July 11th, 2017
Not too much of a turnaround between Australia and Iceland, but I find myself traveling almost every July back to Europe to explore. Before I show you some of the beauty of this country, I wanted to reminisce for a moment…
I’ve been seeing some “On This Day” memories lately on Facebook… 6 years ago I made my first trip to Stockholm and visited my brother in Oslo:
Then 5 years ago I got a reminder of my Spanish holiday in Madrid with family:
4 years ago I spent 3 months in Uppsala living the beautiful Swedish life:
3 years ago I went back to explore Göteborg, Lysekil, and stopped in Uppsala (of course!)
I am finally back to Scandinavia and I missed it so much :)
For this summer Scandinavia trip, we all decided to meet in Iceland to explore instead of just going to Oslo to see Alec. For the first time on our family vacation, we had a new member along! Alec and Ingun brought my 1 year old, absolutely precious, squishy, smiley, and perfect niece, Eva.
My parents and I caught a 2PM flight from Dulles to Keflavik which was about 5 hours in length. We had some lunch at the airport pre-departure.
Now that I am not flying bougie first class, I remembered just how cramped coach class feels (haha), but it was not a problem at all for a relatively short flight.
We landed body time around 8, but it was midnight in Iceland. Alec wasn’t leaving Oslo with Ingun and the baby until the next morning so we stayed at the Airport Hotel to get some rest. Take a look at “midnight” in Keflavik at the airport (with the dragon’s egg type sculpture welcoming you to the country!). It was even darker than it usually is because of the clouds, but this is truly the land of the midnight sun.
I had completely forgotten (stupidly!) that since I was in Iceland, that meant there would be free access to Somersby, or my all time favorite drink in the world. Its an alcoholic cider that I used to drink all the time in Sweden. When we went through Duty Free on the way out of the airport, I made sure to pick up a pack for myself. #priorities
In the morning we got up and had breakfast at the hotel. It was my favorite kind: the typical Scandinavian options with bread, cheese, and jam along with some soft scrambled eggs. They had a plate of kleinur, or Icelandic donuts, that were not very sweet at all but had a very traditional twisted diamond shape. Perfect with a cup of coffee!
Alec’s flight landed and we walked the 2 minutes to the airport to wait for them in Arrivals. After about 20 minutes, the fantastic trio emerged with my perfect baby niece, Eva, in hand!
Our Airbnb host, Johannes, came to pick us up and even though he had a relatively large car, we were 6 in total and had a ton of baby luggage. We just baaaaaaarely fit in to the car hugging the stroller and bags on our laps. Ingun managed to get a snap from the car:
We arrived at the Airbnb in the middle of Reykjavík about 45 minutes from the airport. It was what I expected– two bedrooms, a small kitchen (IKEA!), a bathroom, and a living room where I was to sleep. It wasn’t fancy but its just what we needed for our stay.
Unfortunately it was set to rain every single day we were in Iceland, but we checked the weather and determined that the next day, Thursday, was the best day to spend outside seeing the national park, waterfalls, and geysers since it was the only day with no scheduled rain.
We spent the rest of Wednesday settling in and walking around the city which was only 5 minutes from the apartment and full of cute shops and restaurants. Ingun and I took Eva out for a walk and a nap and went up to Hallgrimskirkja, a huge church in the city that is famous for its interesting architecture, and around the main shopping street, Laugavegur.
We walked back home and I played with Eva for a while all throughout the apartment. We brought her a wooden iPhone toy (because she keeps stealing Ingun’s phone!) which was great fun. I also realized that the snapchat filters work on babies…. game OVER!
We found dinner at a local restaurant and I had the seafood soup which was DELICIOUS. And then we went back to the apartment and were all asleep by 8 :)
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures to the waterfalls and national parks in Iceland!