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Travel: Iceland

Travel: Iceland

Background 

I love traveling. I try to travel when I get a chance. However, Iceland was a different story. It is not like other trips I have taken in America. I always wanted to travel to Iceland. Ever since I watched "Secret Life of Walter Mitty", Iceland was one of the destinations I've been wanting to go. Finally, I've gotten a chance to checked off Iceland from my bucket list in May of 2018. My family and I went there for 6 days trip. It was our first trip to Europe but thankfully they know how to speak English. Without it, we would've been lost. 

Day 1 

We took WOW air from Los Angeles (LAX) to Keflavík Airport. It was an 8-hour flight. We left at 12 pm in LA and arrived at 4 am. After we got off the plane, we got a SIM card first and went to a car rental to rent a car. *Note that all the cars in Europe are a manual car. We didn't know that so couldn't drive the 4 wheel as we planned... After going through that hassle, we drove to Reykjavik to buy a grocery and cooking essentials. Food in Iceland is expensive. So bring dried food and snacks from home. 

 Map of First Day at Iceland

Map of First Day at Iceland

From Reykjavik, we started heading to heading to Glymur Fall. It is known to be the second highest fall in Iceland. Even though we weren't at the destination, Iceland is full of natural wonders and you will definitely stop every 20-30 mins of driving. But don't worry! There are little to no one driving outside of  Reykjavik. So stop whenever you want and enjoy the nature that Iceland offers you.  Here are the images on the way to Glymur. 

On our first day, the weather was on and off rain and strong breeze. We were hesitant to go to Glymur Fall but once we got there, the weather became calm. Weather at Iceland can be unpredictable. Once we were on the trail, it was just beautiful but with ice melting from the mountain and occasional rainfall, we couldn't go to the end of the Glymur Fall. 

After not able to see Glymur Falls, we had our lunch. In this kind of weather, ramen is the best choice. After a delicious lunch, we went to our first stay for the day 1 in the NorthEast part of Iceland. Although there were more places to visit on the way, we decided to go there on the way back to Reykjavik. We booked an Airbnb cottage and it was very cute. Except the weather was not for the cute cottage. 

Day 2

On the second day, we started early in the day, around 7 am. We realized stores in Iceland open late. The earliest I've seen store opening was 8 am but most of the stores open at 10 am. Even the gas stations. I guess it is due to late sundown, around 9 pm and there is still light till 10 pm. Coming from Southern California, I never have seen sun goes down at 9 pm. 

The first place we visited was Búðakirkja, where the black Catholic church is located. Then we went to see Kirkjufellsfoss, the mountain that looks like a wizard hat. We did not go see the Northern and North East part of Iceland because they are more known for in the Winter season. Therefore, we traveled down to Reykjavik and explore there and also few places on the way down! 

 Second day at Iceland 

Second day at Iceland 

This is on day way from our first Airbnb to Búðakirkja. 

Reyjavik 

Day 3

After spending a night a Reykjavik, we went to a bakery in the city for breakfast. Then headed out to Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Dyrhólaey, and ended the day with Black Beach at Vik. On the day 3, we started the day at 10 am because from past experience, we knew we can manage this all before sundown. 

The drive from Reykjavik to Selijalandsfoss is not too far. The scenery is not as beautiful as the North-Eastern part of Iceland, but it gets better once you get near and pass Skógafoss!  So hang on tight for a while to Selijalandsfoss because the views are worth it when you get there. Make sure to bring waterproof vest or coat for this waterfall because you will get drench. Also, if you walk more into the trail, there is a smaller fall called Gljúfrabúi waterfall. The inconspicuous waterfall is hidden behind the gorge but it is worth to go in. You will be greeted with water splashing your face.  Make sure to bring a towel because you will be drench!  

Then we headed to the one of the most instagram popular waterfall, Skogafoss. It is just like how you seen it on the Instagram. It is beautiful and breathtaking. We went up the stairs.... It is a hike.. I would recommend it if you are there for the first time but if you know the place, it is good just to be mesmerized by the height and grandiose of the waterfall. ALSO, on the way in to Skogafoss, there is an amazing fish and chip place in the entrance! You need to try it for sure! 

Our next destination was Black Beach, Vik. I would say Black Beach was the favorite place in Iceland! 

Day 4

day 5

After staying at airbnb, we headed out to our next destination, Hof. It is a long drive, around 4 hours without any stops. We went to see glaciers at Hof. On our way back, we went to Svartifoss. You need to hike 20 minutes there but it is not too hard. Once you get there, you will see unbelievable waterfall sight with incredible rock formation. Then we stayed another day at Vik.  

Day 5

On the day 5, we took it slowly. As we were heading back to Reykjavik, we stopped by at the airplane crash, Skogafoss, ate the fish and chips again and some nice scenery places here and there. 

Day 6

On our sixth day, we did Golden Circle! 

Day 7

On the last day, we went to Blue Lagoon in the morning and head to home! 

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