Mid 2010-20 decade, Iceland was still emerging as a tourist destination. And when I found a $99 one way flight deal on now defunct WOW airlines, I booked it on the spot. I love any beach vaca but I equally love an adventure into the unknown especially in the “land of waterfalls”.
Hiking in waist deep snow to frozen waterfalls, seeing my 1st geysers explode, soaking in natural hot springs, exploring the countryside on ATVs, climbing inside lava caves, indulging in the freshest seafood I have ever eaten….. it was a fabulous adventure! Albeit it was below freezing most days, this hidden world was downright fascinating. I would go back in a heartbeat if my darn bucket list would just stop growing.
I stayed a day after the rest of the group departed in my first ever hostel (and I was fortunate to have the 16 bunk bed room to myself since it was the start of off season) and finished it all with a dip in the iconic Blue Lagoon. I opted for the earliest bus because, of course, there was the infamous sunrise that I just had to experience while swimming with a drink in hand. And it didn’t disappoint…..absolutely BRILLIANT!!
You are spoiled with an extra thick bathrobe and slippers. BUT you still have to dig deep to take it all off and run like hell (without falling) the last 20 steps between the door of the bitter cold temps outside to the bubbling water. After you recover & your heartbeat returns to a manageable level, it was time to explore. From hidden waterfalls to a sauna room to waterside bars to massages poolside, it was an over the top touristy experience. The best (and weirdest) part was the swim up mud bar where you could pick your poison and then smear it all over your face and arms. The perfect ending to an Icelandic experience.