Unfinished Business in Iceland (Day 5)

Its out last full day in Iceland and as fate would have it also a completely open day to do anything and everything.  Since the ice cave tour ended up 100% not working out we decided to circle back to some things we missed because of how early it gets dark in Iceland.  While we were driving to catch the Northern Lights we decided to head back to Gulfoss falls, check out a crater Joe found and then head to Reykjavik for dinner.  Plan in place it was time to…sleep in 🙂

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We got back to the house at about 2am so we decided to leave right at check out time, 11am.  Car packed up we headed to a little hole in the wall restaurant that was known for one single thing…Lobster soup.  They had maybe 2 other things on the menu but really the only reason people come here is for the soup, which is also a Iceland specialty.  I have to save, I loved it!  I’m partial to lobster but this was just delicious.  Not too heavy, flavorful and a great meal to start the day.  Again, its an expensive meal at $25 for a bowl, but to give them some credit the bowl is gigantic.  I was happy with our meal choice and now it was time to head out to the falls.

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Before we got to the falls though Joe wanted to stop at a crater.  Don’t ask me why I still don’t know what interested him about it but he really hadn’t asked to stop anywhere so what the heck we stopped.  I was not happy to find that you had to pay 4 euro per person though just to walk around the stupid thing, but whatever it was a nice day and we did it.  The walk around the crater was nice, it was pretty impressive to look down at it and see the people at the bottom of the crater look like ants.  We walked around the whole thing and when we were about 3/4’s of the way around I slipped and fell right on my hip!  It was so crazy, Joe said it looked like I was moving at warp speed.  One minute I was standing, the other I was on the ground.  My feet just slipped right out from under me and man did I fall hard.  I hurt for a week after than from slamming down on the ice.  On the plus side Joe didn’t stray too far from me from then on to make sure I didn’t fall.  I’m an independent walker (lol) but after that, if I was going down, he was going with me 🙂

After we left the crater it was a short drive over to the waterfall.  In all honesty, I researched so many things I couldn’t remember what was so special about the falls, just that they were recommended.  With the first two waterfalls we saw on day 1 I didn’t have high hopes for how cool this would be.  What a pleasant surprise that these falls were GORGEOUS!  A multi-layered waterfall that wasn’t quite frozen over so the water was still crashing down.  This was probably the most dangerous walk of all the places we had been though as most of the sidewalk was iced over.  Giant patches of ice too so we had to gingerly walk to make sure we didn’t have another falling incident.  Here is the only other location that was really so packed with tourists it was annoying.  Almost every other place we had visited was pretty quiet but since it was a nice day it was pretty busy with tour buses.  This is part of the Iceland “golden circle’ tour so FYI if you are planning your own tour like we did.

After we left the falls it was time to make our way to Reykjavik for dinner.  It was a very stressful drive for Joe because on the way there once we got to the top of a mountain there was a white out snow storm.  We were going maybe 30 miles an hour and couldn’t see the car in-front of us.  We were both really worried about crashing since we couldn’t really see anything but luckily we made it down the mountain ok.  I should mention that this part of the mountain was more like a plateau, so pretty flat, a little winding but mostly flat.  Its just an extra layer of stress since Icelandic roads don’t have shoulders so if you go off the road you literally off the road into the side of a cliff or something crazy.  On the plus side this was the worst weather we had experienced the whole trip but a good reminder why its important to get insurance and have a car you feel comfortable with.  I’m glad Joe is a great driver because I would have not been able to do that…at all.

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Once we made it to Reykjavik we were a little early for dinner and checked out some of the stores.  Nothing really exciting but we found a fun looking restaurant.  I don’t remember the names of our meals but the fish special I had was awesome!  There was another woman in the restaurant who was American and she turned around and told me that I should definitely order it.  Thank you food angel for the recommendation, I loved every bite.  What I was even more impressed with was the birch liquor.  There was a dessert on the menu made from birch liquor and I was really intrigued as to what this was.  I asked our waiter and this is a liquor literally made from a birch tree.  I was dubious about the taste so he brought me a sample and you guys…it was honestly delicious.  We even bought some at the duty free store to share with friends.  Liquor made from a tree shouldn’t be good but this was.  Happy, warm, and fed we made our way to Keflavik (where the airport is) to check in to the hotel (I’m not going to review it, since we just stayed here because of proximity to the airport and price) for an early bed time because, yikes, we had to wake up at 4am to drop off the rental car by 5am to get to the airport by 5:30am!  Early morning for sure!

We had a FANTASTIC time in Iceland and crossed a major thing off the bucket list.  I definitely recommend Iceland for any of you travelers that love adventure.  This is not a destination for leisure travel though as most of the fun is outdoors and on your feet.  I will get a full Iceland guide soon but until then I hope you enjoyed following along on my Iceland vacation, we had a blast!

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CHIME IN!!!  Is Iceland on your bucket list now?  Do you like early or late flights?  What’s your favorite outdoor activity?

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