Made it back around 11PM Thursday night and were both sound asleep at home by 12:30 after making it about 20 hours awake and traveling.
We spent yesterday (Friday) doing very little. I woke up around 6AM and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and unpacked everything and generally got our lives back to normal. It rained while we were gone, so the floors were in great need of mopping (because of the dogs), so I dusted everything, swept, vacuumed and finally mopped.
(I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I’m super obsessive about cleanliness and organization … so uhhh … yeah. Awake at 6AM unpacking and cleaning. That’s kinda my thing. Makes me happy to have everything in order. Also, there’s just no way I could have sat on the couch all day in peace knowing suitcases weren’t put away and the floor was dirty.)
After that, we mostly just hung out at home having an Orange is the New Black marathon. We went out to lunch at some point and stopped at the grocery store on the way home for ice cream. Wound up finding a super sale on random, semi-old cut flowers (since I always browse them), which helped with the post-vacation dreariness I was feeling. Jon had a doctor appointment (just blood work for an upcoming oncology visit) and a hair cut scheduled, but I stayed on the couch while he did both.
We’re doing more of the same today. I’m still feeling pretty wiped out from the trip and the party we had a couple of days prior to leaving and the chaos of getting both work and home stuff taken care of before disappearing for nearly 2 weeks, etc. My goal is to spend this weekend doing absolutely NOTHING.
(Except laundry and grocery shopping. And the dogs really need a bath. And I should probably attempt a short run or two. The necessities.)
So, I left off with the day we made it to Reykjavik: Day 1.
The next morning, we got up and headed downstairs to wait for the rental car company to bring our car.
Ate breakfast at the hotel buffet, too.
We generally had no idea what was in store, but here was the plan for the first day “on the road” – Reykjavik to Hella:
This part of the trip covered a portion of the Golden Circle route (“a popular tourist route in South Iceland, covering about 300 km looping from Reykjavík into central Iceland and back”) – so there was a lot to see. Also? A lot of tour buses.
I may have things out of order, but I’m pretty sure we stopped at Thingvellir National Park (where the Icelandic Parliament, Alþingi, was established in the year 930 AD) first.
After that, we made it to Geysir and Strokkur (geysers).
I know we made it to Gullfoss (waterfall), too, but I seem to have zero pictures – likely because it was super crowded and I was becoming super hungry. I seem to remember that we didn’t feel like dealing with all of the people to make it down the path to see it in full glory. We ate lunch at the Gullfoss Café (tourist/souvenir shop), though, because we weren’t sure we’d find much else once we left the area.
(Jon had lamb stew, I had tomato soup. We split a tomato/mozz/basil panini. Pretty good.)
We did a bunch of driving to get to our hotel once we left the waterfall area and had FANTASTIC views.
(This is Hekla – a volcano. First I’ve ever seen.) (From the windshield, so spots = bugs.)
That night, we stayed at Hótel Lækur, just outside of Hella.
It was great. Super nice owner and staff. Beautiful location. Nice, clean room with a pleasant view (of horses!).
Hekla was in the distance.
As was this:
Hótel Lækur has one seating for dinner each night with a set menu. Ours was fantastic.
After dinner, we just hung out together and walked around some since it was a gorgeous night.
Definitely had many “can you believe this is really happening” moments. Seriously great first day on the road.
Up next was our busiest day of the trip.