North America, Europe · 5 Days · 13 Moments · January 2019

Devon & Jessa take on Iceland!

18 January 2019

We left Iceland, so now I made a new Journi for London! I won’t be posting in this one anymore :)

17 January 2019

After lunch we walked to the church again and went to to the top! Well worth the $9, the view was amazing. I wish we went our first day because it was much clearer, but it was still beautiful. After that we walked around some shops and then back to the hostel so we could say goodbye to Andrew. (Andrew is in a band! The Jungle Giants- from Australia. I actually knew some of their songs! Wild) Iceland was wonderful :) Beautiful to see and experience the nature right outside the city (the fourth picture is what you see when you walk outside the restaurant) Despite it being quite expensive in the city, the tours were extremely worth it. We still got Icelandic food, but managed to save when we could (go hotdogs!) However, I don’t think we could stay much longer here without completely blowing the bank, we exhausted all the free things we could do. I think we went for the perfect amount of time for what we wanted to do. I’m glad we made friends and saw this way of life 👍🏻❄️
Last day in Iceland Today Jessa and I woke up at 9- we slept in! We got ready for our days and headed to lunch at Icelandic Street Food with our friend Djenna. The place was so cute and quaint, and perfect for our last meal. Their motto is “No one goes hungry” which is every backpackers dream. There were free sweets and free refills on your dish, or you can try a new one for free! Jessa and I tried the shellfish soup which was delicious in a bread bowl, and Djenna got the lamb meat soup. We ate as much as we could until we were absolutely stuffed. We also talked to the worker there, and he was possibly one of the friendliest people I have ever met. He is from Romania, and he got his degree to be an engineer, but then he couldn’t get a job so he came to Iceland to work. His story was insane, he lived in a tent, he had about 10 jobs in the past two years, and he was still smiling. It reminded me why traveling around is so cool because you can hear everyone’s story from all over.

16 January 2019

Jessa and I finished our night off with an Icelandic hot dog and a comedy show! There is only one comedy club in all of Iceland, so we figured we had to see it. It was an open mic night, so sometimes we were laughing so hard, and there was a tiny percentage of jokes that just didn’t hit. It was a great way to end our night!! ☺️
Stop 4- The Secret Lagoon! We swam! In freezing temperatures! In Iceland! We did it! It was AWESOME! The quick five second walk from the locker room to the pool was freezing, especially because they made you shower before you got in. It was absolutely wonderful. It was so warm, and some parts were warmer than others, especially on top of the water because we were right by more hot springs. It is so interesting in Iceland because they call it a pool, but it has rock walls and sand on the bottom. The Secret lagoon was originally a pool in 1947 but it was closed down and just reopened in 2014! It was cool because lining the pool were the ruins of the old changing room. We took so many pictures, and it was awesome to be so warm. 10/10 recommend. Our tour overall was wonderful, because we had time, our guide also took us to see Icelandic horses (mini ponies) and another waterfall. I’m so happy we did it and we saw so much in just one day!
stop 3! We got to see a waterfall! The Gullfoss waterfall was beautiful, and so big. It was extremely windy and I am very surprised we did not blow away. It was very beautiful with all the snow, and I am glad we saw it in the winter and not the summer. It was extremely cold, but we toughed it out to see the views and get some pictures. ❄️
stop 2 in our tour: the Geysir! We saw a bunch of little geysers and hot springs, and one large one (Strokkur which can’t be pictured because I only had a video). It was amazing to see and so pretty. Out here, it’s just nature and snow and it’s SO beautiful. It’s amazing how there is nothing for miles. Jessa and I had some Icelandic meat soup for lunch and ready for stop 3!
start of day 2! Jessa and I woke up around 6:45 to start our day with a tour to the Golden Circle! Our first stop of this tour is to Thingvellir National Park. The sun was just starting to rise (about 9:30 in the morning) so we got some beautiful views with the sunrise and fresh snow. pic #1: The walk down the canyon! The rock walls were both part of the North American plates. The park is significant because it is where the European and American tectonic plates meet. Our bus literally drove over them so we were “crossing” continents pic #2: more rock walls pic #3: the beautiful view! and my poof hat. it was all water and sunrise and snow. pic #4: this is part of the drowning pool, which is where people were killed in the 1550’s for crimes. fun stuff!

15 January 2019

Last adventure of possibly one of the longest days of my life ( I mean this in the best possible way) WE SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS! Yay! It definitely was not what I expected, half the time I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. But it was amazing to see, and I’m so happy I had the opportunity. Our guide explained that the camera captures it better than the eye; it was not that green to me in real life. That is why it’s so pixelated because of my brightness. But anyways, SO cool to see. Also- we made friends in our hostel! Overall the hostel room is super interesting, you could totally tell it was a mostly guys. There was stuff strewn everywhere and no one had anything locked up. We talked to a guy in the room who was also going on the northern lights tour. We then met two other adults, Andrew and Djenna, who were very talkative and from Australia and New Zealand. Andrew is the Greek reincarnation of Lin Manuel Miranda, hand gestures and fast talking. Nice to have friendly faces!
Jessa and I took a quick (1hr) nap in the lobby on the hostel- which was so nice to lay on a couch, yet they were playing rap music at about 8 AM, so that was interesting but somehow I fell asleep. After that, we went across the street to get some coffee at about 9:30. The whole menu was in Icelandic so I ordered the only thing I could understand, which was a cappuccino. After ordering I then realized I could have ordered a mocha- it was spelt “mokka” on the menu but my unobservant self failed to see that. After we had some coffee in our veins we decided to see the sights! We walked up the main shopping street to the Hallgrimskirkja Church, which was beautiful and so different than any other church I have ever seen- very minimalistic. After this we walked towards the harbor and were treated to a BEAUTIFUL view of surrounding nature and it was so wonderful. We then walked into the city some more, explored some shops, and waited for our walking tour to begin.e
THE WALKING TOUR The tour was great! It was free, and ran by a company made up of two men. Our guide was very funny and slightly self-deprecating about Iceland. It was awesome to learn about everything, and now I actually know what we are looking at. We learned some fun facts, like Iceland has many former prisons, their largest prison holds 56 inmates, the total population is 350,000 people, and there is a waiting list to get into prisons. (he liked prisons). Also the crime rate is extremely low and the police don’t even carry guns. I can’t even wrap my head around all this. Overall, this country is extremely different than what I am used to, but so fun to learn about! the first picture is where the prime minister works! only one camera for security, that’s just wild. the second is where parliament is stationed, there has been many protests in front of this building

14 January 2019

arrived in Iceland! the plane ride was uneventful (it turned PURPLE!), and I slept a tiny amount. we got to our hostel without a hitch, but we had to stop at the saddest bus station in my life, i think even milwaukee’s is better than this one. Jessa and I were pretty wary about the city driving in, it looked pretty desolate, but once getting more into it, it looks very cool and Scandinavian. our hostel is in a very cool location, and I’m excited to see what the day will bring! maybe a nap will in store before it begins.
Jessa, Devon, and Big Betty. 🤩 Ready for the next week!