Iceland

Day Two- Blue Lagoon

Today we got to do something that we had heard a lot about, and have been excited about for months!       We visited the Blue Lagoon! 

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 It is a natural geothermal pool in Iceland that feels like you're on a different planet. Because of the silica algae in the water, it looks milky white. The whole place has a blue tinge because of how the silica reflects sunlight. People bathe in it because apparently the silica is good for your skin, and it feels awesome.  

Every guest gets a silica face mask and we also got a separate algae mask and visited the swimup bar! If you're feeling extra spendy, you can get an in-water massage. It looked like it feels amazing too!  

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We spent 2 hours just floating around the pool and watching the steam from the hot water rise in front of the alien-looking rocks and mountain backdrop.  It truly was a one of a kind experience!

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Getting back to town, we decided to go back to the hostel. I wanted to take a nap (still not quite adjusted to the time difference- was wide awake at 1AM!) and Alexander needed to answer some emails,  but there also wasn't all that much left to do! 

Iceland is BEAUTIFUL and so worth coming to, but there isn't much to do in the capital. It is a small city of only 122,141 people! I guess it isn't so small when you consider that the country's population density is only 3.3 people per square Km (as of 2015)! Didn't think you'd learn trivia in my updates, did ya? 

Anyway, we went to dinner in our hostel at 6PM and shared in a traditional Icelandic dinner! It was lamb with potatoes and carrots! It was really nice, affordable, and we got to meet other people who are staying in our hostel! 

After dinner we stopped at a Cafe for dessert in the city center and then walked along the ocean! For one slice of chocolate cake and one cup of tea, it was $15, eek! 

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 We are looking forward to flying to Dublin tomorrow evening (where the food is definitely cheaper!), and will let you know how it goes!

Day One- The Golden Circle

So today was the day! After almost a year of planning, we are finally on the honeymoon of our dreams! We flew into Iceland at 6:00 this morning (1AM CST) and have been busy exploring this beautiful country!

To start off our trip the best possible way, we were so excited when the airline gave us a free upgrade to first class because we were honeymooners! The extra space and champagne made the 6 hour flight much more enjoyable!

After landing and picking up our rental car, we immediately began our trek around the Golden Circle! It is a scenic 3.5 hour drive around the Western part of Iceland where you can see several different natural beauties. 

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We started at the  þingvellir National Park, where the division between the North American and European tectonic plates is the most visible! In the photo below you can see the giant crack in the rock- and further down the crack is even wider. There, Alexander and I were able to walk right between the continents! 

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Our second stop was the Geysir Geyser! It is the second largest in the world, only beat by the Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone! Unfortunately, it does not erupt very often. We did get to see one of the smaller ones erupt multiple times while we were there! I had never seen a geyser in person and it was really fun to see! Alexander also was impressed as it was much larger than the one he saw in New Zealand! (The first photo is of the smaller one we saw and the second picture is of the actual Geysir Geyser, it was beautiful even though it didn't erupt!)

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Just when I thought it couldn't get any better- it did. I wasn't expecting much since I feel like I've seen plenty of waterfalls, but man was I blown away by the Gullfoss Waterfall! It was huge and beautiful! The rushing white water falling into the deep canyon, surrounded by bright green grass and mist was an unbelievable sight. These photos do not do it justice!! (And yes, the little dots are people) 

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Our final stop on the Golden Circle was Kerið, a lake inside of a volcanic crater! It was of course massive and beautiful! Alexander was much braver than I when it came to standing by the edge!!

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After our adventurous morning/afternoon, we stopped in a little town to caffeinate ourselves following a night with about an hour's worth of airplane sleep. We then drove to Reykjavik to check into our hostel for the evening and were surprised with a private room AND bathroom! We paid for and originally booked a 14 person bunk room. This honeymoon thing is really paying off!!  

Now, we are going to head to the grocery store to pick up some dinner and have a relaxing night at our hostel:) 

 

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Also, none of these photos have been edited yet - the colors are actually that bright!