It's hard for me to think about Iceland without getting my heart rate up. I was fortunate enough to spend a month there when I was in school and I still think about that trip as kind of the BEST adventure of all time.
You all know how studying geology is kind of like majoring in adventure, right? Well, us lucky bastards got to circumnavigate the whole freaking country by bus! Stopping to camp, hike glaciers, and check out those natural wonders I can't get enough of - for school credit!
So, here is some Iceland Inspiration for your Thursday: 5 Awesome Places in Iceland!
One - Mývatn
Mývatn, which means "Midge Lake", is located in northern Iceland and is the home to craters caused by steam explosions, migratory birds who LOVE to gobble up the never ending swarms of hatching flies, and Hverfell, the 2,500 year old tephra cone volcano. But don't let the swarming bugs sway you, Mývatn is an excellent jumping off point for the Dimmborgir, "dark catsles", area - a sweeping lava field of craggy formations.
Two - Landmannalaugar
If you are young and have been adventuring in Iceland, you have probably been to Landmannalaugar. There is an extremely popular hiking trail through there, in the Icelandic highlands, through rhyolite mountains and obviously complete with hot springs to bath in.
Three - Hólar
Okay, you probably will never get to Hólar, and I probably will never get there again, but it absolutely holds a torch in my heart. We stayed at the agricultural college there and as far as I could tell, there wasn't much else to do in this town with a population of 100. We did drink from the healing pool at the 300 year old church though.
Four - Reykjavik
We actually saw Björk when we were in Reykjavik. We also hung out with sketchy strangers, stayed up all night and bought snacks from the 1011. Even as wild American tourists, the city was very welcoming and accessible for us, easy to walk around and had excellent lighting - you know, because of that solar night thing they have happening there! Oh, and don't forget to hike Esja.
Five - Vatnajökull
I could have said "Vatnajökull Glacier" so you would know what I am talking about, but that would be redundant. In Icelandic, "Vatna" means lake and "Jökull" means glacier. So here we have the Glacier of Lakes! Which is the biggest glacier in Iceland and host to all sorts of amazing sights. We hiked, Flaajökull, a glacial tongue, took a tour through the Jökulsárlón, or "glacier river lagoon", and camped at Skaftafell National Park, home to Skaftafoss, the famous columnar jointed waterfall. (Pro tip: "Foss" means waterfall!)
There is a reason we always sing:
"Iceland is a nice-land
Don't wanna go once
I wanna go twice-land!"
I also have some more fun pictures on my Flickr if you want to check it out: N-Iceland
And feel free to drop a line if you need come travel recommendations in Iceland!