you are interested. I love Khaleesi, forever and forever so this was so fun. Vik is a quiet little town and you drive in from a higher elevation so it's a lot built into the hill. The houses are all kinds of fun colors, something I would expect to see in Norway. We drove all the way to the beach and walked around. There were some other rock formations up the hill a little bit and Dyrholaey, which is this naturally occurring arch and the cliffs. There are other old ruins around, looks like at one time it might have had to do with shipping at some point. Then we headed down the beach. To see a black beach was so interesting. I have never seen a beach that wasn't beige color and the sand itself was a little thick. Left clear imprints in the sand. We brought our tripod so we could take some pictures together and glad we did. I stopped short of walking out of the water and mimicking Danerys.
















That night we headed back to our Airbnb (we stayed here) and went out for dinner. We were so exhausted we basically passed out at the table. We then slept for 1,000,000 hours.


DAY 2
We had grand plans on the second day to wake up early, but considering we didn't get any sleep Thursday into Friday we over slept a little. Our plan today as to drive around the Golden Circle. If you aren't familiar, the Golden Circle is a drive with probably half a dozen sights to see. In an effort to make economical use of our time we had three places for sure in mind. Thingvellir National Park was our first stop. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect but it was beautiful. This park is set up because in Iceland's history this is where the tribes met once a year to open the government at the Law Rock or Logberg. There is a church there that is 1,000 years old, at least the foundation is and all the priests who have served that parish are buried there.  There are a few small homes and some time ago that is where the President would summer. There is a wish fountain, beautiful streams and lots of hiking. We didn't even see the half of it, but many of the historical sites were nearby so we hit the highlights.
















The next stop was Geysir Geothermal area. I have to say this was kind of cool because they were just everywhere. Although having seen Old Faithful in Yellow stone it's about the same. There are two major ones, Geysir and Strokkur. Strokkur blows every few minutes and it goes pretty high which is neat. Geysir on the other hand is much more inconsistent. Sometimes years before it blows so unfortunately we didn't get to see it, but it is supposed to be spectacular.  There is a hotel there with windows everywhere so you could watch, a nice cafe and gift shop.





The last stop on our Golden Circle was Gulfoss Falls. This was, by far, the grandest falls I have ever seen. Wide-ranging and rapid. You can both see it from the top or walk all the stairs down and basically walk right up to it. Make sure you have good shoes though or you'll slip everyone for sure. The falls were so massive I was truly in awe. It has a fun history too where the original farmers who owned the nearby land fought hard to protect it. A businessman wanted to use this land and the farmer's daughter fought hard in the courts traveling back and forth to Reykavik (about 62 miles). She allegedly threatened to throw herself int eh falls to keep him from trying anything. Eventually, he gave up  and these are a credit to her.






We were hoping to stop at a hidden geothermal pool and a crater but we ran out of time and daylight. If you were going to make the time I would definitely try it. We also went out that night for our official anniversary dinner at Reykavik Kitchen. It was really good if you are looking for a nicer dinner. We hit up a couple of bars including an Irish bar before heading home to enjoy some wine in our airbnb.









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