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Anniversary Trip — Iceland

Posted May 14th, 2017 by Janelle

The last leg of our trip was to Iceland. This wasn’t originally part of our travel plan, but when I booked award travel on Icelandair, I decided to extend our trip just a bit to do a stopover.

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This was the VRBO that we rented for the 4 nights we stayed in Iceland. If I could do it all over I would have not had Reykjavik as our home base, but rather traveled to other places to stay. Going back to the city made for a lot of driving which prevented us from getting to a couple places I wanted to.

The first evening we found some dinner, found our VRBO, and found a grocery store. Right away we had complete sticker shock of the cost of food in Iceland. We paid $10 for a dozen eggs, a small box of Cheerios was over $10, just 1 orange was $5, and a $5 footlong at Subway was $13. All food was at least twice if not 3X more expensive than here.

Our first full day we toured the Golden Circle. First stop was Þingvellir National Park.

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The park sits in a rift valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates, and the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled there in 930 AD. Þingvellir has for this reason been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Next stop was Efstidalur. It’s a farm with a hotel and restaurant. We stopped for ice cream and it was literally the best thing I ate on that island.

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It was pretty fun to sit and eat your homemade ice cream and look out the window right at the cow that produced the milk.

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On to our Brúarfoss adventure. This waterfall is not very public and you kind of have to hike a little ways to find it. We found it and the blue water was so amazing.

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Strokkur Geysir is the geysir for which all other geysirs are named after. It’s the original.

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The sheer size of Gullfoss is what is most impressive.

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Last stop of the day was at Secret Lagoon/Gamla Laugin.

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The next day was more driving to Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Some highlights included:

Gerðuberg Cliffs — The cliff is made of basalt columns that form geometric patterns.
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Gatklettur, Arnarstapi
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Hellnar
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Hvalfjarðargöng — A road tunnel under the Hvalfjörður fjord in Iceland and a part of Route 1. It is 6 kilometers long and reaches a depth of 541 feet below sea level
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On our last full day, instead of driving out to South Iceland, we stayed in Reykjavik. First we walked past the sculpture Sólfarið – Sun Voyager.

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Then to Harpa, concert hall, which was a beautiful modern and geometric building.

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And we wandered up to Hallgrimskirkja, a church, and one of the city’s best-known landmarks.

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It was Good Friday, so we weren’t allowed inside, but we came back Saturday morning before leaving town to head inside for a peek.

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On Saturday, our last day, we headed out of town. We took the long way to the airport and stopped at Krýsuvík Geothermal Area.

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After 10 days of celebrating 10 years, we were totally ready to get back to the boys (and girls) at home. We had a great time in Europe but really missed the family we created over the last 10+. Looking forward to the next 10!

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