Scandinavia: We Went To Iceland!

It’s taken me a while to sit down and write about our big 2018 trip. Some place I’ve been dreaming of going to since I was a young girl at Concordia’s Norwegian Language Village. In 2018 it finally happened, I convinced my parents to take a trip with me to see some of our homeland – Norway, Sweden, and Iceland.

You may be wondering why it’s taken so long to write about (6 months later) if it was such a dream trip. Well, the truth is, I haven’t given myself much time to actually process the trip because of things that were happening concurrently or very shortly after – massive basement flooding and loosing our first fur baby to cancer were just two in a longer list. After 6-months of healing and releasing, I’m finally moving back towards myself and able to look back at that period with more fondness.

Let’s start the vacation!

Mid July, we started our vacation with a stop-over in Iceland. We only spent a couple of days, because Norway was our main highlight and we had no clue what to expect from Iceland. One regret would be not having spent more than 48 hours there – I’d definitely go back for a week or more if I could, just to explore the incredible landscape.

On our first afternoon in Iceland, a wonderful Icelandic couple my dad met at the airport and befriended took us on a short car tour of the countryside neighboring Reykjavik. This is a place you want to get lost in – unspoiled views with life that looks so simple.

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.10.02 PM

Emerald green lakes.

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.10.30 PM

Hot springs and cold air.

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.16.41 PM

Hot springs.

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.10.47 PM

Gorgeous views.

R0010092

Volcanic sand, fog, and bright green vegetation.

IMG_0327

Screen Shot 2019-02-10 at 2.12.24 PM

C, me, and my Dad.

Our second day included a bus tour of the southern coast and water falls.

IMG_0413

Waterfalls along the bluffs.

IMG_0424

Skógafoss

IMG_0434

Lunch stop in Vik.

IMG_0439

Basalt cliffs.

IMG_0442

Black sand beaches.

IMG_0456

Seljalandsfoss

IMG_0445

Sólheimajökull Glacier

That evening C and I selected a tasting menu at Grillmarkaðurinn. We elected to have a more traditional set of eats, so it should be noted that there are not many native or traditional vegetables used in Icelandic cuisine. While I tend to eat a more plant based diet at home, when I’m visiting a new place, I will expand my palate to try foods that are more traditional of the region.

IMG_0457

Smoked Arctic Char – Pickled fennel, spiced rye bread, quail egg from Ásgarð and mustard dressing

IMG_0458

Grilled Puffin – Lightly smoked puffin, pickled bilberries and birch

IMG_0460

Shark steak – Tender steak of shark, Icelandic wasabi and soy vinaigrette

IMG_0463

Battered fish – Potatoes, summer vegetables, and sauce

IMG_0464

Horse tenderloin – The tenderloin is a clean muscle. It is the most tender part of the horse

IMG_0465

Lamb fillet – Potato terrine, sauerkraut, lamb shank and wild shiitake-apple glaze

IMG_0472

Dessert platter – ice cream, tropical fruits (obviously not local), lava cakes, chocolate

Our last morning in Iceland was spent touring around Reykjavik before hoping on a flight later that evening for the next stop – Bergen!

IMG_0488

Best chai latte of my life and my introduction to oat milk. Hint: Oat milk makes the creamiest lattes and best non-dairy addition to tea.

IMG_0486

Hallgrímskirkja – magnificent, modern architecture church in Reykjavik

IMG_0477

View from the top of Hallgrímskirkja.

Iceland is most definitely a country I’d like to visit again to spend some time hiking and exploring the whole of the island country.

Next stop, Bergen, Norway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s