Originally, I had planned to go to North Iceland after spending some time in Egilsstadir, but since my parents had surprised me by booking flights to Iceland’s capital Reykjavik for my birthday, I decided to fly from Egilsstadir to Reykjavik instead. I did really want to see North Iceland, but seeing my parents was definitely more important to me – and I can always come back to Iceland, it’s not that far away from Denmark!
Flying from Egilsstadir was pleasant with free chocolate and drinks on the Air Iceland domestic flight. The flight took only one hour and took me across the snow-covered highlands of Iceland, which was amazing to see from above. The roads in the highlands are impassable during winter time and only during the summer months, so flying was the only possible way to see it. The sky was quite clear for the entire time, so I had great views of the highlands throughout and Reykjavik, when we were getting ready to land.
Just as I got off the plane and walked in to the airport to collect my rugsack, my parents stood there greeting me – my mum with her Iphone ready to take pictures of our reunion. It was really nice to see them again, as I’ve really missed them – and this is the longest that I’ve ever been away from home.
My birthday was two days later and I had been a bit worried about it before I knew that they were coming, as I knew that I’d feel homesick if I spent the day alone. I’ve previously spent my birthday in Paris with some friends and even then, I felt homesick – so it was really nice to have them there to spend the day with me.
I arrived in Reykjavik at 17.10 PM on April 2nd and spent the evening relaxing at our guesthouse, talking about all my adventures and the stuff that was going on at home and eventually going out to eat in a nice restaurant in – what we had been told was – the center of Reykjavik. At first, we were quite disappointed by Reykjavik, as this “center” wasn’t really what we expected from a capital city. In my opinion, the charm of capital cities comes from the parks, squares and cozy walking streets, which we were led to believe that Reykjavik didn’t have. We quickly became much more wise though. After eating our dinner, we walked a different way back to our guesthouse and came across the beautiful city pond, Tjörnin, where loads of swans, geese and ducks were just sitting there, waiting for people to throw food at them. I have never seen so many birds in one spot before and it instantly changed my view of Reykjavik.
I had always planned to rent a car in Iceland, but since I had to be 20 to rent one, I had to wait until my birthday on April 4th. Therefore, we decided to spend the next day exploring the city of Reykjavik.
Our guesthouse was situated in the centre of Reykjavik, so everything that we wanted to see was within walking distance. Our first stop was the famous landmark, Hallgrimskirkja, a 74 m. tall church, which offers an amazing (and expensive..) view of the entire city. We paid 700 ISK each to see the view, only to discover that no one was checking our tickets.. So a small tip to anyone visiting Reykjavik – go to Hallgrimskirkja and take the lift to the top, but don’t spend your money on these overpriced tickets.
After viewing Reykjavik from above, we went on to our next stop; The National Museum of Iceland.
On our way to the museum, we discovered how wrong we had been about our first impressions of Reykjavik, as we passed many nice squares and cozy walking streets and decided to come back to that area in the evening.
My parents aren’t big on museums, but I love national museums, so my mum decided to go with me, while my dad went back to the guesthouse to rest for a while. The National Museum of Iceland was the smallest national museum that I’d ever seen, but it had some interesting exhibitions and we easily spent 2-3 hours looking at everything and reading about the history of Iceland.
The next day was my 20th birthday (why do I suddenly feel old…) and the day that I would pick up my rental car! I had arranged to do the Golden Circle that day, since I thought that I’d show my parents the most important attractions in Iceland while they were here. The Golden Circle consists of Thingvellir National Park, Geysir and Gullfoss.
The first stop was Thingvellir National Park, famous for its rift valley, where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are slowly drifting apart from each other. We walked in the valley for a while, taking in the beautiful surroundings and enjoying the decent weather.
Next stop was Haukadalur geothermal area, which has more than 40 hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles and – most importantly – the two geysers Geysir and Strokkur. The largest geyser, Geysir, hardly ever erupts, but we got to see Strokkur erupt at least five times, which was an amazing experience! Unfortunately, it had started to rain when we got to the area, so it was too cold to stand there and watch it for too long, as it can take up to 10 minutes for a new eruption. It was also really challenging to get a good photo, as I basically just had to stand there and wait with my camera on hold, but it was well worth it, when I finally got the picture.
The next and last stop of the day was Gullfoss Waterfall, which is the most famous waterfall in Iceland – and that is not without reason. Gullfoss is absolutely beautiful and I could easily spend hours at this spot on a not-so-rainy day.
While the Golden Circle naturally is very touristy, it is definitely worth visiting. I understand completely why tourists choose to visit these three attraction, as they are all very special and unique to Iceland.
In the evening, we went to the centre of Reykjavik and ate at a cozy restaurant, before going to a bar and celebrating my birthday with a few drinks.
I had a lovely birthday in Iceland and I am really grateful that my parents were able to come here and spend the day with me.
The day after my birthday was the last day that my parents had in Iceland. My dad really wanted to swim in a geothermal pool, so I tried to search for one nearby, but ended up finding 80-100 degrees hot springs at Seltun instead.
Even though it wasn’t what we expected, Seltun was a great experience that we wouldn’t have been without. Situated on the Reykjanes peninsula, Seltun is a geothermal field similar to Haukadalur, but much more beautiful in my opinion. There are loads of hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles to be found and the surrounding area is gorgeous. Unfortunately, there is a very strong smell in the area, which my parents couldn’t stand, but I actually quite liked it – it reminded me of pate and made me all hungry.
After spending some time at Seltun, we went to check out the famous Blue Lagoon, which is an absolutely stunning geothermal spa, but unfortunately, it’s well overpriced, so we decided not to swim there, as we would only have a couple of hours to enjoy the spa. Instead, my dad went to a geothermal pool in Reykjavik, while my mum and I searched for an internet cafe, which proved to be absolutely impossible on Iceland..
In the evening I met up with Steve, who had just arrived in Reykjavik after travelling around the North and my parents invited him to join our last dinner, which was really nice.
The next day, it was time to say goodbye to my parents. I drove them to the airport early in the morning and then went back to the guesthouse to sleep for a couple of hours. Saying goodbye was sad, but I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend some time with them on my travels.
The same day, I started my next adventure with Steve; visiting Thorhallur in Westfjords.