Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Tyler and I decided a few years ago that our gifts to each other would be trips/experiences. For my birthday in 2016, I picked Iceland! It's been on my radar for a while, and I decided this was a great opportunity! I was hoping to see the Northern Lights, but it was too cloudy at night. But the trip ended up being one of my favorites anyway, because Iceland in and of itself is just amazing. 

The evening we arrived, we tracked down a Pizza Hut and a Krispy Kreme...it was a perfect way to start the vacation! Germany doesn't have very many American restaurants (at least, not near us), so this really was a treat for me. And honestly, it was probably the best Pizza Hut I've ever tasted. No, I don't think it was just because I hadn't had it in months...Tyler agreed that the ingredients were all incredibly fresh and it was a really excellent pizza. It's the little things in life ;)

We rented a car and drove to several waterfalls and a black sand beach. On our way back to Reykjavik, it was so snowy and windy that we just followed the car in front of us and hoped they knew where the road was. :) 

The next day, we drove to Thingvellir National Park for some great views and a nice little hike. It was FREEZING cold, but we had a blast. There was another amazing waterfall that we check out too, along with a geyser. It was so windy and cold still, so we didn't say long at either place, but it was so nice to see!

That night for dinner, we splurged on a nice restaurant. Food in Iceland is pretty expensive anyway, so we pretty much stuck to the more low-end establishments, but this night, we went to a steakhouse. We tried a smoked puffin appetizer, Tyler had a whale steak, and I had a horse steak. The puffin was very similar to salami. The whale tasted like a cross between tuna and beef. The horse was seriously one of the best steaks I've ever had. 

Our third day, we got to go horseback riding on Icelandic ponies. Iceland is very strict with their animals and that includes horses. No horses are allowed to immigrate to the island from anywhere else, and if Icelandic horses are taken off the island (for competitions or breeding), they aren't allowed to come back. This is to prevent disease and cross-breeding. Icelandic horses are very hearty and can withstand very cold temperatures. They also have a unique gait called the Tolt that's similar to a trot but much smoother and easier on the rider's behind. ;) It was fun to experience that, along with the beauty of the Icelandic landscape.

We tracked down the famous Icelandic hotdogs and decided that these, also, were deserving of the hype. So good!!

We spent an evening in a hot spring lagoon. We tried to go to the Blue Lagoon, but there were no tickets left. So we found a smaller one called the Secret Lagoon, and spent a few hours relaxing and trying to spot the Northern Lights. We also managed to find an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner. :)

One cool thing about Iceland in winter, the days are so short and the sun never gets very high in the sky. The whole day basically looks like sunrise/sunset. The light is great!! I wish I was a professional photographer, because I'm sure I would have gotten even better shots. But even for an amateur like me, taking pictures was a thrill! Highly recommend Iceland for the food, the activities, and the scenery!!