About 6 months ago, I realized that I would be turning 30 in April. A number that so many people I knew had dreaded and spoke of with distain. My 20s are filled with negative memories that I have worked so hard to move past. I felt like I was finally getting a grip on who I was as an individual and I didn’t want the negativity of a simple number to set me back. I decided that I needed to turn 30 doing something epic.
Around this time, I started noticing more and more photos of Iceland. The rugged landscapes and magical stories tugged at me and I knew that I had found my answer. Before I knew it, we were embarking on our trip.
We didn’t have a lot of spare time for planning, so we had booked a self-driving tour through Iceland Tours. We landed in Keflavik at 8am and got our rental car (the feelings of excitement beating out the exhaustion of our flight!). We couldn’t check into our hotel until 2pm, so we decided to drive out to the geothermal area, Krýsuvík.
I couldn’t peel my eyes away from the window our entire drive. The landscape was so rugged and raw. It was just miles of lava fields in every direction the second we left the airport.
We reached Krýsuvík. I opened the passenger car door only to feel the bitter cold permeate my outer layers! I shut the door and began to think of what layers I could pile over my clothes. I dug through my suitcase and began to put jeans on over the black leggings I was wearing. I then layered my green winter jacket on top of my fleece zip-up. Finally, I threw on a beanie, knit scarf, and mittens.
Feeling ready, I opened up the door once more and hopped out. Much better. It was a lot windier than I expected and we took long strides along the boarded path, trying to take it all in while also staying warm. The colors of the earth were magnificent. It was so crazy to see such bright oranges and browns next to the barren lava fields it was situated next to.
As we walked, I stopped to stare at the steaming water. It was just bubbling straight from the earth! We had read that it was important to stay on the paths along the geothermal areas because the temperatures could melt your shoes.
After 15min, the wind had thoroughly numbed our faces, so we hopped back in the car to warm up and drove down the road a little further. It wasn’t long until we found a pull-off to continue staring at the amazing views this country had to offer. Staring out over the icy waters, I could feel the magic that was in the earth here and knew this was going to be a life-changing trip.
We continued to our hotel where the battle of excitement versus exhaustion took a turn in favor of sleep.
We awoke and wandered the streets of Reykjavík in search of dinner. I was told by a friend to try out the hot dogs Iceland had to offer, so we stopped at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, a famous hot dog stand, and got a hotdog with everything on it. It did not disappoint!
Sleep came early this first night and we went to bed knowing we had only scratched the surface of what Iceland had to offer us.
Up next: South Coast