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FIELD REPORT-
ICELAND

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ICELAND - BEHIND THE SCENES

By Jenn Byrne for Sunday Afternoons

September 21st, 2018

Yes, Iceland does live up to all the hype! We spent two glorious weeks circumnavigating this beautiful island in the winter and that wasn’t nearly enough time to see or do most of what this country has to offer. While spirits were high upon arrival, we were immediately faced with our first Icelandic weather-blow: WIND. Every road in and out of Reykjavik was shut down because of it. I guess naivety paid off in this situation because prior to that we were only nervous about the icy road conditions and didn’t know we had to worry about wind. Our trusty steed “Gale,” as we named her after the winds, of course, chauffeured us safely around the Ring Road once the winds settled that evening.

Toyota SUV in Iceland Mountains

Gale, our trusty steed.

Hot tub in the middle of a field in Iceland with sun and snow capped mountains in the background

While the Blue Lagoon is typically everyone’s first stop, we found a much more agreeable and free option down a nondescript gravel road, thanks to our lovely Airbnb host.

Paired with local Icelandic beer to boot.

Profile picture of a woman in a hot tub drink a beer somewhere in Iceland

Icelandic ponies were everywhere and we made a point to be friends with each one of them.

Beautiful snow capped mountains with water at the base. Reflections
Petting a pony in Iceland

One thing I didn’t realize was the sheer number of peaks everywhere you look in Iceland. There are 360-degree views of mountain ranges nearly everywhere you go.

Woman wearing a beanie looking at mountain reflections in a lake.

The Golden Circle is a beautiful loop just outside of Reykjavik. Because of its proximity to the capital, the Golden Circle is often packed full of tourists and cars pulled over on the side of the road despite the dangerous road conditions. Although we needed more time and confidence driving on the treacherous roads, we were all very happy to have solitude on the road by driving the circumference.

Crystal Caves with huge icicles around the opening

Exploring ice caves, or “Crystal Caves,” with the help of a local guide.

Picture of a woman behind a sheet of ice looking like she was frozen in place!

Don’t worry, Becky got out.

But then we threw snowballs at her.

Steaming water mountains through the mist.

Hot pots, some natural and some man-made, sourced from a natural hot spring, were all over Iceland. We made friends at the lesser known nature bath: Myvatn, on the northside of Iceland.

Pro tip: Book a trip to Europe via Iceland Air and take advantage of their offer to have an extended layover in Reykjavik.

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