Iceland baby pt. 4

I prefer dividing the Iceland trip in different chapters, in that way the posts are not too long and more easily overviewed. I hope you guys agree ūüėÄ

So, the day after our glacier tour we were really excited about finally going into Reykjavik centre and feel the vibe of the city. It felt kind of strange just to have had being dropped of when it was still dark, and then going outside the city to the glacier for the whole upcoming day.

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It was really cold and windy but amazingly sunny as we strolled up the¬†Laugavegur street, which is the main street with many boutiques, shops, caf√©s and restaurants. A lot of cute houses and small alleys branches out from the main street, and I highly recommend¬†deviate up these. You’ll find really personal and cool edgy shops and some art-galleries that is worth a visit.

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Doesn’t matter what kinds of food you’re into, you’ll find something that appeals you for sure. But if you’re more into vegan/vegetarian and raw food like me, a stop at Gl√≥ restaurant at¬†Laugavegur 20b is a must! They have the tastiest lunch buffet ever, with the possibility to compose your own plate choosing from many different salads, sauces and cooked savory veggies. I had a lovely soup with hummus and a raw vegetable salad. The dessert I didn’t take a picture of, but it was heavenly good too. Some raw food cake with chocolate and blueberries. We had to come back the next day for lunch too because of how good it was ūüôā

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It’s impossible NOT to visit the¬†Hallgr√≠mskirkja¬†church, the landmark of Reykjavik. It is 74,5 meters high and the second highest building on Iceland. According to me, this is one of the reasons that Reykjavik is such a special city and gives it it’s vibes. All the buildings are low and there’s no skyscrapers or really modern houses in the centre, except the Harpa opera house down by the warf. You can pay something around¬†10‚ā¨ and take the elevator up to the top where you’ll have a spectacular view of Reykjavik. Do this! It’s absolutely amazing, especially on a sunny day! (see the main picture above, with the snowy mountains in the background, the sea and all the pretty houses)

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The cold weather requires a lot of coffee stops…INSIDE…a warm caf√©. Bring a book with you! Read, drink cappuccino, eat a huge carrot cake that makes you high on sugar for like 5 hours after – it’ll make you forgive the minus degrees and appreciate them even more. Trust me, “exploring-the-city” is more energy consuming than one might think? I always get surprised on how tired I become after a day of going in and out of stores. Even more tired than our day on the glacier. Nature is somehow always giving more energy than it takes.

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Before going back to the hotel and taking a nap we visited the Bowie exhibition on Harpa. To be honest, it was a little bit disappointing haha. A wall consisting of maybe 15 (nice, but still…) pictures of David Bowie, but that’s it. So we didn’t stay there too long. But the view from the opera house is really cool so that was a plus!

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Iceland baby pt. 2 – The Blue Lagoon

The bus from the airport took us straight to maybe one of Icleand’s main attractions, and maybe one of the things we had planned that I was most curious¬†about – The Blue Lagoon.

I would say I was both very content and both not-so-content about this experience. Mixed feelings, and I’m going to tell you why. So the downs were…

  • First of all (I feel stupid about this now because honestly I could have done more research before), I thought this would be like an all-natural thermal bath, meaning the bottom would consist of like clay or stone or something that wasn’t artificial. Not that it matter too much – it just wasn’t what I expected! The thermal water is all natural from a hot spring below the ground, and led into a constructed pool.
  • Next, I didn’t expect the ambience to be so 1. crowded?? 2. crowded 3. crowded.
    But this as well, I could maybe had figured out before since, as I wrote, this is maybe one of Iceland’s most visited places by tourists. So yeah, it was a lot of people, meaning a LOT.
  • Queuing for 45 minutes before even getting into the locker rooms.

Before entering the changing rooms¬†the staff handed you a bracelet that was like a key to the lockers, and a bathrobe and towel as well to borrow. Did I mention it was crowded? It was inside there as well. And then, coming out of there, seeing this huge¬†pool of turquoise,¬†steamy water and mountains behind it, drenched in the setting sun… It was amazing! Not to mention how nice it felt to slide down in the warmth after shaking my teeth for quite a while. So the ups’…

  • The beauty of the scenery!
  • The nice warm water
  • To watch all the people with selfie-sticks, and mud-masks in their face, floating around
  • The pool-bars that you could literally just swim up to and order a cold beer or a snack

The Blue Lagoon is definitely worth a visit, but bear in mind this is not an intimate and super-relaxing nature experience (even though they say on their website that it’s “an oasis of relaxation” ūüėČ It’s a tourist magnet, for a reason after all, but still. Be ready to queue and to pay quite a lot of money to experience it (if I remember it right, it was like 40‚ā¨ just to enter, and then additional costs for mud masks etc.) Oh! And don’t forget to pre-book if you’re going there!

 

 

Iceland baby pt. 1

I had wanted to go to Iceland for aaaages, and so last year my longtime dream eventually came true. Reykjavik is the biggest city with something around 120 000 inhabitants in the very centre, and is the world’s northernmost situated capital. During winter, the sun is only up for 4 hours (!) a day, and during summer it’s daylight almost around the clock. What made me curious about Iceland, and I guess attracts many people around the world, is the amazing nature and the closeness between the urban and the rural. Iceland has many thermal baths and wild waterfalls, as well as a blooming cultural life including music, fine arts, etc.

We arrived in the afternoon at Keflavik airport and went straight to the Blue Lagoon (which I will make a separate entry about). The Blue Lagoon is located outside of Reykjavik, and since it was dark when departuring from there,¬†¬†we couldn’t really get a proper sense of the city immediately. Honestly, it¬†really felt like a ghost town at first! So so cold, so so dark, and so so…empty? Although, that changed the next day, and Reykjavik showed itself from it’s very best side with a clear blue sky and the sun shining bright. Our first adventure was going to a glacier. I’ll make a separate blog post about that too! Stay tuned.

 

 

What is it about traveling?

I wanted you to get some insights about me and what made me start this blog, and ultimately of course, what makes¬†me so passionate about traveling. I guess it starts in the early years – me and my mom would go for holidays abroad or just domestic to visit family and friends. And I just loved getting in the car, on the train or on the bus, going places. Being “on the way”. It’s a special feeling, when you have your luggage all set, tickets ready, clothes you never wear at home because it’s too damn cold most time of the year…

I remember my first time being outside the country where I was born. The memories are still very vibrant and alive in me, even though it’s such a long time ago. I specifically remember the smell of the air when getting out of the plane. The smell of hot concrete, a sun a billion times warmer than at home, the wind being soft and dusty. From ice cold winter in Scandinavia to 40 degrees celsius in the Emirates.

Jeep rides in the desert sand dunes, the call to prayer echoing several times a day, new exciting flavors of ice cream (yes, that definitely is a highlight when going on holidays for a 5-year old). Looking at pictures of Dubai today looks nothing like I remember it, and it’s fascinating how a place can change so dramatically just within 20-or-something years. I’m not aware of any place on earth that has changed so much as Dubai within my lifetime, with all the urban construction and luxury buildings (and new islands!) being built every day. Going back would certainly be discovering a totally different place and country, even though it’s “the same”.

Photo credit: Flickr

 

 

Seeing the light of day

This is my first post here¬†on¬†travelingdevi.wordpress.com¬†! And I feel super excited about creating something new, a new platform for my writing and creative outlet,¬†as well as a new platform for others to find. Hopefully I will update this blog quite frequently, even though I’m not traveling 365 days a year.

So who am I? A young woman in my best years with a passion for traveling (duh), music, good food, yoga, running and personal development. Trying to each day enjoy more of life, finding happiness in the smallest things and discovering new things about myself and the world around me. Figuring life out and treasure it, falling in and out of love with things and people.

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