Monday, June 23, 2014


Iceland has been a wonderful journey and I am so blessed to have had this opportunity to travel to such a unique country full of life and surprises. The people, food, activities and just everything have been amazing and I can't wait for my next trip here one day! Peace and love, Iceland. It's been real.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Yesterday and today have been our last real days for pictures, so we crammed in all the fun and adventure. Our day started out with a cold whale watching boat ride out of the Husavik Harbor filled with people of all ages gathered to see the backs of whales enjoying their summers up north. The boat was very unstable and I admit accidentally tottered into some people, but i didn't get sea sick unlike a lot of people from my group, so I was able to take pictures of the whales. In the picture, that is the Blue Whale, the largest animal in the world, with its blow hole just above the water. We saw many other whales and puffins on the boat ride. On our way back from Husavik, we stopped to see Europe's largest waterfall Dettifoss and took in its massive beauty. Today's big activity was our visit to a farm on the other side of the Akureyri Harbor for horse back riding. We trotted and galloped here and there and now it hurts to sit down, but it was fun and worth it! My horses name was Philly and he was very handsome and calm. After the horses and lunch, we split up into groups for another scavenger hunt and got to explore Akureyri. The town was very cute and had a lot to offer like coffee shops, paintball, and a bowling alley, but my favorite and most popular was the ice cream shop. A lady who worked in one of the souvenir shops and was from south Iceland told me that whenever she is up north, she always has to stop in Brynja. It definitely lived up to its recommendation and reputation.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

got the peaches

These last few days have been filled with loaded lamb hot dogs, decadent ice cream, Tota's specials for dinner, hiking, sunny and cloudy skies, but thankfully little to no rain. Höfn is a small harbor town with awesome views and awesome people. During the walk from our hostel to the hot dog stand and harbor, I encountered many different scenes like a handcrafted art workshop out of a house, girls my age on their phones during their break at work, and little kids scrimmaging in soccer. The people were so friendly as usual, but word spread fast that the Texans had arrived and everyone knew we were running around taking photos of the town. Today we hiked around the base of some mountains and the beaches outside of Höfn to reach an old abandoned movie set for a failed movie of Mel Gibson's that was supposed to take place in a viking village. Along the way, we saw many sheep, but in order to capture their photos and not scare them off, we needed to maintain a square formation with no other movement. We weren't so good at this, however. In the bottom photo, Sam is jumping for joy because she loves outdoors and hiking in particular, so it was awesome to see her in her element! Tomorrow we move onto our seven hour bus ride to Akurey-rey.

into the elements, out of mine

To add to the list of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, we camped out at the Skaftafell campgrounds the last couple of days and hiked Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier one of the days. Thank goodness I didn't fall and neither did anyone else because we had tools like crampons to grip the ice, pick axes also for gripping, and ropes and careener in difficult parts. Back at the campsite, we met an Icelandic accordion player and guitarist and his German wife and two kids, Mia and Richard. We invited him to dinner with us and afterwards got to hear him play Icelandic folk music and some of his own songs. The next day, we packed up our campsite and went on a zodiac boat tour to the glacier wall where the ocean and glacier meet and icebergs fall off and are taken by the current to the surrounding black beaches. The rest of our day was spent traveling to Höfn.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

on the road

Starting out being thirty minutes late to breakfast was not a good way to start off our day of travel, but Alex, Sam, Paiton, and I were able to catch up with the group in time to hit the road at 9:30. Along the road, we stopped at many attractions Iceland has to offer, as seen above. We walked around the former center of business and social aspects of Iceland in a town called that is now very small because many volcanoes erupted around the area, so it was unsafe and everyone moved to Reykjavik. More bus stops included seeing the Gullfoss and the Geysir, two breath taking natural wonders.
 Two men were carrying around a large, orange blow-up toy wearing a bikini, which they called "the sexy thing." Their plan was to bring "the sexy thing" to different attractions around the world and photograph each trip. Today was their first day and we got to be a part of it! Look for them at Times Square on June 19th!

biking 'n viking(s)

 góður dagur! Yesterday was so crazy and active, so this post is one day late, but very eventful! Whale is delicious and surprisingly tastes like steak, not chicken. It is one of their delicacies along with lamb hotdogs which I've yet to try, but can't wait to. We learned many more interesting (and debatable) facts from our opinionated tour guide about the city's history and quirks like the belief in elves around the country. After our long ride through the streets and hills, we drove a little outside of town to the 2nd annual Viking festival of Reykjavik where icelandic people of all ages gathered to put on a show for tourists and residents to enjoy. There was also a market and a restaurant where we shopped for items like horns, handcrafted jewelry, and other handmade items and where we ate dinner. It was a long day and we didn't end up getting back to our hostel until bedtime, but we had to pack too because we left early this morning for the countryside.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day 2

Peter is making me blog really quickly cause its 11:27 here and we need to go to bed so this is going to be short!! Today, we went to the top of the cathedral named something i cannot pronounce -Hallgrimskirkja- and we got to see a bird's eye view around the city. For the rest of the day, we walked around the city and went to a fun, eclectic coffee shop  and saw more of the city from eye level.