Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Intro to Iceland, and Gorgeous Gullfoss

One year ago, I went to Iceland for an awesome whirlwind of a long weekend. And for some reason, I never shared it here on the blog! So here's my first post about the gorgeous country of Iceland! There's not a whole lot of information in this post. But there's a bunch of pretty pictures. The adventures and stories will be coming in future posts.

This first photo is right around the corner from our hotel (Icelandair Reykjavik Natura).

Obligatory money shot (Icelandic Krona):


Picturesque random street downtown Reykjavik:


Our giraffe friend:


The Hallgrimskirkja. This church holds the record as the tallest building in Iceland, at 244 feet.


The interior is pretty sparse and basic, but houses a beautiful pipe organ. It's rumored that the bell tower has the best views in the city, but we were too late in the day to find out.


This may seem like a random photo, but it's the one that best captures the strange feeling I had the whole time. Unlike any other place I've been, the sky in Iceland seemed so close, the clouds so low, like I could reach out and touch them if I wanted to. Like the sky loved Iceland too, and was giving it a big hug.


After this little walk our first day in town, we were exhausted, but it was too early to go to bed. The hotel TV only had 5 channels (only 2 in English), so we were going to crowd around the Kindle except...


Sad day!  We wasted away the hours flipping the channels and trying to figure out how to order a pizza. That was our first adventure in Iceland. The website was only in Icelandic, so we called, and the man who answered the phone didn't know our hotel by name. So he asked for the address....which we couldn't pronounce and I attempted to spell....until: "umm, I don't have that letter in my language. It's like a curvy 'd' with a cross?" Thankfully, someone there knew where we were and we got our pizza!

Our first excursion was to the Gullfoss waterfall. But even before we got there, we had beautiful sights! Like these random hot springs seen from the bus:


The tour made a quick bathroom and coffee stop at this little strip mall that happened to be the victim of an earthquake several years back. The powers that be made the best of it by lighting the crack, laying some thick glass, and making it a tourist attraction. I felt super brave standing over this 6-foot-deep crack!


Then it was onto Gullfoss!


Fun story: see the first group of people in the above photo? That's approximately the spot where I slipped on the ice and slid downhill a good 10 feet, briefly wondering how Chrissy and Kathryn would explain my death-by-icy-Icelandic-waterfall to everyone back home (this would not be the last time this trip I had that thought...but those stories are for another post).

It's easy to see why this place is one of the top tourist destinations in Iceland. It's stunning.





So. Stinkin. Beautiful.


So I leave you with a group shot.


Have you been to Gullfoss (or Iceland in general)? What did you think?

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