Old Charm Reykjavik Apartments

Country #58 - Iceland Day 3

The Blue Lagoon

This was the first time I’ve spent almost three whole days in a country (other than the US, obviously) and I’m so glad it was Iceland. Sydney had an earlier flight than me so we decided to actually walk around Reykjavik this morning before taking her to the airport. Our first stop was breakfast - we ate at Sandholt again and this time we actually sat down for the meal which was a good call because it was very tasty.

We then began our walk to the few spots in town to see. For the capital city of an entire country it is very tiny (but cute) and there is not a ton to see, though we definitely saw some of the highlights. Our first stop was Hallgrímskirkja church. You can see it from all over town and it is an incredibly unique design. The inside was very plain but there was an organ player playing the giant organ which was cool to see! From there we walked the main street, Laugavegur, where Sydney bought some gifts and I bought a wool sheep magnet (of course).

After we finished up on Laugavegur we headed to our last stop in town, Harpa. It was one of, if not the most, incredible Opera houses that I’ve ever seen. It was unlike anything architecturally I’ve seen before and the use of glass and light was really amazing to see from both the inside and out. After walking through we started the drive to the airport. It’s only about forty-five minutes from the city and Sydney was there in plenty of time for her flight. It was so great having someone join me for a stop, especially in Iceland! I think it would be really difficult (but obviously not impossible) to do Iceland on your own of every country that I’ve seen because there is so much driving, it can get really expensive, and seeing some of the coolest stuff ever it was nice to have a friend along to experience it with!

From the airport, I made my way to the infamous Blue Lagoon. I was not going to pay (almost $60 minimum) to go in the Blue Lagoon but I still wanted to see one of Iceland's most famous landmarks in person. I had three hours to kill before I needed to be back at the airport for my flight, and it was only a twenty-minute drive away. When I got there I found the cafe where I bought an orange juice and was able to sit and look out at the Lagoon from inside! It was definitely interesting, but I enjoyed walking around the other blue pools outside of the main entrance much more. You could get up close to the water which was better than watching a bunch of people swim around in basically an overpriced pool (that’s blue). I am glad that I saw the Blue Lagoon but also glad I didn’t pay to do it.

From the Blue Lagoon, I drove through some of the cool mossy rock landscape for a bit before turning back towards the airport. I drove past the airport to the coast where I found two cool lighthouses and also almost completely froze when walking to take their picture because it was so windy. I then drove on to the next town near the airport and just enjoyed driving around and seeing more of the country and especially the small towns because we saw so few of them. After a short drive back to the airport I returned the rental car with ease and was only a little early for my flight.


I’m really sad to leave Iceland and I can’t say enough good things about it. It was the coolest place that I’ve ever seen from the incredible landscapes throughout to Reynisfjara Beach, the Northern Lights, and everything in between. There is so much to see and I definitely recommend you put it towards the top of your list! And the good news is, even though I’m leaving Iceland at least I’m headed to Spain (and Andorra)!

58 countries down, 138 to go.

Read about my second day in Iceland here.

To learn more about Old Charm Reykjavik Apartments click here.

Country #58 - Iceland Day 2

The Northern Lights

Today we started the day off by pretty expectedly oversleeping. We were so tired and another long day was ahead of us so an hour late start was totally justified. We grabbed a quick breakfast to go from a place called Sandholt and then headed off towards the Golden Circle. The first thirty minutes of the drive were exactly the same as yesterday, and then we curved off towards the left to start the Golden Circle at Kerio.

Kerio is a giant crater formed by volcanic activity - basically, the magma drained out, the ground collapsed, and Kerio was born. That’s the gist of what I gathered, at least. We walked along the outside of it and it was a pretty quick stop as literally there is nothing to see other than a hole in the ground. From Kerio we drove on to our farthest point for the day, Gullfoss (another waterfall!). This one was pretty spectacular but, unlike Skógafoss yesterday, it actually reminded me a lot of Iguazu Falls. It basically felt like a mini Iguazu, but even at that, it was amazing and breathtaking. So much water was continually flowing over Gullfoss and it was so interesting to learn about the history as well. There are great views from the top and bottom of Gullfoss so I recommend you do both!

From Gullfoss, we drove maybe five minutes back up the road to Haukadalur. Haukadalur is an active system of geysers and is right next to a geyser called geyser which, uncoincidentally, is where the name geyser came from! The namesake is actually no longer active but it was really cool to see Haukadalur in action. It would explode to varying degrees and send water shooting up between every five and ten minutes. It was also enjoyable to walk around and see the smaller pools of water.

After Haukadalur we made our way to Þingvellir National Park. We didn’t spend a lot of time there because we didn’t have time to really walk through it, but at the main visitors' entrance there is an amazing view out over the park and you can also actually see the break in tectonic plates. This was our last stop for the day before dinner. There aren’t a ton of restaurants outside of Reykjavik near where we were so we had to drive back into the city. We ate at a cute place and I had an amazing and much-needed burger, fries, and garlic mayo. I finished the whole burger before Sydney was even halfway through proving definitively that she is the slowest eater I know.

After dinner, we stopped back by Old Charm to put on extra layers before driving forty-five minutes outside of the city to attempt to see the Northern Lights! We were too tired to even possibly try last night, and also yesterday there ended up being clouds that were not originally in the forecast (and clouds make the Northern Lights impossible to see). So all day today I gave an hourly cloud update and good news, the clouds never came! My hopes were definitely up after reading the forecast that we had a possibility of seeing them. This is the second time I’ve tried to see the Northern Lights, the first being when my brother visited me last year during study abroad and we walked around a frozen lake in Norway to no avail. So I was definitely hoping that this freezing lake experience would be a more positive one.

The drive out went from being in Reykjavik to being in the middle of nowhere in what felt like ten seconds. Once we were on the road driving to the lake I drove so slow because there was no one around and it was so dark I wanted to avoid driving off the side of a cliff into a lake that I couldn’t see. We found a parking spot on the side of the road and started to look. I had read that you never know when during the night that they will be active, so when we saw a faint light upon our arrival I almost didn’t believe it. It was really faint - so much so that we weren’t sure it was the Northern Lights. But within maybe five minutes tops we were positive. It was them! I was so excited!

Iceland 15.jpg

They were so cool to watch the lights move and we took pictures for about an hour and a half (keep in mind that it’s actually freezing outside). We tried so hard to take pictures that weren’t blurry and thankfully got a few good ones! There are definitely some pretty funny bloopers, though. The Northern Lights has been at the top of my list to see for a very long time, and they definitely surpassed my expectations. Seeing the Lights, coupled with more stars than you could even imagine, just did not feel like it was even real it was so cool to see and experience.

It was another successful day in Iceland and I really don’t want to leave tomorrow. Every second was amazing because even on drives across the country I was constantly enamoured with the otherworldly views of the country. I would love to come back and spend a week (or more!) driving all over the entire country, especially since we Googled it and, square mileage wise, Iceland is smaller than the state of Alabama (so very easily doable to drive the whole thing). I had no idea that Iceland was so small because like everything else near the poles of a globe it looks so large! If you weren’t convinced after day one to visit Iceland I hope that you are now. It is truly indescribable but I hope that I’ve done it at least a little justice in the blogs!

58 countries down, 138 to go.

Read about my first day in Iceland here.

Read about my third day in Iceland here.

To learn more about Old Charm Reykjavik Apartments click here.