Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Traveling to Iceland Part 1

It's been about a month since Joe and I got back from our amazing trip to Iceland. We had such an amazing time and I am so excited to share with you some of our highlights! I know what you are thinking...Who goes to Iceland in the middle of the winter? Joe was thinking the same thing but went with me anyways.

Preparing for Iceland
Iceland is such a beautiful country and it was really inexpensive to get there and to stay in a hotel there. I was a bit shocked by the cost of food, but other then that everything was affordable. The weather was much nicer then the weather that we were experiencing in Colorado so I think we may have over packed. We took a ton of base layers, hiking pants, snow boarding pants, sweaters, and 2 snow jackets. GoLite and Colombia were the 2 shops that we got most of our clothes from. I highly recommend GoLite if you are planning any type of out door adventure.

Our Flight
We left Friday in the afternoon and arrived in Reykjavik  bright and early on Saturday morning. We took Iceland Air and our flight was amazing. We were greeted at the door of the plane with a happy flight attendant  who gave us a whole bottle of water and snack. Each seat had blanket and pillow in it and a personal t.v. for everyone that was FREE!! There were free movies, free tv shows, and free clips about Iceland! The flight attendants were very friendly and helpful. It really couldn't have been any better.

Our Hotel 
We stayed at Hotel Odinsve in Reykjavik! We got a really good deal on Orbits for $70 a night (half off regular price). The hotel was in a perfect location, we were able to walk almost everywhere in Reykjavik. It was a boutique hotel with a great staff. There is an amazing restaurant  on the first floor and Bjork can often be found there. The room was a bit small, but not smaller then our NYC hotel room. Overall I was very pleased with the hotel and I would highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Iceland.

Day 1 - Northern Lights Jeep Tour
I was really excited to see the northern lights. It was on of the main reasons why I wanted to go to Iceland. Joe had booked a Jeep Tour with one of the best companies there was and we were waiting in the lobby of our hotel, it was getting close to our pick up time, so I asked the concierge if they knew anything about the tour company. He had told me that our tour has been canceled. This didn't make any sense because we could see the northern lights from the city earlier that evening, why would it be canceled? He quickly booked us on another tour, but it was a bus tour. I was beyond upset, but tried to make it seem like everything was fine. I had been talking to another couple who was very disappointed with their bus tour of the northern lights. So I was disappointed to learn that we would be taking the same tour that night.

Joe can always tell when I am not happy, so he went back to the concierge to fix the problem. By this time most of the tours had already picked up their passengers and were already headed out to see the lights. But he managed to have a company pick us up, in their personal car and take us to meet the rest of the group. We met the group just outside of the city and we saw the lights!! They were so beautiful. I quickly took out my camera and realized that I needed a tri-pod for the log exposer needed to capture the lights on camera. Luckily the tour company, Super Jeep, had a photographer there that was able to capture all of the photos we wanted. The company puts the photos on their facebook page and you can email them to you!

We stopped at a few locations and were able to see the northern lights. It was amazing. They served us hot chocolate with vodka to keep us warm. After the sweet treat they took us on an off roading adventure. It was a rush of excitement as we went up and down piles of snow and ended up over looking the city.
This is what happens when you don't have a tripod!
A View of the Lights

Another long exposer photo. 
On top of the Mountain
Day 1 - Icelanders like to party!
After the tour we went out for a few drinks. A fun fact about Iceland is that beer was illegal until the 1980's. So they are making up for the lost time. Most of the time they don't go out to drink until 11:00 pm - 2:00am and stay out until 06:00am. We only stayed out until 2:30 and the crowds were still coming. Everyone was so friendly and the dancing was....uh...entertaining. 

Be sure to check back for more of our trip to Iceland. We went Ice Climbing, Glacier Hiking, to the Blue Lagoon, and hiking in a Lava Tube. 

Have a great day!! 

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  1. My mom and my aunt went to Iceland a couple months ago, their northern lights pictures turned out black hahaha. :P They claimed you had to have a special camera to do it, so I'll have to show them this!! Iceland looks beautiful, hopefully I'll be able to go someday. :)

  2. I'm glad you had such a great trip! Iceland has never even been on my radar, but it looks beautiful! I can't wait to see pictures of the lagoon.

  3. Sounds like a cool trip! I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights.

  4. Yours is the second blog post I have read on Iceland today and it's making me want to visit....what an amazing country!

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

  5. This looks great! Maybe we need to add this to our list of places to go!


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