© 2015 mikeandbrynne

Iceland Day 1

I have to admit that I had a little trepidation when we landed in Iceland.  Our trip was not well planned.  Knowing we were so late in the game I had booked a car and some places to stay, but I had done it all with little education or knowledge of Iceland.  Our last year had been so full and I simply hadn’t had time to appropriately.  We consulted with this small group of Iceland veterans and were given some helpful tips on what to see and what to avoid and on how many layers of clothing the kids needed.  Iceland weather is completely unpredictable and like Norway, they had had an extremely cold and wet winter followed up with a non-existent summer.  We were prepared for powerful winds (your rental car company will warn you that they don’t cover doors being blown off by the wind because you let go of the handle and let it fly open and off) and frigid temperatures.  Blessedly Iceland favored us with the best week of weather of the entire year and the people were so kind and helpful that my anxiety was unfounded.  I could have, however, done a better job with the planning, but the near 24 hours of sun allowed us to go and do at a near endless pace which somewhat compensated for our need of a few extra days on the island to see and do all we wanted.

Luke was thrilled to see the start of the “rainbow bridge” that leads up to Asgard, the land of the Norse Gods, right outside the airport.IMG_9159

Iceland is the most unique place I have been on earth.  It contains what appears to my non-scientific eye, every type of biome on earth- from desert to tundra to forest to grassland to aquatic.  One moment you can be in deep snow surrounded by glaciers and a few hours later basking in the volcanic black sand beach with your shoes off and your toes in the water and a couple hours later you can be watching hot mud bubbling and boiling up out of the earth.  It was beautiful, it was rugged, it was serene, it was surreal.

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Our first day was amazing.  After all the logistics of getting our huge car and our loads of luggage and finding our way to our perfect cabin we set off for Geysir.  Geysir was the original eruption of boiling water up into the air for which all other geysirs have been named.  According to the park ranger there are really only 5 main geysirs on earth and this “first” of record which shot nearly 70 metres in the air has currently stopped erupting.  All around it our small areas of boiling water and hot pots like you see in Yellowstone.  Thankfully, Geysir has both a little Geysir and a junior companion named Strokkur that erupts nearly evey 7-10 minutes to appease visitors.  Although not as high as the original Geysir, Strokkur is consistent and a great crowd pleaser.  We could have stayed there entertained by both the “geysirs” and the visitors trying to take pictures of themselves with the “geysirs” all afternoon.

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IMG_9269Sadly, with just under a week in Iceland we felt like we were on a mission to enjoy as many of the country’s many wonders as possible so we had to head off to experience more beauty and breathtaking vistas.  Not far from Geysir is Gulfoss falls meaning golden falls.  Enormous in their scope and power, this waterfall rivals anything I have seen in the states.

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From there we set off on an adventure to find another waterfall that we couldn’t ever find.  In the process the kids found a zipline a giant trampoline.  Satisfied with our alternate escapade we headed back to enjoy our cabin in the hills outside of Selfoss.  The view from the kitchen sink was amazing.  I loved doing dishes there.  🙂

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Seriously we could have just stayed in this cabin all week and have been happy.  IMG_9291