Heaven on Earth…. ICELAND

I’ve traveled to some far away places and each time, I am at awe by natures beauty.  I love to travel with my family, to show them how other people live, to try the respective country’s cuisine but most of all to experience a beautiful world outside of their comfort zone, outside the city, outside of the norm.  It’s not about how many places they have been to; it is about what they learned from where they’ve been.

Recently, we packed our bags and made our way to Iceland. Some of my friends were bewildered and asked “Iceland? What is in Iceland? Isn’t it freezing?”  Honestly, I had NO idea. Before we left NY, we decided that we would not join those ultra tourist tours and just drive around the southern part of the country.

On our first and second to the last day we stayed at a bed and breakfast, A10 Deluxe, located close to KEF (Keflavic Airport) and within a stone’s throw of the Ocean.   Highly recommended! The following days, we rented a house near the Golden Circle via Airbnb.  I was a bit nervous about the rental but let me say, I’m a huge Airbnb fan (photos below).  The home’s owner, Solla, was very hospitable and responsive.  Solla recommended a list of places to visit.  We preferred to visit places that the locals frequent versus the ultra tourist destinations (although, we did some of that, too).  Solla’s list did not disappoint.

So, we traveled through Southern Iceland, and immersed ourselves in the beauty of the countryside.  We were neighed by horses, moo’d by a few cows and bah’d by sheep.  We did a few touristy visits on our own.  The first stop was the Blue Lagoon, one of the 25 wonders of the world.  It is Iceland’s Geothermal Spa.  Pricey? Yes.  Worth it? Yes, for the experience.

The day we arrived in Iceland, we walked around a fishing town in Keflavic. We visited the Duus Museum.  The house itself was built in the 1800 and there may artifacts from that period.

The following days, we drove to the Golden Circle.  Our first stop was Geysir (geothermal field), located at Haukadalur.  This Geysir ejects water every few minutes and is definitely a sight to see.

Our next stop was Gulfoss, just up the same road as Geysir.  Gullfoss is a waterfall located in the canyon of Hvítá river in southwest Iceland. One word…. BREATHTAKING!  Even on a rainy day, Gulfoss was spectacular! A must see while in Iceland.

We just had to visit another one of Solla’s recommendations, the Secret Lagoon. It is NOT blue but it is unique and very natural.  The Secret Lagoon is located in Hvammsvegur, 845 Flúðir, Iceland.  It was small, cozy hot spring in a small village, and it’s exactly where we wanted to be, with the locals, mixed with some tourists.

We visited Stong and Haifoss, at the recommendation of our host.  Haifoss is in Þjórsadalur, South Region, Iceland. The drive to Stong and Haifoss was magnificent.  We off roaded a little on the way to this hidden gem.  Haifoss is a series of waterfalls.  Another must see but be prepared to drive through rough roads. However, when you get to top, you will not regret it.

Now that we’ve been to Iceland, we will definitely return, much sooner rather than later.  The summer was not cold (mid 60s during the day and low 50’s at night).  They say, if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes, it changed that quickly.  The country side is in heaven on earth and filled with untouched, natural and unspoiled beauty.

Enjoy taking a look at the photos!

hAppYtrAveLs!

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