Departure – 10:30pm (ouch)! Destination – Iceland (Yes)! I finally scored a work trip with good friends to this new hot spot. The destination on everyone’s bucket list.
The image I have always associated with Iceland was The Blue Lagoon, who wouldn’t want to submerge themselves in water somewhere between 98º – 104º F. Especially while sipping champagne and looking at the stars during a cold winters night.
The research began; tours, day trips, what to do in Iceland. I wanted to do it all. The Lagoon, the Waterfalls, Geysir Geothermal Field. Why oh why can’t we have more time?
1. Kayaking, would love to but, oh so far away. 2. The Blue Lagoon, unfortunately had only one time slot available at 10pm. Yes we could have done that but at the cost of $92 entry fee and an additional $42 transportation fee um NO! There was the Golden Circle Day tour lasting approximately 8 hours starting at 8:30, 9:30 or 10:30 am… but with a flight arrival time of 8:10 am probably not the best idea, at least not this trip. What caught our eye next was the Islenski Hesturinn, The Icelandic Horse – Riding Tour starting at 2PM. This tour took place right outside of Reykjavik’s city center. The best cure for jet-lag has always been fresh air. Riding an Icelandic horse while enjoying scenic lava fields seemed like the perfect day. Booked!
The Icelandic Horse is known for it’s five natural gaits. Walk, Tolt, Trot, Pace and Cantor or Gallop. Most other breeds have only three or four gaits. The gait that is special to the Icelandic Horse is The Tolt! Something like a running walk. Smooth, gentle and beautiful to watch. Sit back, shorten your reins and enjoy the scenery in stunning Iceland. Lava, landscape and mountain views.
This tour also allows you plenty of time to explore the quirky and colorful city of Reykjavik!
Reykjavik is a small city but don’t be put off or fooled by this. There is much that makes this an intriguing destination. Street art and brightly colored buildings are a significant part of this city. The boutiques are elegant, but be careful – expensive! Beautifully displayed clothes and textiles in one of a kind stores. All positioned on the lively Laugavegur street. Always the most crowded street in town.
Restaurants are plentiful and unique. We arrived at Kaffi Vinyl to a cafe atmosphere and a DJ spinning records with tunes from the 80’s. Definitely my kind of place. The food and atmosphere complemented this cutting-edge city and was the perfect way to end our day
We accomplished what we had set out to do. Travel to a completely new destination. Find an activity we could enjoy and experience nature in a different way. Volcanic, green and lava fields, all very Icelandic. Interacting with the wonderful people of Iceland and gaining insight and knowledge of their way of life. Last but not least, holding onto our memories and wondering about the next visit and what opportunities await us in the future.
Notes: I tried extremely hard to wrestle my iPhone out of my zippered pocket, continue to hold the reins, punch in my code to unlock the phone, hold it steady, and take a picture. I failed miserably, so horse photo credits to @begga_rist, our awesome guide on the tour.
Travel tips: Just a couple of hours of sleep after an overnight flight helps tremendously! Drink an abundance of water and not the kind from a plastic bottle. In Iceland it’s safe to drink water from the tap and most lakes, rivers and streams. The water from the tap in Iceland is so pure.