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On the Trail in Iceland with a Guest

In February, one of our guests joined us in Iceland for her third Boundless Journeys trip. It was quite a departure from the southern California climate she was used to, but she had decided to celebrate her birthday with her sister in a sparkling winter wonderland. She regaled us with emails of her daily musings, and she has generously allowed us to share a slightly condensed version.

Subject: Riding High in Reykjavik

Our first impression from the plane as we landed in Reykjavik is dark, snowy, and ominous. This could be a space landing for all I know. It is beautifully serene, quiet, and still pitch dark at 8 am.
We were blessed with a glorious sunny crisp day—perfect for walking. We had most of the day to explore by foot before our lobster feast in a small town outside of the city. My sister and I are not shellfish people, so we had a delicious haddock instead. This evening was our first opportunity to see the Northern Lights with wide swaths of bands, but no color.

Subject: The Adventure Continues

We had a day full of activity and soaked in geothermal waters while it was 30 degrees outside. We visited a cave that had three “rooms”: one for the sheep, one for the cow and the other for the human family that once lived there. New experiences continue to mount, from visiting a hydro-thermal plant and measuring our energy, to a horse farm. Icelandic horses do an additional kind of trot not common with other breeds. This is an amazing story about preserving the history of this purebred horse since the days of the Vikings.

We had lunch at a tomato hothouse farm amidst thousands of tomato plants, and every dish was a gastronomic treat. Suffice it to say, it was a meal of memory, including desserts in little flower pots! Never did I think I would be wrapped like the Pillsbury Doughboy driving a snowmobile on top of a glacier! Good thing we had heated handles and a water-proof jumpsuit!

We are truly in the middle of nowhere in an award-winning hotel, The Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel. We had a slight Northern Lights sighting, but there is enough activity to make every minute exciting.

 

Subject: Extreme Sports

We were fitted for crampons with one inch spikes and outfitted with a pick axe, helmet, and harness for our glacier walk. The glacier was blue tinted, and the reflections were out of this world. We walked in and out of icy formations and up ice stairs, and then celebrated with a stiff Icelandic schnapps. We are spending our last nights on a farm, again in the middle of nowhere. It is very typical and includes a stable of horses and comfortable digs in the main farmhouse.

This is an experience of a lifetime and we are enjoying every minute as we are challenging ourselves with physical feats and mental concentration. Fun and exciting and off the beaten path, I can guarantee that.

Subject: Fire and water

The journey is winding down after days of adventure. In our super jeep, we crossed ten rivers as we ventured towards the setting for Game of Thrones deep in a glacial valley. There were breathtaking vistas and visual evidence where the mountains separated during earthquakes. What a powerful reminder of what nature can do and then recover. This was also a day of waterfalls, all very beautiful, the strong wind made the water spritz upward—what a sight! On the drive to the airport we stopped to soak in the Blue Lagoon. Our time in these cleansing waters included a facial mask and a water walk to the bar as our mask dried. The lagoon is immensely popular with tourists and locals who have year-long passes here.

The Northern Lights took a holiday while we were here. Klara, our guide, gave us postcards of the lights as a reminder of their beauty and invited us back to try again. This is one beautiful country—the vast open spaces, the best water in the world, delicious breads, lox at every breakfast—and my sister and I cherished every minute of our adventure.

This was my best birthday ever…

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