Back to Top

London-S

Just over a month ago we spent three hectic days in London and one lovely night in Liverpool. It was my first time to London, and Chris’ second and well, Chris’ memory of London being crowded, noisy and frankly a bummer, was pretty spot on to this time around.

The shock of coming from the freezing, near deserted streets of Reykjavik to the hustle and very hot bustle of London is what set the initial distaste for us. There were wonderful places within London that seemed magical and timeless, but our brief schedule kept us moving and unfortunately we couldn’t linger.

By the fourth day we were off to Liverpool, to meet up with Chris’ cousin Lindsay. We were greeted by open arms and had the most wonderful night exploring the town. The next morning we were off to Dublin.

The Ace Cafe-C

When most motorcycle nerds make their way into the greater London area one place in particular comes to mind, the Ace Cafe. Known as being the epicentre for cafe racer/custom motorcycle culture in the 50’s and 60’s, the Ace still manages to pull in boatloads of bikers every night. 

Sami mustarding her dog.

We were at the Cafe for Harley night. My favourite bike was this flatty. 

The Road Trip - S

Pete, our trusty camel.

Heading out of Reykjavik.

Lookin’ at Skogafoss

Top of Skogafoss lookin’ down

My feet and the view from the top of Skogafoss

Our route down

Our route up

Chris and Pete and a big ol’ glacier in the background

The expanse

The Glacier Lagoon

The next day was foggier

Chris is sad to leave

We were told there was a swimming pool here, but it was closed

Nice view for a swimming pool

Iceland’s legendary hot-dog stand

At HARPA

HARPA’s interior

On of the best espressos I’ve ever had

The BEST Pho I’ve ever had

The Road Trip - C

We bumped and squeaked down highway 1, heading southeast away from Reykjavik. Exiting the vast grassy planes we rounded a corner and were now running parallel to the coast. Our vehicle of choice was a lean, mean, commuting machine by the name of Pete. All two of his cylinders fired with all their might as we started winding along the coast.

Waterfall after waterfall, mountain after mountain and “Oh look at that!” after “Oh look at that!” we continued southeast. Just shy of the town of Vik I saw some cliffs in the distance and we decided to try and get up close. Twenty or so minutes later, and after Pete’s first off road experience we found ourselves on top of said cliffs looking down at another one of Iceland’s amazing natural wonders. A huge stone arch carved out by the rough seas. It was speckled with little white dots that we soon realized were sea birds. As we walked back to the car we were nearly knocked off of our feat by the winds. After a major fight with the car doors we were back in Sweet Pete eating Hobnobs.

Past the town of Vik the landscaped changed… and changed… and changed some more. It seemed as if every 15 minutes you were someplace entirely new. From open fields of volcanic rock covered in a thick layer of moss, to black dunes as far as the eye could see, to a barren rock field that eventually led up to a glacial mountain range, the changes kept coming. 

At around 4pm we rolled into the parking lot of the Glacial Lagoon. Unfortunately due to it being to early in the season we were not able to get out in the water, but it was amazing none the less. After a twenty or so minute photo freakout we walked back to the car and headed on to our final destination, Hofn. Another hour on the road and we were there, exhausted but satisfied.

Archway outside of Vik

Pete

The Golden Circle - S.

Currently I am sitting on a train bound for Liverpool and after three very busy, very hot and very crowded days in London, the cool, spacious silence of Iceland seems like a distant dream. But, I will do my best for myself and for you to recall our last three days there.

Chris and I set off to do the Golden Circle on friday. We rented a car, which in my opinion, is the best way to see Iceland. The drive takes between four and six hours, but considering us stopping every 20km or so to take pictures or just admire a view, it took us about eight.

Thingvellir, our first stop was a cliff side refuge for first century vikings. Chris and I started to get giddy at the sight of a waterfall, but we soon learned that there are many waterfalls in Iceland. The hike around Thingvellir was easy and informative. We saw the grounds of the settlement, we stood on Law Rock, and we were haunted by the pools they had once used to drown convicted women.

Geysir, our second stop is a geothermal field home to several geysers, only one currently active. When we drove up it was a tourist highway with about six or seven buses, vans and tour jeeps unloading into a parking lot with the Geysir Hotel, Geysir Cafe and Geysir Shop. Despite the onslaught of people the walk up the field was magical. Steam billowed out of holes in the ground as the streams bubbled alongside the path. Much of Iceland`s landscape reminded me of Lord of the Rings, and Geysir was the Dead Marshes.

We managed to pull over to the side of the road on the way to Gullfoss and pet the most beautiful Icelandic horses, a pure breed to the island for the past 1000 years. They were stunning. Gullfoss our last stop for the day is the waterfall. My fear of heights kept me from getting to close to the edge, but the view was beautiful nonetheless.

-S

The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle is a 300km loop that takes you through some of Iceland’s most well known geographical features. These features include Þingvellir national park, the waterfall Gullfoss and the valley of Haukadalur (home to some amazing geothermal activity).

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a surreal geothermal pool in the middle of nowhere. It`s hyper-futuristic facilities are an interesting contrast to such an ancient phenomenon. We could go off about it all day, but we won`t. We`ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

S.

C.

S.

C.

C.

S.

S.

S.

S.

S.

S.

S.

S.

C.

C.

C.

C.

C.

Reykjavik

Our first day in Reykjavik was a hazy, dream-induced stumble. Suffering from some moderate jet-lag we dropped off our bags and zig-zagged our way through the city’s colourful streets. 

Our first stop was our hostel itself, KEX hostel. Luckily for us they serve the most amazing breakfast, the simple pleasure of: deli meat and cheese, fresh fruit, fresh baked rye bread, skyr (icelandic yogurt), granola, jams, and french press. It was only breakfast, but it was spectacular. 

KEX was right on the water so we headed down to appreciate the cold atlantic air. It was snowing, and freezing and a perfect introduction to Iceland.

After, we started touring each street making our way to the massive church in the city center. It was towering. Eight stories to the viewing platform and probably another story for the bells and point after that. Christopher`s beautiful shots through the windows of the platform show the colourful rooftops sprinkled over the city.

As a city Reykjavik has wonderful taste. Style was very prominent in the buildings, stores, restaurants and the people. KEX was no exception. The main lobby and lounge area is an eclectic blend of leather couches, giant wall maps, wooden chests, antique lamps and embroidered pillows. The bar and restaurant held together by mismatched furniture and reclaimed materials was just another beautiful reminder of the thought and style incorporated into the hostel.  

-S