This past weekend, my adorable husband turned 30! Since that only happens once in a lifetime, we decided to do something slightly crazy to celebrate. We went to Iceland for the weekend! Living on the East Coast definitely makes going to Europe much easier and cheaper.
We found discounted tickets through a new Iceland based airline called WOW — I’m talking flights as cheap as $100 one way!
Neither of us had ever been to Iceland before and thought this trip would be a fun way to discover a new place, celebrate Matt, and see if we want to come back on a longer trip. Spoiler, we are definitely coming back!
We arrived at 5AM Iceland time on Saturday and made our way from the airport to the Hotel Borg in the center of Reykjavik. We took a nap and freshened up before heading out into the city. During this time of year, there isn’t a whole lot of sunlight — the sun rose around 10AM and set around 4PM. But the winter lighting made for gorgeous photos of this incredible city! We wandered up the main streets, stopping into various shops and bakeries. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming! You can tell the people are very proud of their country and enjoy showing tourists everything about their island and culture.
At the top of one of the main streets is the Hallgrimskirkja church. It’s an absolutely breathtaking structure and can be seen from almost anywhere in town. After taking a few photos we grabbed a fresh waffle from an adorable girl selling them from a cart next to the church. (Don’t worry, I’m doing an entire post on the food we ate in Iceland later this week!)
A quick side note: we kept seeing cats all over the city! I documented several of them:
After the sun went down, we decided to grab a drink at the bar next to our hotel. We were greeted by a large, blonde-haired young man who flashed us a huge grin and bellowed, “Welcome to Iceland!” We mosied up to the bar and before we could ask for a cocktail menu, we were served shots of a local spirit called Brennivin — it’s basically unsweetened schnapps and actually quite tasty! We had a few bar snacks as well including popcorn. To be honest, I thought I was ordering a savory popcorn but this had little chocolates in it — Icelandic is a crazy language, guys!
We enjoyed dinner at the Borg restaurant that night and called it an early evening.
Because I took so many pictures, I’m breaking these posts up into several. More coming this week!