You know those mornings when you wake up feeling like you only got fifteen minutes of sleep? Well, our day was packed so we got our bloodshot eyes up and checked out of the Ion hotel. We didn’t have a set schedule but I wanted to see as much as we could in the area before driving to our house rental in Reykjavik by 4pm.
Before we checked out I took a quick stroll outside for as long as my frozen fingers could bear the wind. I was planning to take a quick dip in the outdoor spa but hells no, I am not crazy. But how lovely is that pool and all the gorgeous moss?
Since we were beat from the night before I didn’t get to the Northern Lights bar so we popped in to take a few photos of the space. I sat in silence and daydreamed that I was watching the Northern lights.
Be lucky you don’t have smell-o-vision because Strokkur geyser smells like rotten eggs. However, it erupts every eight minutes and is quite majestic.
I dig this chicks braids! We arrived at Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls. Also the most touristy spot so our visit was quick.
On our drive to Thingvellir national park I felt compelled to stop on the side of the road to say hello to these gorgeous horses. They were like, “Uh, we are camera ready lady, get shooting.” Iceland’s scenery feels like a movie set. I was so happy to have the rented wide angle lens, my regular lens would not have captured such beauty.
Yep, unfriendliest animals in the world. That sky is totally unfiltered. We may have missed the Northern lights but those moody, blue skies almost made up for it.
I am a great actress because I look relaxed and happy here but the reality was I was foolishly taking a sitting photo in the middle of the famous Ring Road which was terrifying. We were at the bottom of a hill so we had a three second window between cars and trucks hitting us. I tested my agility to get up from a sitting position in less than three seconds many times before we go these shots. I was literally jumping for joy when I got the last shot. So here’s my tip future travelers: Don’t get out of your car and stand in the middle of the busiest road in Iceland because it’s illegal and dangerous. But then again, YOLO!
Thingvellir is massive. We drove in from the back side of the park which was great because we missed most of the tourists and busses. There is so much to see and do you don’t have to visit the same spots that the travel companies go to. You do have to purchase a day pass which you buy from a kiosk and place it in your car. Bring cash for the day pass because the credit card option wasn’t working when we bought ours. We walked to Öxarárfoss and it was magnificent. Hardly anyone there and an easy hike. I found it funny that we would stop on the side of the road to explore empty spaces and several cars were following us to take the same photos we took. Like the horses, no one was there when we decided to stop but when we walked back to the car, there were about six cars pulling over as well as a bus full of people. Copycats!
I wish we had more time to spend in the park (where Game of Thrones is filmed!) but I wanted to get to the rental so we could shower and go to dinner. It is about an hour and a half drive to Reykjavik.
Liv was stoked to have her choice of two bedrooms and I was elated to have wifi and two bathrooms. We usually have to wait in line to get ready in the mornings so it was heaven to simultaneously get ready. Most Icelandic bathrooms have heated floors!
Our first stop was Kex Hostel which I heard about on Instagram. We had a cocktail and it was a cool place but we decided it was too noisy for dinner.
Off to find some grub!
On the drive to downtown Reykjavik, we passed the lovely Harpa concert hall. My dream is to see Björk perform there one day.
This is the Sun Voyager sculpture. It’s a sun dial that is commonly mistaken as a Viking ship that represents Iceland’s lengthy history. Close to the harbor we came across a restaurant that had a quote from Anthony Bourdain painted on it so that was a good enough reason to give it a try.
I had lobster, of course, prepared four ways. I even tried a lobster shot!!
Our waiter recommended we try the chef’s special dessert which was incredible. I wish waiters in LA were as friendly and helpful (but I understand, most Americans are assholes).