Iceland or Bust
What is on your bucket list? If Iceland isn't on it, you are missing out! From the waterfalls at every turn to the most welcoming country in the world, there is magic in every corner. For my husbands 40th birthday I wanted to surprise him with something BIG. We had recently found via Ancestory.com his heritage was mostly made up of Scandinavian decent! He is my own red bearded Viking! I am a HUGE adventurer so I decided I would surprise him with a trip to one of the "motherlands" and it was nothing short of magical.
Now if I am completely honest I was so completely nervous about going to Iceland. This Texas girl is perpetually cold. Like mid summer, if I am inside, I need a sweater. So going to the land of "Ice and Snow, from the Midnight sun where the hot springs flow" ( one of my fav songs from Led Zepplin by the way) had me figuratively shaking in my boots. But alas, I love a good adventure, so I traveled to my home away from home Amazon.com and loaded up on all the things to keep me toasty.
Jumping the gun
If there is one thing you should know about me, you should know I like a good plan. Like it doesn't have to be set in stone, but I like the general idea. So when I found myself jumping the gun and buying a plane ticket without doing ANY research, I realized that needed to be my last glass of wine for the night. After giving my hunky hubby the gift of plane tickets for his birthday, I then said okay now what. So off to the trusty Google.com for help. I stumbled upon this AMAZING site https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-guides/iceland/ and hundreds of blogs to help get me started. We decided for us we wanted to travel the land alone, without the hustle of group tours, so when we found out that it was super easy to rent a car and travel almost all of the island in our time frame we knew that was what we wanted to do. Then all of a sudden , it was less scary.
Home is where the heart is ( and where the shoe heater is)
We opted to stay at local air BNB's and our absolute favorite part of them, was they each provided the most lux European style breakfasts! One of our favorite little Guesthouses was https://dalshofdi.is
This amazing location has the sweetest family overseeing your stay and the BEST shoe warmer I have ever seen, which is like top priority in my book. The thing that made this stay the absolute best was they are located on a lava field with paths to lead you around to view the beauty without damaging their natural resource. It was beyond breath taking! We also enjoyed waking up and having breakfast in the common area and meeting so many other families traveling from EVERYWHERE. You wake you and take a step outside and almost have to pinch your self because the beauty is almost unreal.
We weren't able to stay as long as we wanted so the furthest we were able to travel was to the Diamond Beach where the icebergs are so clear they appear to be larger than life crystals that just wash up onto the shore.
We are Game of Thrones Nerds.... Okay maybe me more than my husband. But I KNEW there were alot of scenes that had been filmed in Iceland (and if I am really honest, I knew the last season of GOT was being filmed and I so wished we would stumble upon one of the sets!) so I wanted to add to our itinerary some places filming had taken place. Like Thingvellir National Park, Black Sand Beach at Vik and Skogafoss. It wasn't hard to see why the film crew chose these locations.
I could go on and on for days
Seriously, there isn't enough good stuff to say about this magical little country. The people are so overwhelming welcome ( and I thought our Southern Charm held that title), every turn you make is majestic and ease of traveling the country is a relief. They way everyone protects Iceland's natural state is so awe inspiring, it truly makes me jealous that not all countries can take such pride in their lands to protect them they way Iceland does. From the city to the country, you will not go wrong with any way your travel. And one thing I can promise you, it is absolutely impossible to take a bad picture here.