I’m currently writing this blogpost while I’m on my flight home. My 6th flight this month, damn am I lucky, right?! My one month travel adventure is over… but there is no reason to worry, I still have plenty of ‘travel months’ left…. ;). You guys already know alllll about my American adventures, but I still owe you my Icelandic one, so here ya go:
The 6th of August, it was 5 am and everyone was still sound asleep, but Family ‘van Heeswijk’ wasn’t. Liek and I looked out of our window of the plane and saw the Icelandic view. It was rocky. Rocky and plain, there was no house or human as far as the eye could see. The powerful feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, being able to scream at the top of your lungs and no one would be able to hear or see you. A view and feeling we would see and experience a lot more these next couple of days. It sure was different from the earlier ‘window-plane views’ we had this month, no palm trees like the ones in Florida and definitely no view of the Capitol in D.C.. We got out the plane, got our bags and walked with our (again too many and too heavy) suitcases and zombie faces out of the airport… Where we saw our parents again! They flew in from Amsterdam, a day before our arrival, so seeing them after almost 3 weeks was fun! A few hugs and kisses later, we sat in our rental car, READY FOR A NEW ADVENTURE TO BEGIN.
Our days in Iceland were spent well. If you were wondering… we drove 1586 kilometers, I took 247 photos, we saw 8 different waterfalls, stayed in 7 different rooms and I wore about half the outfits I packed. (Yes, I’m guilty of being an overpacker ;)). However, apart from these random facts, you might want to hear more.
We started our trip in the Blue Lagoon, which was fun, but a little too commercialized and (not a little, but a lot) overpriced. The water wasn’t as ‘light blue’ as we hoped and the minerals weren’t as ‘healthy’ either. The mineral ‘Silica’ is something that can be found in the Blue Lagoon and other natural hot springs in Iceland, it’s supposed to be healing and therefore very popular among tourists. The government has commercialized it so much that every tourist now thinks ‘The Blue Lagoon’ is a must visit whenever you go to Iceland. Silica sure is healthy, but a natural water (no other minerals or chemicals added), where millions of people go into is not that healthy… thus is wasn’t very surprising that both Lieke and I got a foot and hand infection. We both had about 100 blisters on each hand and foot and walking was extremely painful… which sucks if you’re in Iceland and you want to explore the country by foot. We had to go to the hospital, got a steroid shot and some other medicines, and a few days later the pain was gone… in the end, it wasn’t a big deal, we only explored half of Iceland looking like ducks (because we were walking weird). Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go visit the Blue Lagoon, after all, the doctor wasn’t 100% sure the infection was from the Blue lagoon, however he did say that, he, himself, as a doctor would never go in that water. I’d say: save your bucks and visit a smaller, cheaper and more local hot spring pool. That way you still get to experience your must have Iceland hot spring dip, but you’re saving a lot of money, a foot outbreak and your photos won’t be ruined by all the other tourists in the background.
We also visited a ton of waterfalls! My personal favorites: The Seljalandsfoss, you can walk behind the waterfall and it’s absolutely stunning. (Don’t think that the bright yellow raincoat of the woman walking in front of you looks ridiculous on her, you’re gonna need that if you don’t wanna get soaked by walking behind the waterfall, a mistake I made lol…). The Skogafoss, it’s quite a workout to get all the way to the top, but it’s so worth it! After getting soaked from all the water from the first waterfall and getting soaked from sweat from the second waterfall, you might actually have a chance of staying dry at the third. The third is the Gjain waterfall, which might be my personal favorite! It’s a small waterfall, but it looked absolutely amazing and with flowers bigger than my head, it almost reminded me a little of Pandora, the Avatar World. The best part: there were no other tourists. This park isn’t located in the Golden Circle, which means there aren’t a dozen of other tourists there to ruin your special moment (and photo of course ;)).
Our trip was more than a blue lagoon and some waterfalls tho. We hiked mountains, visited picturesque Reykjavik and saw the impressive Geysir Strokkur. The geyser explodes every 5-6 minutes, it creates an insanely blue glowing bubble for 0.5 seconds and then bursts high up in the sky. The trick is to get the blue glowing bubble in your photo, which is harder than it seems. So there we stood, in-between hordes of other tourists, all with a camera in their hands, ready to take that perfect picture. Waiting for that moment… THERE IT IS, TAKE IT. While I heard a million different voices around me go: ‘Magnifique’, ‘Fuck, I didn’t get it’, ‘Mammm, je hebt te laat geklikt’, ‘sooo schööööön’ and something else in Chinese. After about a solid hour, we walked back to our car, all very satisfied with our perfect geyser photos and smelly clothes. (Geysers stink really reaaaally bad, the high school stink bombs are nothing compared to these guys lol, the smell of rotten eggs is still in my shirt…)
We ended our trip in Reykjavik again, we watched the Gay Pride Parade which happened to be that day and enjoyed the last bit of the Icelandic rays of sunshine with a cup of coffee in a café. As we sipped, we realized our trip was over. It flew by, but yes, this is def another one for the books!