Holiday in Iceland

We spent the past week in a summerhouse near Geysir, on a holiday from both work and most of the Internet. The concept of vacation sounds a little strange since we’re on a long-term trip around the world but, in reality, this was the first time that I’ve taken more than a few days away from work in almost two years. It was nice to disconnect from the wider world and instead spend some time connecting with each other.

We visited the tourist sites and found ourselves awash in a sea of American accents, which after almost nine months in Europe, seemed familiarly unfamiliar. We splashed in warm water almost every day, and I’m leaving chilly Iceland with more of a tan than I had in Oakland, California. We drank birch liquor that tastes like lying in a forest with your eyes closed. We drove past lots and lots of adorable lambs.

Here are photos and links to some our favorites.

Sites and Stuff


Lots of water, moving downward quickly! It was cold, so we recovered with hot chocolate after viewing the falls.

gulfoss_2 gulfoss


Brian and I debated whether Strokkur (the most active geyser at Geysir) or Gullfoss was more impressive. I voted for Strokkur, because the water goes up, which is not typical water behavior.

gey_2 gey_3


More water! Goodness! This was a giant volcanic crater, perfect for throwing small rocks into.


Viking House

After arriving, we realized that the museum is not open until June 1. We compensated by running around it a bunch and then struck yoga poses by a nearby waterfall, Hjalparfoss.

viking water_fall

Secret Lagoon

Continuing on the water theme, we soaked here. It was significantly more mysterious feeling than the public pool we frequented in Reykjavik, but also had tourist prices instead of public pool prices.


Blue Lagoon

We didn’t make a reservation and couldn’t soak here because it was full, but we still walked around the outside and ogled the power plant that supplies the warm, somewhat neon-colored water.


Hellisheiði Power Plant 

Speaking of power plants, the geothermal energy exhibition at Hellisheiði Power Plant was one of my favorite stops on the trip. What can I say; I’m a sucker for learning about renewable energy sources.




We ate tomato soup, bread, cucumber salsa, and tomato-inspired desserts in a greenhouse while gazing at the tomatoes and bees. Super tasty. We ate there twice.



Efstidalur II

Here we pet calves and ate homemade ice cream while watching the dairy cows eat their hay.

cow_2 cow


This Ethiopian restaurant is surprisingly (and serendipitously for us) located in a small Icelandic village. We went there three times.



This self-service farm stand had a honor box to pay for our veggies.




Twas the season for baby animals. They were adorable, especially the lambs, who would wiggle their tails as they nursed. Theo asked if we could keep a lamb. When we explained that our current lifestyle wasn’t compatible with owning lambs, he asked if we could rent one, presumably because he’s used to us renting cars and apartments for short periods of time.

sheep_2 sheep


I rode an Icelandic horse and got to experience tölt, an extra smooth trot that is one of their specialities.



This is a hybrid petting zoo and playground. Cleary the rabbits were a big win.



Okay, so we only stayed one place, making this a simple section.  The house was stunning and had lots of toys, so we spent a lot of time soaking, cooking, playing, and relaxing.