Last fall we took the most whirlwind of a trip to Iceland with my mom and her husband. Right smack dab in the middle of wedding season. I was newly pregnant and extremely exhausted. It was crazy and amazing at the same time! It was the first time we left Ada for a trip like that, and I won’t lie, it wasn’t exactly the easiest thing I’ve ever done. My mama’s heart is kind of attached to that little girl, but taking her wasn’t really an option. She would have been miserable. It was such a quick trip that I knew we’d both survive. As hard as it was for me to leave her! So I cried big, ugly, mama tears, and left her with my sister while we flew across the ocean to Iceland for four days.
How was it? I’m probably not the best person to ask since I was completely worn out from being 7 weeks pregnant, and missing my girl. I think it was amazing. I also think I’m still thawing from the freezing rain and temperatures! Really though, I loved the experience and my adventuring heart is happy. Iceland is one seriously gorgeous country! I’m so glad we went before it was completely frozen too. The waterfalls were still active, and I would have been extremely disappointed if I didn’t get to see them. I loved the time with my mom and her husband, and getting to explore with them! That’s something that was so priceless!
I’m also thankful we went before it got too far into winter. Even though we were there in late October, we still had really short days. Like 8 hours of sunlight. Which is kind of stressful, when you’re trying to drive out and back, plus see scenery before it gets dark, since it was freezing rain and the roads froze after dark. We definitely didn’t want to get stuck out on the road at night, because seriously, it’s like no other “middle of nowhere” out there!
I tell people all the time, I’d definitely go back. But not in fall or winter. I’d go back when they are more at the 20 hours of sunlight, mid summer long days peak, versus the shorter days of fall and winter. We went to see the northern lights, which you have to do in the winter there, but honestly I wouldn’t plan to go back around that again. There’s so much more of that country to see than the short days gave us the chance to see.
Because we were only there for 3 full days, we hit the highlights. Basically, what we could drive to in 2-3 hours from Reykjavik. Our highlights include: The Golden Circle, Gullfoss, Geysir, Seljalandfoss, and a lava field we accidentally saw thanks to a GPS mishap.
Some things I’d recommend for anyone traveling to Iceland:
- LL Bean Duck Boots and two pairs of socks per day (I was the only one with warm dry feet)!
- More layers than you think. I had on four at one point and was still cold.
- Hat, gloves, scarf, long underwear. All the warm things.
- Rain jacket! Prepare for a change in weather, literally every 10 minutes. I’ve never seen weather change as quickly as it did in Iceland!!!
- Get a car with wifi vs a GPS. We wish we could have done google maps instead!
- Rain gear for your camera, including a cotton cloth to dry the lens. Between waterfalls and rain, we learned a lot about what our cameras can handle!
- A tripod if you’re doing the northern lights. A huge necessity, that I’m glad we packed!
- Snacks! Fly crackers, granola bars, other packaged goods with you. The food over there is EXTREMELY expensive!