Holy Smokes, I’m in Iceland!

 

No, I’m not at all done with talking about Italy but I thought I would mix it up a little, keep things interesting. Besides I am just too excited to keep it to myself any longer.

I am in Iceland!

 

This is a dream come true for me. Iceland has been on my travel radar for years and it’s still a little surreal that I am actually here.

 

Gulfoss Falls in Iceland

Gullfoss Falls

 

 

It’s been a tumultuous and emotionally draining couple of weeks with the awful news of a death in my family.

 

It’s taken a while but I am beginning to feel a little less numb and more enthusiastic about being here. I even considered cancelling this trip to Iceland and returning under better circumstances.

I can honestly say now that I am glad that I didn’t.

 

Iceland has gone beyond my expectations. And although I tried to keep them low (I really did try), they were pretty darn high.

 

 

Grotta lighthouse

Grotta lighthouse, Seltjarnarnes

 

 

Being here is a timely reminder of exactly why  I travel, why I thrive on it.

 

It is this thrill of arriving in an unknown place and seeing it for the first time; of getting completely lost in it; and that gradual transformation as the unknown place begins to feel familiar.

 

I saw a lava field yesterday, for the first time ever. That first glimpse of a lava field will never happen again.

Life should be full of ‘firsts’…and travelling delivers, time and again.

 

See?

 

 

Lava field in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Lava field in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

 

 

After a few days exploring the areas in West Iceland by car, I am now in South Iceland surrounded by volcanoes and glaciers and more lava fields.

 

I swore I wouldn’t let the cold stop me in Iceland. I admit, it hasn’t been as cold as I expected but regardless, my Aussie blood is slowly freezing in these temperatures.

 

It is still worth the semi-naked dash outside to soak in the hot tub at the amazing Hotel Ranga where I am staying which, after 14 hours of driving yesterday….is exactly what I need.

Having a warm and welcoming retreat like this to come back to makes all the difference. And wait until you hear about the gourmet feast I enjoyed in the restaurant while I was there!

 

 

Heated spa at Hotel Ranga, South Iceland

Outdoor Jacuzzi at Hotel Ranga, South Iceland

 

 

I am really enjoying the fact that Iceland is a little bit quirky:

 

I love that the majority of the population believe in the existence of elves (yes, you heard right), that the most popular restaurant is a hot dog stand, and that their national dish is cured shark. It’s fabulous!

 

 

Coast at Arnarstapi, Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Coast at Arnarstapi, Snaefellsnes Peninsula

 

 

I am doing my utmost to live at least a little like an Icelander while I’m here but that is proving easier said than done.

 

I am yet to be able to pronounce a single Icelandic word without sounding like a total fool; the pragmatist in me refuses to get on-board with the whole elves situation; and I have gagged during all attempts at eating the local delicacy of dried fish.

Sorry, Iceland!

But needless to say….I find the challenge a whole lot of fun.

 

 

Street signs in Reykjavik

Thank god there is such a thing as a GPS, that’s all I can say…

 

 

Thanks to Hotel Ranga for providing me with accommodation during my three days in South Iceland. Hotel Ranga is a member of Great Hotels of the World Luxury Collection.

 

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