We returned this week from a 10 day vacation in Iceland and Paris. We had wanted to take the kids to Europe for awhile and decided about a year ago that this was a good time to finally do it. We picked Iceland initially for the cheap airfares to Europe but then decided that we wanted to spend several days there as well.
The trip was amazing. Iceland was breathtakingly, ridiculously beautiful. Ruth said it best when she commented that “It’s hard to believe that it’s all real. It’s so beautiful it looks fake.”
We had about four days in the country, so only saw a small amount of what it has to offer. We rented a car (a must if you want to travel anywhere) and did a lot of hiking. Our longest and favorite hike was to Hvergardi, a hike that led to a geothermal “hot river”. After furtively changing behind a wooden screen into a bathing suit we enjoyed a fantastic swim in the naturally warm water. (Top photo is of a different hike to one of many waterfalls.)
The trip was full of firsts for the kids…”first time on a plane”, “first time to a different continent”, “first time bathing in a hot river”….A thrilling first for all of us was first time we touched a glacier. Just seeing it was pretty awe-inspiring.
The coastal landscape reminded me in places of Cornwall (where H. and I spent our honeymoon). I absolutely love this kind of scenery: rocky cliffs falling to the ocean. All in all, I was surprised by how much I loved Iceland. Obviously, we visited at an ideal time as far as the weather was concerned. But even so, I told H. that I thought the country was made for me: Sparsely populated, rocky landscape, ocean, abundant hot rivers/lagoons for bathing. Not to mention that it’s a country of readers and people who love books and has a culture of swimming (outdoors, year-round…but more on that in another post).
Stay tuned for photos from the Parisian part of our trip tomorrow.