Tuesday, August 6, 2019


Our flight to Reykjavik went fine. After picking up our rental car we found a bakery and got donuts for breakfast and then on to the Blue Lagoon.

   The Blue Lagoon is a tourist spot that consists of a geothermal-fed lake, silica face masking and drinking- very relaxing after the flight.

    We then went to a cafe for lunch, hot dogs and lobster soup.

    On to some sightseeing of crater created lakes, sulfur springs and more lakes. On to our B&B.

   We went to Selfoss for dinner at a place recommended by our host, it was very good. I had chicken alfredo, Shane had a tower burger, Christine- fish and chips, Danny a calzone and Teresa had a salad that featured chicken.

    The next day we did the South Coast- to Vik and back- very scenic. We skipped a few things on the way there to see on the way back.

     Our first stop was Dkogar Waterfall. We were able to climb to a point over it.

     Nearby was Kvernufoss Waterfall, a little bit of a walk, but worth it. The walk was fun, colorful and had water features. This waterfall you could walk behind (and take pictures through the falls)

      Next was Solheimajokull glacier. It has receded greatly in recent years which meant we had a hike to get there. The glacier was dirty and unattractive  but we were able to walk up and touch it.

     On to Vik where we had lunch at Haldor Skaffi, 3 lamb sandwiches and 2 hamburgers- very good. From there a short walk to a black beach to view a rock formation in the sea.

     We then drove to a more famous black beach which had basalt formations (think Giant's Causeway) and caves.

      Next to Dyrkolaey Promentory with a lighthouse- great view from up there. We decided to drive up there, though Rick Steves cautioned against it.

      Our last stop was Seljalandsfoss Waterfall; it was powerful and threw up a huge mist.

       After cleaning up we took a drive to Olverk Mini-Brewery/Pizzeria.  We split 3 pizzas among us and 3 of us tried local brews. All was excellent. We stopped for ice cream in Selfoss on the way back to our room. It was clouding up so it was hoped midnight would not be so bright.

      The next day was "Golden Circle" day. We started at chess champion Bobby Fisher's grave. We found some more waterfalls and saw a glacier  from a distance.  Next was a crater lake.

   We stopped at the Grillfoss waterfall then went to Geysir (where geysers got their name) and then to Pingvellu Gorge.

Some nice scenery on the way to Pingvellu Gorge.

 Our last stop was Thingvellir Gorge which is a fault line that divides North America and Europe. It was also the place ancient chieftains met to enact laws and resolve disputes.

      We ate lunch at a dairy farm. Our hamburgers were made from their steers and the ice cream was made from milk from their cows (a recurring theme this trip). 

      We then drove to Reykjavik, which was bigger than I had expected.

      After cleaning up we walked to the downtown area and explored as we looked for a restaurant. Upon the advice of some folks from Maine we went to a place known for fish and chips. 4 of us had that, Danny had a beef and noodle soup. He should have followed our lead.

      The next day was the last full day for Danny and Christine. We drove to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and made our way around it. The day started out raw and windy but when we got to the north side at 1:45 the skies cleared, the sun shone brightly and the winds died down.

      We had cliffs, even a basalt one, beaches, mountain scenery,  and, of course, waterfalls.

       For dinner, after happy hour at a microbrewery, Danny and Christine treated us all to a gourmet meal. Appetizers were 5 Icelandic cheeses with bread and crackers, along with whale meat with fennel, bacon and cauliflower rice. Shane and I had goose leg confit with two game meatballs, sweet potato puree, Teresa had lamb, Danny had steak and Christine had something else. After, we did some shopping, I got an ice cream cone, the kids had beer and Teresa abstained on both. We walked back through the town center
to our apartment.

       The next day was travelling day. Danny and Christine had a 4:50 p.m. flight back home. After taking them to the airport the 3 of us headed north. First though, we went to downtown Reykjavik  where we did some shopping and had lunch.

   After the dropoff of the Washingtonians we went to a "Settlement Museum" with a very good pair of audio guides. The first told a history of how the Vikings settled Iceland (yes, Floki was involved), the second went through one of the Icelandic sagas.

    Later we found another waterfall; this one was very wide.

    Our last stop was to climb up a volcanic crater.

     More driving to our apartment in converted stables. It was huge and very comfortable.

     Teresa made French toast for breakfast and we then headed  along the north coast. Ironically, it took us going north to get warm weather. Our first official stop (we made several roadside stops for pictures of the scenery) was Glaunbeck Museum which featured several house with walls and roofs made of sod.

      We then went to the oldest (17th Century) church in Iceland which was quite isolated.

      On to Siglufjordur for lunch, a beautiful town at the end of a fjord where we had a nice lunch outside.

      A delightful drive to Godafoss, the obligatory waterfall.

      It was then to Husavik to our room and a good meal by the harbor. I had seafood pasta and they had cod.

      The first thing on the agenda the next morning was whale and puffin watching. Puffin Island had 150,000 puffins on it as is usual this time of year. We had good luck with the whales as we followed 2 humpbacks.

   Next we drove through some picturesque country to the thermal cave where  John Snow's first encounter with the Wilding was filmed.

      We then climbed a huge volcanic crater.

     We then went to a lava field and walked around.

     Next was a geothermal field and then on to the waterfalls.

     We arrived at our apartment after 9:00. It was a beautiful setting on one side of a fjord. Teresa counted 18 waterfalls we could see out our windows.


   We went into town to a bar and grill for a fantastic meal. I had prime lamb while Teresa and Shane had leg of lamb. The meals came with a scrumptious salad and a baked potato. I also had the best beer of my life - El Grillo Red Tag, an unfiltered lager 2 days old. Generally the local beers in Iceland were outstanding, we decided it was because  the water was so pure. We  walked around town a bit before heading back.

     The next morning started with a climb next to a waterfall in our fjord.

    After a trip to a bakery and supermarket we headed to a waterfall with hexagonal basalt columns.

     It was more waterfalls after that. We ate a picnic  lunch in the car as the weather had turned cold and rainy.

     After a trip to a lighthouse we came across a glacier. We had to travel several kilometers of bad road to reach it.

     We then went to a glacial lagoon where we eschewed the boat ride because of the weather. We still got some photos.

     Next to Diamond Beach where parts of calved glacier material ends up on the beach.  I broke off a chunk for my drink.

      Then to our hotel and we ate at the hotel restaurant. I had Arctic Char with potatoes and salad. Teresa had meatballs with salad and fried potatoes, Shane had a seafood dish that was like shephard's pie. We shared a lava cake for dessert.

      The next morning our included breakfast was our most extensive, eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles. etc.

       This was glacier day. First we stopped at 3 different tongues of the 3rd largest glacier in the world.

       Next we headed to our scheduled glacier cave tour. Our tour guide was a native and was very informative. We had to wear lighted helmets and crampons for the trek up the glacier and through the cave. We learned a lot of volcanic history and geology. 

Our next room was on a farm. For dinner we drove to Vik and tried another microbrewery. Again, the local beer was very good as was the food. I had a bleu cheese burger, Shane had a bacon, onion ring burger and Teresa had BBQ ribs. The fries were the best we had on the trip.

      Our last full day in Iceland had us head first to waterfalls we had missed on the South Coast, including a miniature Trammelbach Falls.

      Next to the Lava Museum  which was high tech and quite enlightening.

      On to Reykjavik where we visited the National Museum which filled in a lot of gaps in Icelandic history.

      We checked in and went shopping and exploring. We saw a sculpture park, we went back to the Lutheran Church and Opera House where we were able to get inside this time.

      Next to a microbrewery just for beer then a kebab stand for dinner. Pretty good gelato for dessert.

       The next day was our flight to Glasgow.



  1. Thank you so much for sharing! Did you plan your trip yourselves?

    1. Yes, my wife and son did most of the planning