It’s been over a week since I returned from my Paris & Iceland trip with Amy.
It goes without saying: Iceland is a beautiful country. As a native New Yorker, it also encapsulated the opposite of what I’ve known my entire life. I grew up surrounded by rows of houses and buildings, and few animals (dogs and pigeons as exceptions). On the contrary, Iceland was home to all kinds of nature. Waterfalls. Mountains. Lots and lots of flat green land. And most importantly, there were horses and sheep everywhere.
On our first day, we drove the Golden Circle, which included the Thingvellir National Park, Geysers at Haukadalur, the Gulfoss Waterfalls, and the Kerio Crater Lake. Unfortunately, this was also the rainiest and windiest day of our entire Iceland trip.
On this day, the Gulfoss Waterfalls is one of the most memorable stops. Here we had to choose between staying warm and semi-dry, or maximizing the time we had by hiking further and closer to the falls. In our moment of weakness, we almost turned around. But something came over us, and we decided to brave the weather and go forth! By the time we reached the end, we were drenched from head to toe. I was numb from the cold; could barely feel my fingers. However, I felt exhilarated. I felt strangely alive and carefree. (I wondered if that was what a runner’s high felt like.) And my favorite quote from Amy after our dubbed test-of-strength: “Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a badass!”
My second favorite memory was our short stay in Vik, a small village in South Iceland. We stayed at a guesthouse with a friendly host and his even friendlier Siberian Husky. The long winding road to get here was the most scenic drive I’ve ever experienced. It was just an absolute dream.
That night we saw the Northern Lights. Seeing the night sky dance before my eyes gave me an unexpected feeling of giddiness. I felt like a small being in a big universe. I also felt extremely close to the sky…as if I could almost touch it. It has been a long time since I experienced such childlike wonder.
This concludes the highlights! The other half of the fun included the abrupt stops during our drive for photo ops, a spontaneous day hike to Thorsmork, and a relaxing last day at the Blue Lagoon.
Till next time!