Big and Little Went to Iceland

Hi friends! I have officially been out of the country for over a month now! Though many days and adventures have passed, I’m going to start with the general story of my adventure with Kaelyn in Iceland. Don’t worry, there will be many more specific posts about Iceland, but for now we’ll keep it simple for a good update!

Leah and Kaelyn!

This story actually begins before we even left the state. Shout out to my mom for putting up with me. We left the house to go to the airport, and we were close to half an hour away when I realized I forgot my boots and had to turn around. So we definitely didn’t get to the airport with the two hour time allotment (oh yeah, and the weather was awful, and the traffic was insane). Again, sorry mom. Thankfully, we made it to the airport, there were no lines, and we got through without a hitch.

The Coocoo’s Nest

Finally, we boarded our plane. Of course I sat next to the two pretentious hipsters. It was awesome.

After our six hour flight, we landed in Reykjavik at 6:30am and took the fly bus to what we thought was the center city. As it turned out we were at what was basically a bus station where we sat for about 20 minutes before deciding to rent a locker there and find food. Kaelyn went all wild-woman and guided us with the map. I was like Merriweather-Leah and she was Sacagawea-Kaelyn. Except that neither of us actually knew where we were going, and there was a city right down the road, and Kaelyn is white…sorry this was a bad analogy.
Well, Kaelyn, the fearless leader, guided us straight to the Laundromat Cafe. (One of the few places open that early in the morning. Side note: the whole day seems early in the morning when the sunrise is at 10:30.)  As we munched on our delicious breakfast, we searched through a drawer near our table full of letters, notes, advice etc. After getting our fill we booked a free walking tour for about half an hour later. I must also mention that the garbage can in the bathroom was shaped like a rocket ship. That really stuck with me.

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Hostel Views


We roamed around, basically walking up and down the same street eight times before we saw a group of people gathered around a monument. They definitely saw us struggling too so that’s slightly embarrassing. Our guide’s name was Marteinn and we were completely obsessed with him. C’mon, he was smart, funny, handsome, and Icelandic, what more could we ask for? Sorry ladies, he’s engaged. We had an incredible tour of the city, learning so much more than we ever thought there was to know about Iceland and the city of Reykjavik.

After this, we did our own little tour of the city. We took pictures of the mountains, Kaelyn ate a hot dog (apparently it was a really good hot dog), and we went the the large church with the most beautiful panoramic views of the city. It was breath taking. Eventually we made our way back to our bags, and we took a taxi to our hostel. Our hostel was in a pretty random location, but from our window we had views of the city, ocean, and mountains. I don’t think we could’ve beat that.

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Snorkeling Site

That night we found a local hipster restaurant called the Coocoo’s Nest, perfect for us, honestly. And we had some darn good tacos there. Immediately after, we walked down the street and got ice cream. Typical. To be fair, it was Blueberry Skyr and Biscuits, an Icelandic dessert in ice cream form.

The next day was time for our snorkel adventure in the Silfra Fissure between tectonic plates. Contrary to popular beliefs you don’t swim between the two walls. It is actually a large area of no mans land full of both land and water. You can see the two walls of the North American and Eurasian plates when you are standing out of the water. We completely psyched ourselves out in a few ways. First of all, Kaelyn couldn’t read the 24 hour clock on the email and thought we missed our pick up time. Spoiler alert: we didn’t. It was scary and then funny. Then, once on the bus, we forgot our Wisconsin heritage and made ourselves believe this was going to be ridiculously cold. Now don’t get me wrong, it was super cold. But, we were wearing dry suits and were almost completely covered from head to toe. The only reminders of the cold were our hands and lips. It was very unlike snorkeling in tropical environments as it was rather desolate and eerie. That being said it was incredibly beautiful nonetheless.

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Our final day in Reykjavik consisted of another tour. This time, we went all over the Golden Circle. Honestly, the highlight of my day was seeing the OG, Original Geyser. This is where we get the word geyser for all others, and the first documented geyser. We saw other lovely sights likes a stunning waterfall, but let’s just take a moment to talk about the secret lagoon. This is an actual geothermal pool used by locals and it is the oldest public swimming pool where children actually learned how to swim back in the day.

On this day, however, the serenity of this pool was rudely interrupted by two loud girls named Leah and Kaelyn. Shrieking and screaming through the freezing air, we ran into this pool as everyone inside stared at us in disgust. The staring continued for the followed 10-15 minutes. We later witnessed people calmly and silently entering the pool. I still have no idea how.

Geyser Next to the Original Geysir

We ate again at the Coocoo’s Nest, and again got ice cream after promising we wouldn’t and had an early morning to catch our flights. I love my big and I love Iceland and I can’t wait for our next trip together!