Iceland and Scotland Travels

I thought there may be some interest in seeing photos from my October travels to Iceland and Scotland. My trip couldn’t have been better. I traveled solo and enjoyed the time to myself navigating two new countries. I walked over 100 miles during my week abroad walking all through Reykjavik, Glasgow, and Edinburgh and hiking in the Highlands. There is so much more that to see in both countries that  cannot wait to go back.

I’ll start with photos from my 24 hours in Iceland. I arrived in Keflavik just before 6:00 AM. The sun would rise for another two hours. The bus ride into Reykjavik, was about 45 minutes. It was still dark when I arrived with my backpack. I had the shuttle drop me off at my hostel even though I wouldn’t be checking in until later that afternoon. I thought it would be a good idea to get my bearings from the hostel and would know how to walk back there later on.

Yes, I was tired as I don’t sleep well on planes, but walking through a new city before dawn was peaceful and a perfect way to begin vacation. The only person I saw was the newspaper delivery man. The warm glow of lights shown through the curtains every few houses of those preparing for their Saturday. I made my way to Hallgrímskirkja, the stunning church in the center of Reykjavik.

The temperature was chilly, but not below freezing.I headed over to the bus station to eat breakfast and wait for my bus to head to the Blue Lagoon. It was now daylight, so the bus ride revealed the mountainous and rocky landscape. I can’t say I’ve ever been to a place quite like Iceland.IMG_2158

But oh. My. God. The Blue Lagoon was incredible. I spent well over two hours in the geothermal spa. The water temperature hovered around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, some spots hotter than others. You could even order drinks directly from the water. The people-watching was intriguing and the relaxing atmosphere even better. I think this photo about sums it up.IMG_1207IMG_1216

I spotted this lovely scene as I waited to head back into Reykjavik.

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After a relaxing morning at the Blue Lagoon, I was back in the northernmost capital in the world. I checked into my hostel and met a few fellow travelers in the bunk room. I finally could drop my pack and walk around the city with much less weight. First order of business was a late lunch. The receptionist at the hostel recommended a fish and chips place just down the street. I don’t eat fish…like ever. But, I was feeling adventurous so I decided to try it. The fish was freshly caught that morning and you could tell. The place was called “Icelandic Fish & Chips.” IMG_1217

A walk around the city took me to Harpa Concert Hall, which in some ways reminded me of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

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I did a bit of shopping – but of course I had to keep things to a minimum because of lack of space in my backpack. The main street was filled with young couples and their prams (and babies too), tourists, and families. Seriously, there were a ton of sturdy looking prams in Reykjavik.

I really wanted to try some Icelandic beer, so that night I headed to Micro Bar and tried 8 beers. My flight of 10 beers had bigger pours than I thought, so needless to say I bit off more than I could chew. But, hey I was on vacation. That’s what you do.

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Above is the list of beers that I tried, except for two of those. I have this list somewhere in my apartment, but it’s MIA at the moment.

There was a bit of regret the next morning when I had to leave the hostel at 3:45 AM to head to the airport, but once I got on the plane and settled in for a short flight to Glasgow, I was recovered enough to enjoy a few episodes of Modern Family.

I’ll end my post with a bit of street art in Reykjavik.

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My next trip to Iceland cannot come soon enough.

And I think I’ve convinced my family to come along too.

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