This is a personal blog post since I went to Iceland in January, but I have not blogged about it yet! So, here is a post about one of the best trips of my life! First off, I went with my amazing, adventurous friend, Natalie. She is one incredible person, has tons of energy, is up for every crazy idea, and makes me laugh harder than anyone else I know! It was her idea to go to Iceland, and I am so glad she brought up this crazy idea to me. Our main goal was to see the Northern Lights, which we did! It was breathtaking. We also took several tours including going to the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle Tour, and Glacier climbing/hiking! Climbing on the glacier was a surreal and amazing experience. It put me in utter awe of God's majestic creation! We also had amazing tour guides and fellow adventurers on that tour! But Iceland is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The landscape is incredible, and I was so glad we went in the winter. Being in the snow for a week was a wonderful experience for this California girl! I would definitely go back in a heartbeat! I hope you enjoy this combination of passions of mine-traveling and photography, really life can't get much better!
After we landed from our overnight flight, we toured the city while waiting to check into our hotel. This is Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík, it is the city's main landmark and the tallest church in Iceland! We were able to go to the top and overlook the city.
The view from the church tower.
A few blocks from where our hotel was located is this view of the Atlantic Ocean! It was breathtaking seeing the snow covered mountains with the deep blue Atlantic stretched before it.
The Blue Lagoon was heavenly! It is costly, but it was a fun experience! Especially with the snow all around us!
On our second night in Iceland, we had booked the Northern Lights tour. We wanted to book it early in the week in case we didn't see them that night. But our days of praying paid off, and we were blessed enough to be able to see them! It was very faint and hardly discernible to the naked eye for the first few hours we were standing out in the snow. My camera picked up more of the color, but it was still pretty faint. Then after enduring the freezing cold for three hours, and after most people had given up and gone back on the bus, the Northern Lights came out for a show! They even danced for us, and it was so beautiful! It only lasted about 15 minutes, but it was incredible to witness the majesty of God's creation! It is definitely an experience I will never forget!
Sunrise in the winter does not happen until 10-10:30am so the wonderful thing is that you can sleep in and still catch the sunrise peeping up over the snow! This was the start of our Golden Circle tour.
It was freezing here by Gullfoss, but it was well worth the view! Seeing the water pouring down and the snow all around was just incredible!
Another part of our tour was seeing a Geyser. It went off every 5 to 10 minutes which was great for photographing it!
Glacier Hiking was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. I love hiking, but never in my life had I climbed a mountain of ice before! It was absolutely incredible. I felt like I was in another world as I would look down and see beautiful blue ice mixed with snow underneath my feet. I was in awe of the beauty and majesty of it all.
We did ice climbing as well. I have rock climbed before and thought it would be similar, but I was dead wrong! It is a lot harder than I thought, and a great arm workout! You have to hammer your pick into the ice, hook it, do the same with the other pick then do the same with your feet! I was exhausted by the end, but both Natalie and I made it and knocked that off our bucket list!
On the tour we made some friends and found out that there were five of us girls from America, and four out of the five of us were from SoCal! Nothing like adventure and travel to unite those in your own backyard!
Our guides were the best! They were very fun and informative. We had a great time with them, and they took a "thug" photo with us!
We stopped at a waterfall at the end of our glacier tour. It was beautiful, and even though we were all tired, it was definitely worth it! I love Iceland and hope to one again be able to see it's beautiful landscape in the near future!