Thursday, July 18, 2013

Top 10 Iceland, Part 1

When I asked Eric what he really wanted to do in Iceland, he said "walk on a glacier." A little research and a short flight later, Eric and I were spending a Sunday on an Extreme Adventures Iceland Top 10 Tour. I had planned on doing a no tour trip but you can't walk on a glacier without some guidance, so off we went! I personally have mixed feelings about tours, but I would actually recommend

The Top 10 tour begins with the typical sites of the Golden Circle that most visitors to Iceland see. The first is a stop at Thingvellir National Park. I had no idea what to expect here but it was beautiful. It was also the site of the first Parliament in Europe (in the year 930). It was here that Iceland became a Christian nation in the year 1000. A place that is beautiful and has interesting history is worth a visit, plus it's only about 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik.

For those who prefer the scientific view, it's also the site where the Europe plate meets the American plate, the Mid Atlantic Ridge. This is what makes Iceland such a fascinating place, well... one of the many things.
Another thing I learned while at this site was that Iceland used to be ruled by Denmark. Technically they gained indepdence in 1918, but the King of Denmark was also the King of Iceland, so... not really. When Germany invaded Denmark in World War II, Iceland officially servered ties with Denmark and created their own Republic, electing their first president.
Our next stop on the Golden Circle tour is geyser. After seeing 100 thousand geysers last summer in Yellowstone, I really did not feel like I needed to see another. However, this one erupted every five minutes, no waiting! And plus, Iceland has the original geyser and they pronounce the word a bit differently than us.
Last stop for lunch was the Gullfoss waterfall. If I had to choose a favorite stop thus far, it might be this. First of all, they had a suspiciously good lunch. You know how driving stops in the US include sketchy truck drivers and disgusting food? In Iceland, they include delightful sandwiches and tomato soup. Oh, and shocking waterfalls that make Niagara Falls look like another backyard creek waterfall.

I think I could travel my whole life and still be amazed at the crazy different landscape, cultures, languages, all that this world has to offer. I mean sure, Iceland has a little hint of Ireland, or the Scottish highlands and maybe even New Zealand, but in the end it's really a unique place with words that cannot be pronounced and landscape that cannot be described.

Tomorrow I will tell you about our visit to a glacier, the highlight of our Icelandic Adventure!



  1. That tour looked amazing! I am glad you had a good time! In general, I am not a huge of tours, but I have done them because sometimes they are just the best way to do things logistically. Plus I learn WAY more than if I was touring something on my own. The last tour I did was to the Beaches of Normandy. I would like to rent a car and go back to that region some day, but I am really glad I did a tour for my first visit.

    thanks for sharing your vacation experiences with us. Those photos are stunning!

  2. We've been thinking about going to Iceland - good to known all this!

  3. Wow those waterfalls are absolutely gorgeous! I'm so glad you guys had a great trip to Iceland and got to experience a new place and a new culture!

  4. I can't wait to see more! The waterfalls are amazing

  5. That looks like an amazing tour! How gorgoues. It amazes me too all the different landscapes our world contains. Even within our own country! I always am stunned just in AZ -- we have coniferous forest, barren sandy desert, barren saguaro-cactus desert, red rocks of sedona, Grand Canyon, snowy mountains of Flagstaff!

    Those waterfalls are breath-taking. It looks so refreshing too!!

  6. That waterfall is really impressive. Though, now that I've seen quite a few of your photos, I'm quite certain Iceland would make my hair erupt (kinda like a geyser) into a spray of frizzy hair. I'm vain enough that it would put me in a sour mood. ha.