Christmas in Reykajavik
It's 7:45am at Luton Airport and the three of us waiting to board our flight to Reykajavik talking to other Aussie's as apparently we are the only ones who love to travel!
After a two and half hour flight we touched down at Keflavik International Airport to SNOW! Snow that was so white and pretty and you can't help but smile when you look at it or to that crunching sound it makes under your feet! I just new it was going to an amazing four days.
We caught the shuttle bus to our hotel, the Skuggi Hotel which was uber stylish with friendly staff...which is a true reflection on the Icelandic people. Once we arrived we met with our trip leader, got checked in, unpacked and started exploring which we would do for the next few days.
Our second day included the amazing and living up to its reputation Blue Lagoon that was built in 1976. The Blue Lagoon is rich in sulphur and silica that can help with skin conditions or irritations at a warm 37-39 degrees which is heaven when you're doing your best "viking" to run into the warmth at 9:30am. The algae mask that you put all over your face was incredible and left my skin silky smooth just be careful not to get it in your eyes (not exactly pleasant).
We spent four hours in the evening chasing the northern lights with no success but it was fun,walking and talking in the snow and learning about Icelandic folklore such as the 13 Yule Lads of Christmas. These Yule Lads visit children on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. Each Yule Lad has it's own prank such as stealing and eating left overs in pots, stealing pots and pans, slamming doors and stealing candles which back in the day I can't imagine would have been fun.
Christmas Day was the Golden Circle Tour that included some major sites of Iceland: Pingvellir National Park, Geysir Hot Springs, the Gullfoss Waterfalls and Stokkur.
The day and sites were beautiful with plenty of snow. It was my very first white Christmas and listening to "Walking in a winter wonderland" or "Let it snow, Let it snow" was more enjoyable to sing along to and magical compared to having the air conditioner on a 38 degree day and sweating.
The Pingvellir National Park is important for two main reasons. The first being it lays in the Mid-Atlantic Ridges which separates the North American and Eurasian Tectonic Plates! The other major reason is that the Althing (the National Parliament of Iceland) was established in 930 and continued there until 1798, with most of the major events in Iceland taken place at Pingvellir. Also in 2004 Pingvellir became listed on the World Heritage list for it's cultural values.
The Geysir Hot Springs are incredible and have been active for almost 10,000 years! They have been affected by earthquakes over the years which has caused them to erupt every 30 minutes to every six hours to cease all together and then from 2003 it erupts roughly three times a day.
However, the Stokkur erupts every few minutes and up to 30 meters high which is what we got to see and maybe where I slipped and fell...make sure you wear sturding shoes or a pro at walking on ice. The Stokkur is commonly mistaken as the Great Geysir as it is in the same geothermal area as the surrounding and much smaller Geysers.
Finally but not least the Gullfoss Waterfalls are so incredible and are an iconic part of Iceland that is located in the south of Iceland. The Gullfoss is located on the Hvítá river where the water pours over 32 meters in two sections where you can go down some stairs for a closer view of the these incredible waterfalls.
I should also mention that Iceland has a penis museum commonly known as Icelandic Phallological Museum located on the main streets of Reykajavik. It is dedicated to the study of the phallic specimen and contains the largest collective grouping of phallic with over 215 penises on display from sea and land mammals and one human penis. It is definitely worth visiting for a few laughs and is very interesting too.
The next day was our time to sadly leave and say goodbye to Iceland but we did not leave without visiting and tasting"the world's best hotdog" according to Bill Clinton when he visited in 2004. This hotdog stand is always packed with tourists and locals and it's recommended to get one with everything which did not disappoint.
I cannot express more how Reykajavik and Iceland is a must to add to your bucket list and even has me thinking of applying for a working visa. The country is beautiful and the people so welcoming and friendly.
Thank you and do hope you have enjoyed this post, please do let me know what you think below.