Iceland: Days 7 – 9

Previous London & Iceland Recaps: 

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The last 3 days were the days we basically “crashed and burned”. As you saw in the last post about Iceland, we did a lot and covered A LOT in only 6 days. Honestly, we probably could have basically been done with Iceland at this point because we’d done what we’d come to do – drive the Ring Road!

Day 7

We woke up in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to a very socked in / foggy day, which was too bad as we didn’t get to see the whole second half of the peninsula since we’d only drove around part of it the day before. Because of this we did the second half of it super quickly with no stopping and about 1.5 hours later we were back in Reykjavik. So we really did do the full Ring Road in 6 days, which some people thought was crazy but it worked for us!

First stop was Saegreifinn – The Sea Baron for Lobstersoup. Apparently they have the best lobster soup in the world, Eric watched a YouTube video about it. And he probably wasn’t the only one as when we got there at 11:30am, which was right when they opened, there was already a line up out the door!

The Lobstersoup was very good, I will admit and I was especially pleased about all the bread they gave us to go with it 🙂

Real life vacation talk here, after we were done with our Lobstersoup we decided to splurge and get a hotel room for the night. Don’t get me wrong, the campervan was amazing, and I’m so glad we did Iceland that way. BUT 6 nights of camping was beginning to take a toll on us, especially since – as I’m sure you can imagine – it wasn’t the *most* comfortable sleeping arrangements.

As mentioned a couple of times, Iceland – and especially Reykjavik – is very very expensive. So we ended up heading out of the city a ways to find somewhere reasonably priced to stay. I was super pleased with the hotel we ended up at. It was very cute, had delicious food (we ate both dinner and breakfast there) and was right on a pretty little lake. We stayed at Hotel Kriunes and I definitely recommend it.

To be honest, we didn’t do much while there – we were both really tired! So we basically just stayed in our room and napped and watched Netflix. The food at Hotel Kriunes was AMAZING, so we are so glad we ended up having both dinner and breakfast there as well. It was a really lovely and relaxing day after our super busy 6 days previous!

Oh and Eric ate horse meat, which is apparently a very common dish in Iceland. I tried a tiny bite of it, but couldn’t handle eating more than that as the idea of eating horse combined with being 13 weeks pregnant made me feel a bit too nauseous!

We had the MOST AMAZING sleep in the world – a solid 8 hours where we didn’t have to go outside in the middle of the night to pee. Luxurious I tell ya 🙂

Day 8

On Day 8 after an amazing breakfast we hit the road again, we were finally planning to drive the Golden Circle. Originally, we were going to do this at the very beginning of our trip but because of the terrible weather we bypassed it completely and just headed southwest.

First stop was Thingvellir National Park which is on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the North-American and Eurasian continents. The photo above actually shows the tectonic plates. It was neat to see, and I’m glad we stopped there, but it was also VERY busy and VERY touristy. Not our favourite! Especially since we’d just been spoiled by so much wide open space and beauty in Iceland!

Next we headed to Gulfoss Waterfall, one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland, and also extremely busy.

The waterfalls in Iceland really are so so incredible though!

After this we powered through the rest of the Golden Circle (which was scenic but certainly not my favourite – I actually think if you only have a few days in Iceland you should SKIP the Golden Circle and drive around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula instead!) to get to Seljavallalaug, which is an abandoned pool in the middle of the mountains in Iceland. I read a few blog posts about it like this one and this one and was super excited to visit. Of course, since it was a hot, sunny day it was farrrr from abandoned. I would also say if you have done any kind of hiking at all, the walk there is NOT bad at all. Some blog posts and reviews online made it seem like the hike was intense or far, it was a very easy 15 minute hike.

It’s literally a geothermal pool in the middle of beautiful green Iceland hills. So pretty and neat! Eric and I actually hiked further up past the pool along the river and then came back and got in. We probably spent about an hour in it. It was super neat how it was geothermal heated by water coming from the mountains. It’s also almost 100 years old.

 

It was a pretty neat experience, especially on such a beautiful hot and sunny day!

Once we were done at the pool we backtracked a little as we were hoping to find some oceanside camping for our second to last night in Iceland. We ended up in the tiny town (village?) of Stokkseyri, which was super cute and right on the water. Sadly they didn’t have a camping site on the water, but they did have a really nice campground with awesome showers and a cute little kitchen that we basically got to ourselves for the night. We were the only ones there until almost 10pm when another campervan pulled in.

Day 9

For early May, we lucked out with incredibly beautiful weather in Iceland. We were in Iceland for 9 full days, and of those 9 days only 3 of them were foggy / rainy. The rest were beautiful with blue skies and sunshine. Unfortunately, our very last day in Iceland was one of the foggy and rainy days.

For our very last night in Iceland we drove to the very tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula and camped at Gardur Lighthouse. I am sad it wasn’t a clear night as apparently the sunsets from this point are absolutely incredible.

The Reykjanes Peninsula has the most insane landscape, like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

It basically felt like we were on Mars!

Last night in the campervan!

We just relaxed by the lighthouse all afternoon. I went for a long walk along the ocean, we had delicious coffee and date cake at the cute little cafe that was right there, we read our books, we got the campervan cleaned out and organized as we had to return it the next day. Nothing too terribly exciting for our last day. This was definitely one of those trips where we were sooo ready to go home a day earlier than we did.

The next day at noon (May 10) we returned our campervan and headed to the airport for our flight home. It was an AMAZING, once-in-a-lifetime trip, but as mentioned we were ready to get home. Two weeks of go-go-go, especially with me being pregnant, was a bit much. I do think maybe more relaxed / laidback vacations where we are only gone for 7 – 10 days and stay in one place the whole time (like our trip to Kauai over Christmas) are going to be more our style going forward. We will see though, never say never 🙂

What was the last vacation you went on where you felt like you needed a vacation from your vacation to relax once it was over? 

4 Responses

  1. I felt like I needed a vacation after my Spain trip as we stayed in 3 different places in an 8 day span. It was just too much moving around. I much preferred our Maui trip where we were in one place for 9 days or my Paris trips where I was in one place for a week. I think I am too old to enjoy go go go kind of vacations. We can always find enough to do to stay busy when we have one home base. I know with a trip like Iceland you kind of have to move around – which is why we’ll never do this trip most likely… But it sure looks like a gorgeous place to visit!!

  2. Stephany says:

    Iceland is so gorgeous, but I hear ya on the exhaustion. I am not really a fan of busy, go-go-go vacations because I really like my vacations to be as low-key and relaxing as possible. My recent vacation to Puerto Rico was a bit busier than I usually like, but we were there for such a limited time and wanted to make the most of it.

  3. San says:

    Your recaps make me want to visit Iceland so bad! The waterfalls look amazing… and I mean, the rest of the landscape, too.

  4. Kelly says:

    I clearly need to go back to Iceland as most of what we did was the Golden Circle- which was your least favorite part! I will say my favorite part of that was going to the glacier which was very off the beaten path. I totally agree about the touristy parts of the golden circle though. Unfortunately ERic and I are not big campers, and your post didn’t really convince me otherwise lol- so I’ll have to figure out a new a different way to do the ring road. Are there any bed and breakfasts along the way?

    It’s so funny- as you know I also went to Iceland while pregnant (and Austria and Germany). My favorite part of that trip was Austria where we stayed out the city on a lake and mostly relaxed and enjoyed shockingly cheap multi course meals. I distinctly remember on our trip home on Iceland Air thinking, “I never thought I’d say this but I’m READY to take a break from traveling for awhile having this baby!” Like you said, I think it was mainly that I was ready for more relaxing trips for a bit. I’m not sure if relaxing trips have really happened lol, but I will say traveling with a kid kind of makes it harder to move around so much!

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