Iceland

11:49 AM

It's fascinating how different another country is from the country I live in. The way people move, the language, the food, the activities, the jokes, the personalities, the trends, the transportation, the art, the housing, everything. In Iceland, the population is roughly 300,000. This year will have about 1.5 million tourists. Iceland won't be so tiny anymore. There will be loads of people.
I kept hearing "niceland" and "everyone is so nice in Iceland", which I found to be quite wrong. Not everyone is so nice. I found that mainly the people working (buss drivers, retail, restaurant, etc) they all had an attitude and were a little rude... or a lot rude. Which I found a bit disappointing. But, overall, it was fine, I guess.
I did not get to watch the midnight sun. That was one thing I was really looking forward to doing but I just never had the chance to actually watch it. One reason being it was cloudy most of the time. And the days it wasn't cloudy, I was exhausted so i slept early. Anyway, the sights were amazing.
I went to quite a few waterfalls and hiked a ton to get to captivating places. It was raining most of the time which was a little annoying but the views were well worth it.
I've met a girl from France through Couch Surfing, her name is Honorine. I met her about a month or 3 weeks before leaving to Iceland. Her and I planned to travel together. So we were together for most of my trip (her accent started rubbing off on me and I noticed the pronunciations of some of the words id say, sounded like a French accent!) It was fun and she is great. We rented a car and went south, west, and east. We had 4 days of roadtrips and it was pretty cool. I'm not much of a long drive person (if im driving) but during those days, I was 100% all for it! And I'm so glad I did it. {Down below are photos I have taken of my trip and some writings following them.}
During my time away from home, I didn't check social media, I didn't check anyone's snapchat, I posted on there but didn't check anyone's postings. And let me tell you, it felt great. I didn't text people from home, it was just me, honorine, a friend in Iceland, my parents, and that's pretty much it. I advise everyone do this when they take a trip somewhere far away. It's refreshing and less stressing.


Árbærjasafn

Oh, did I love this open air museum! I was alone this day, honorine had not arrived yet. I took a bus to get close to here then got a little lost along the way. I found myself walking down a small neighborhood and saw a woman from afar unloading boxes from her car with her daughter in a pretty soft glittery pink dress standing beside her. I walked towards her and when I got close enough, I asked her for directions. As she was pointing the correct ways for me to head, she paused and realized it was too far for me to walk so she offered to take me. It was such a kind thing of her to do considering she does not know me. She asked me a few questions about myself and my trip on the way to Árbær. She was a sweet woman & when she dropped me off, she told me to have a great trip.
I entered the small house shaped building where you pay for your ticket. The employees were dressed in early 1900s atire. This museum was fascinating. There were houses that were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s and you can walk through them and learn about them and see how houses in those days in Iceland looked. It was so cool. Some of the houses had music flowing through them. Seeing how different the furniture was and hearing the music from those days was just amazing. The type of wood, the bedding, the portraits, the books, the staircases, the architecture, I was in awe the entire time going through those houses. People used to live in those. They were real houses. I can't get over it. It was so so cool.


Blue Lagoon in Grindavík


This place... was relaxing and just a dream. A geothermal lagoon with silica. (I hate silica!!!!) but it was wonderful. The warm water was so calming. Honorine and I spent probably an hour in it. It's pretty big so there's lots of areas to go to. We had gotten smoothies to enjoy as well as a silica mask that came complementary with the admission. It was unreal to see the water and actually be in it. It's a touristy activity but it's definitely worth going to.


Hjálparfoss

This was the first waterfall we went to see. The two made a beautiful rainbow, which I tried to capture in a photo but didn't work out. All I have is my memory. And that is absolutely fine with me. There were TONS of bugs though. Which I was not fine with. It was annoying but the view was worth it.


Icelandic Wonders Museum in Stokkseyri

I'm sad I came to Iceland during a time where nightfall isnt happening. Therefor, I did not have the possibility to watch the northern lights. Here, here I was at another museum. It was about elves. Pretty dang cool in my opinion. I've always loved anything that has to do with fantasy and myths and urban legends. And here, in Iceland, many of the older generation believe in elves and trolls. It is called the Land of Elves. It's fascinating to think about.
There was a second part to the museum called Draugasetrið which was around the back in a completely different building. This one was about ghosts. These museums give you a headset and you walk to each number and listen to the story. But, in the ghost one, oh man oh man, it was terrifying!! I did not think it was going to be what it was. They had people pop out and scare you! It was so unexpected I was literally shaking in fear, ha! Everything was so eerie and dark and there was a room where you're supposed to go in it by yourself and then the other person after but honorine and I were too chicken so we went in together...... THANK GOODNESS we went in together! That thing was so dang scary! It was a super fun walk through but so unexpected and creepy.


On our way to skógar


Skógar Museum


Skógar

Skógafoss.. Oh skógafoss. My absolute most favorite waterfall I've seen. It was huge. With the black sand and volcano rocks, it was perfect. I imagined a giant troll (but trolls are small?) dressed in the clothes they're dressed in in the books and postcards here in Iceland, drinking water from the fall like a small water fountain. How cool would that be?
We hiked up and walked maybe a little over half a mile to see a few more waterfalls—apparently there was 22! And we only saw about 4. Beautiful green fields of grass and moss. Moss everywhere. Sheep "baa"ing and eating grass. People way ahead searching for the other waterfalls. I've never hiked so much and so high and by the end of it, my legs were noodles. But it was worth it. Like every view I've seen, is.


Black sand beach, Vík

Crazy beautiful and unreal!! Need I say more?


Fjaðrárgljúfur


Okay this was high on my list of things I wanted to see. We drove about 3/4 hours east to get here.

Seljavallalaug Pool

This is a naturally heated pool; unfortunately, I didn't bring my bathing suit so I didn't get to enjoy it. But honorine did! It was a beautiful location and icelands oldest pool! This was literally in the mountain area. Nothing else around, just a stream, moss, rocks, and mountains. Beautiful. Fascinating. Amazing.

Seljalandsfoss
On our way back to the Airbnb we stopped by this waterfall. You can walk behind it but we didn't, we were cold and tired & we would've gotten super wet from it so we decided not to!

Downtown Reykjavik 3am
Let's just say this was a very very long night, haha! Fun memories.

Brúarfoss

Trying to find this waterfall was so very difficult and confusing. But after frustration and irritation, almost an hour of driving around, and walking down the wrong paths, we finally found it and oh my goodness it was such a beauty.


 
Being a solo female traveler (only for about 3 days since honorine joined me for most of my trip) it wasn't scary at all. I got around, did things independently, I wasn't scared. I wasn't nervous. I guess it all just depends where you are traveling. But Iceland, it is safe. For the most part. You will come across many solo backpackers and women traveling. You aren't alone. And there are meet ups you can go to with only travelers so if you're feeling uneasy or alone, you can definitely meet some new people there and possibly travel with them! This was such an adventurous experience. I can't wait to travel again.

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