hofn

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I thought it we were going to have an early spring? Like starting now. The weather in the DC area was so beautiful and warm last week. I was so ready to start pulling out my cute summer dresses and light jackets. Then it all turned over the weekend. I try my best not to complain in my personal life, but this is not good for many reasons. First of all, you’re messin’ with the flowers! The beautiful saucer magnolias blooms that I photographed last week, waiting for the peak, are all gone now. I’m pretty sure this cold weather will have a bad effect on the cherry blossoms as well but I hope not. Secondly, I think my body is confused. First it’s hot, then it’s cold then its hot again. I’m starting to feel the effects of the temperature change in my throat and head. Not fun.

So instead of going outside, I decided to sit in front of the computer and find an image that depicts how I feel. This one from Iceland describes it perfectly. It was along the main (and only) road from our drive in Reykjavík to Höfn. Along one of our million and one stops for horses, I came across this scene. The horses were the things that first attracted me to this image but then my favorite part is the huge cloud behind them. The road signs adds to my confusion of the weather but either way, I’m not liking the snow. Something so clean and neat perfectly shows what it’s really like on a road trip in Iceland.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m not a big fan of being cold. Being in Iceland is different because it’s what’s expected, but not this see-saw rollercoaster of temperatures. End complaint. For now, mother nature.

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A couple of blog posts ago, I talked about my favorite place in Iceland, Höfn. (If you haven’t checked it out yet, click here) It’s located about 5 to 6 hours away from Reykjavik so there were a lot of stops along the way. One of the best “road side attractions” was Jökulsálón lagoon. The only reason why I called it a “road side attraction” was because it’s right off the main road and you can’t miss it! It’s this humungous lake at the edge of Vatnajökul National park where pieces of Vatnajökul glacier break off. If you look at a world map and see Iceland, you’ll see how theres one huge glacier on the south east side of the island. That’s Vatnajökul glacier.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so cool. Literally. As soon as we parked the car, I hopped out with my camera ready. I was so mesmerized by these glaciers that I didn’t want to waste a second. Just the whole experience made it seem like you were on a different planet. I mean you can see the top of the icebergs, but I can’t even imagine whats underneath. How big these icebergs really are and how long they’ve been in this water. And if the icebergs were so big, how freakin’ big is that glacier? Man, I can’t even imagine.

Right across the street you go to Diamond beach and a lot of these icebergs have washed up to land and they are gigantic. So many of them were taller than me. I had a lot of fun climbing on them, running my hands (with gloves on) on them, and just taking note of all the beautiful blues I was seeing. It was so tempting to say “Icebergs right ahead”. I tried my best not to say it but I think it slipped out once.

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If you plan on visiting Iceland, you gotta do a road trip. Reykjavik is cool and all but the best part of Iceland is the country side and being at one with nature. So if you’re really into the outdoors than you gotta go. We rented our car from Lagoon Car Rental and they were amazing. They picked you up from the airport and everything was so easy-peasy.

This is a basic break down of how we spent our 4 days in south Iceland:
Slept on plane so we could hit the ground running.
Day 1: Fly into Keflavik International Airport at 5a. Drive the golden circle. Stopped at Laugarvatn Fontana for a quick geothermal bath dip and then ended at Gullfoss, this AMAZING waterfall.
Day 2: Drive to Höfn but make an exceptionally long stop in Vik for the black sand beach and waterfalls along the way.
Day 3: Spent the morning in Höfn and Jökulsárlón then drove to spend the night in Vik.
Day 4: Early to rise so we could drive back to Keflavik but made one last stop at the waterfall, Skógafoss

But if I had to do it all over again, I’d spend a couple more days in each of these cities and made sure I:
-preordered tickets to the Blue Lagoon (they book up at least 3 months in advance)
-researched more of the hidden/off-the-beaten path waterfalls
-checked out the abandoned DC plane on Sólheimasandur
-cleared the cloudy/rainy skies so I could see some of the northern lights
-cleared the weather so we could finally go on an ice tunnel tour
-maybe see what’s in the northern part of Iceland?

Obviously, I have no regrets from this trip. It was one of the best trips ever. But I know there is just so much more to see. I can already feel the itch.

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Shout out to my friend, Sam who told me about Höfn beach while we were planning our trip to Iceland. This little town was definietly a highlight of the whole trip. It’s about 5 hours east from Reykjavik but worth every minute of the drive. I say that because the drive was actually pretty scary. We ended up staying in Vik all afternoon and by the time we were ready to leave to go to Höfn, it was already dark, raining and snowing. The roads are paved and there are little reflectors on the side but its still kind of difficult to see. Especially since there are so many one way bridges. It was hard to gage whether or not the person on the other side of the bridge was coming towards you or stopping to let you go. So if you do go to Höfn, it’s probably best to go while theres still some sun out. Especially since there were so many fantastic views that we missed out on. We had no idea we passed the glacier lagoon until the next day we were driving in the daylight.

So we spent the night in Höfn not really being able to see what was around us but the next day was amazing! We spent the morning at the beach and it was absolutely perfect and beautiful. It was also the only day that it didn’t rain while we were in Iceland. The best part was that the sunrise lasted for sooo long. I’d say we were able to enjoy the sunrise for about an hour, if not more. Of course the colors and the sky changed during the hour, but it really allowed me to go to different parts of the beach and try different angles. I wish all sunrises and sunsets were like this all around the world.

This is also the little town that we saw the horses from my blog post the other day. I would love to spend more time here on my next trip to Iceland.

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Home from Iceland and had a blast. It was so much fun. The country is just so beautiful and I couldn’t of asked for a better trip. It was a 5 day adventure (including flying) but I could of stayed so much longer. I feel like there’s so much left to explore. My friends and I were basically road tripping it the whole time. Each day we were in a new town and it just got better and better each day we were there. If you’re ever thinking of going, definietly do it!

One of my favorite parts of the trip were these Icelandic horses. They’re pretty much anywhere you go, but most of the time they’re behind these little wire fences so they don’t run into the street. We were lucky enough to see some that were not. They belonged to this man named, Omar who had a barn in this little town called Hofn. He was nice enough to tell us about his horses and let us visit them. So you know me, anything cute and fuzzy I just have to try to pet. Omar had a big group of them. About 20 or so and they were all super cute. Compared to the horses in America, they were a lot shorter and a lot hairier but very gentle. I probably pet 10 out of the 20 that were there. HAHA. The others were either eating or sleeping so I didn’t want to disturb them.

This particular image was shot right after sunrise. The sun was still rising and created this gorgeous glow on the animals. It’s like he knew I was taking his picture and was posing for me in the perfect lighting. Thank you horsey! The ultimate dream would of been to ride one of them during sunset on the black sand beach. I know it’s possible, we just didn’t have the time on this trip. Next time, Iceland. Next time.