That title was a bit of a mouthful eh? Whatever. Just in case you care, by far, one of my favorite pastimes is soaking in hot water. Nothing quite soothes the body (mine at least) as floating in the healing powers of hot H2O. So naturally I saw Iceland as a slice of heaven. Cold climate, fresh air, beautiful surroundings, and lots and lots of natural and man-made hot springs and geothermic pools make Dawn say wahoo! Thank you God! 
 
On our last day in Iceland (boo), we did what most tourists in Iceland do; we spent a few hours pampering ourselves at the famous Blue Lagoon. Located right next to a geothermic power plant, but hidden among the rocky outcroppings of a lava field, this man-made geothermic spa offers guests the opportunity to soak in steaming waters of what looks like a real lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is quite big and has a few spots where you can either hang out at a swim-up bar, chat with friends at one the several silicon stations, or find a quiet corner to float alone and not think of anything at all.


Amy and Jen treated themselves to massages while Butter and I took our turns in and out of the various steam baths, waterfalls, and relaxing rooms. I find it humorous that when I put on a mask (of the “mud” kind) at home, I lock myself away so no one can see me. At the Blue Lagoon, everyone lathers on the silicon mask and swims around—nothing to be embarrassed about here!

Butter and I were in heaven. This place was meant for people like us. I did not want to leave but Amy threatened me so I had to obey and get ready to leave to catch our flight to Norway. The only downside to the experience was that it left our hair a mess. I could have walked out of there with dreadlocks. But no worries—a few showers later and my hair was smooth once again.

What I Really Think You Should Know About Iceland

So to wrap up the visit to Iceland, I would say GO! If you have a chance, GO! All the places we visited were great and with the exception of that one tour company, the tours were great and the Icelandic people were very nice. Everyone spoke English and there were signs in English everywhere—making our stay very comfortable, thank you Icelanders! Inga’s was a great place to stay and there is good food to be found all over Reykjavik—especially at the hot dog stand on the harbor.


I would like to go back again. I think I’d explore one of the big glaciers to get a better look at those, maybe try the ring road, and rent a car to visit some other areas and places. And of course—I’d spend an entire day at the Blue Lagoon. That may not be your thing to do, but if you like that sort of thing, get there early and reserve a nice massage appointment.

There were some funny things I saw while driving around. I think I’ve mentioned all the faces and creature like things I saw in the mountains and rock formations as well as the animals—sheep and horses playing and romping around like I’ve never seen before. The light of the night and the disparate topography all made this volcanic island a treasure to visit.

If you go, remember to stock up on alcohol at the duty free shop, be ready for all kinds of weather, bring a mask to block out the light, go with fun friends and/or family, reserve a tour with Goecco Adventure tours, turn in all your Kroner before you leave or you’ll get stuck with it, open your mind to seeing the hidden people (elves, trolls, and who knows what else), knock on the prime minister’s door and say hello, and take me with you!

I know I’ve forgotten some of the incredibly fun memories I shared with the girls, but as I leave you with these thoughts of Iceland, I’m recalling the guestbook at Inga’s. The first entry was written by some men who had quite a great time—telling us all how they got lucky. They signed their entry, “the French guys.” Pretty much every entry after that made reference to the French guys, getting lucky (or not) and was signed by such people as, “some English guys,” “three singing sisters,” “four friends from four different places in Germany (I think),” some “Canadian guys,” and of course, “Four American Girls.” (I wonder who those last chicks were.)

Goodbye Egil, Njall, and other saga heroes. Goodbye Inga and Olga. Goodbye Jonas, Ymir, and Villi. Goodbye goats and horses. Goodbye vomit dude. Goodbye taxi driver. Goodbye new friends from our tours. Goodbye funny viking hats and troll dolls. Goodbye waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, oceans, hot springs, marshmallow farms, black beaches, lava fields, and ancient explorers! We came, we explored, and we left better than we were before.

Now off to Norway!

 

My hardworking boot gets dressed up with my new viking hat.

 

 

That's me way in the back soaking up the hot water at the Blue Lagoon while wearing a silcone mask.

 

An Icelandic lullabye on the plane pillow.

Bye bye and hushabye,
Can you see the swans fly?
Now half asleep in bed I lie,
Awake with half and eye.
Heyho and welladay,
Over hills and far away,
That’s where the little children stray
To find the lambs at play. 

Sunset at 11:30 p.m.

 

A artist's vision on a building in Reykjavik.

 

Many of the streets (gata) are named after saga characters, heroes, and gods.

 
 
 Look at these photos and see if you can find the faces in them.
 

Can you see the troll dude?

 
 
 

These guys were all across this mountain side.

 

This troll watches over a beautiful waterfall.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

Where do I even start? What a fantastic trip! I just got back from the land of the Vikings with three very awesome women. We toured through Iceland and Norway and were in constant awe at the endless beauty of both countries. Upon first reflection, I found the people of Iceland to be very friendly, the land to be a mixed bundle of topography, and the water and air as clean as it gets. Norway was a carpet of green hills, more urban, more expensive than anywhere I’ve ever been, and quite lovely and rich in culture and history.

To get a full snapshot of these two countries we ended up taking quite a few trains, busses, minibuses, vans, airplanes, and taxis. We were pretty impressed with the public transportation system in Norway—having experienced how they find fast and suitable solutions for getting people where they need to go even when tracks are out due to construction, accidents, and random sheep crossings.

People keep asking me about the highlights and I just don’t know where to start. Each day brought new discoveries, new friends, new beautiful sights to behold. I love to travel the world and see all that God has created. I’m going to write a series about our trip so that anyone who is interested in traveling to these charming countries can hopefully get a feel of what to do, not do, or do again and again! I also will have to write on my company’s blog about the marketing side of this trip. I think the character of the Icelanders mixed with a bit of luck (so to speak) of a volcano erupting and catching the eye of the world, gave them an opportunity to sell themselves. I definitely bought into it and now have become a net promoter! Gooooooo Vikings!

If you have traveled to these countries and would like to share your experiences here, please do. The more perspectives the better. And maybe some extra laughs I may have forgotten about. Let’s get started!

Pre Day One

I drive up to the parent’s house and drop off the Grendel dog. Grendel would have done very well in Iceland—land of the sagas. His name is taken from an ancient tale that has some resemblance to the sagas. And completely off topic but something to note as I weave the tale of this journey, my right ankle is encased in a boot—to help me walk and heal a hairline fracture. Yup, going on a hiking type of trip with a bum leg. Oh well.

Day One

Meet Amy at the Philly airport and cruise up to Boston. We find the Moossachusets Cows and are already laughing. Butter and Jen arrive at about the same time and we are off to check in at the Icelandair counter. Upon arrival in Iceland, we stop to take a photo of the dinosaur coming out of an egg, get some booze at the duty free shop (they don’t sell alcohol in shops like we do), and then hop a bus for Reykjavik and arrive at Inga’s Guest House at about 1 a.m. It’s still light out but I note for the girls that “Sunrise is at 3 a.m.” Amy laughs and says, “You mean in two hours?” Yup. Awesome. Inga’s beds are comfy and we love our rented apartment so close to downtown! Next up, touring quaint Reykjavik.

Jen stands near a wall in the Iceland airport. It says it all and why we came on this trip.