Make Iceland Your Next Destination

Check out my YouTube vlog from this trip!!

It has been my grandmother’s wish to visit Iceland for a long time. Over the summer, my family decided to go and it was the best trip by far. Let me tell you why…

We went for two weeks and instead of staying in one city, we drove around the entire island. Our first stop was Reykjavik. The city’s total population is about 123,000. I did not think Reykjavik was that special. If someone were to drop me in the middle of it, I would think I am in any other European city. As we started venturing up north and to the east, the presence of people began to decline. Just to put things into perspective, the country's entire population is about 334,000.

There are many different parts of Iceland - after all, it is called “the land of fire and ice”. We mainly traveled up along the coast, because the center is filled with volcanoes or terrain that is inaccessible by car.

Lets start with the ice part of Iceland! Of course we have beaches here in Charleston, South Carolina, but they don’t compare to those in Iceland. My favorite was one that everyone called “The Diamond Beach”. I was quite curious if diamonds were just laying on the beach - No! It was a black sand beach where parts of icebergs and glaciers tore off and washed up on shore. This made more sense!

Another favorite was the Glacier Lagoon. An interesting fact I learned was that the black stripes within an iceberg were formed from volcanic eruptions and ash debris from hundreds to thousands of years ago.

Below is Kirkjufell Mountain. If you go here between September to mid-April, you’d have the best chances to see the aurora borealis (northern lights). I went in June (which meant we had almost 24-hours of sunlight without dark), so I will have to go back in the winter to see the northern lights!

I kept seeing pictures of an abandoned plane that crashed on a beach in Iceland. I did a little research and told my family we need to make a quick stop. It is found in Sólheimasandu and crashed in 1973. Turned out, you had to walk an hour to get to this site. A few years ago you could drive up to this plane, but people went off-roading so they had to put a stop to this. For me, it was definitely worth the walk! I was sitting there looking at the plane and taking pictures thinking how amazing it was that every single person on this flight survived. It’s like they got a second chance at life. This spot is also good for catching the northern lights during the right time of year.

Now to the fire part of Iceland! There are many hot springs and volcanoes here. I took a helicopter ride to get to the top of a mountain and saw natural hot springs. This experience was different because there were no ropes or signs saying “Danger - don’t get too close to the hot spring or the ground will crack beneath you”.

                                                              

You have probably heard of this next location...The Blue Lagoon. It is a must go-to place. It was incredible to see such blue water that was naturally heated up from beneath the earth’s surface. It felt like a spa. You can get a white silica mud or algae mask. All of the salts and minerals in the lagoon are good for your skin, just be careful with your hair! I did the mistake of wetting my hair and it was so dry afterwards!

I still can’t believe how much I loved Iceland. I am usually not your typical “outdoors adventure” girl, but I will for sure be making trips back here in the future. If you like photography, especially nature or landscape photography, this is honestly your dream location.

A few other fabulous pictures from this trip:

All photos taken by Anna Trojanowska. Check out my YouTube vlog from this trip!!