I can't even explain how lucky I feel to have had my sister visit me in Europe. And to make it even better I decided to first meet her in Iceland and explore the beautiful country! At times I really could not believe my eyes; the landscape was so unfamiliar and shocking. Steph (my sister) and I said multiple times that we seriously felt like we were on a different planet as we gazed at strange rocky structures covered in vibrant green moss.
We headed first to Reykjavik for lunch and also to see the famous church, Hallgrimskirkja. We unknowingly timed our trip during the largest music festival in Iceland (Airwaves) so the city was very lively and crowded. Later that evening we headed to the Blue Lagoon for an unforgettable experience. Because we arrived at night the black sky and the steam rising off the lagoon created a mysterious and exciting ambience. We each received a free drink from the swim up bar and facial masks which left our skin feeling nice and smooth! It was incredibly relaxing and everyone in the lagoon just seemed to really appreciate the experience.
The next day we visited Glymur for a hike to the tallest waterfall in Iceland. Next we went to Pingvellier National Park, which was so amazing. The park was spotted with bright blue lakes, waterfalls, and jagged,rocky cliffs. We both found it amusing that Iceland has National Parks as the entire country just felt like one massive one. There were plaques along the way that explained the history of the park which turned out to be very morbid. Apparently the location we were hiking in had served many bloody purposes in the past including beheadings, live burnings, and mass executions. Very eerie and very Viking.
The following day we saw two amazing waterfalls, one of which you were able to climb behind and see from behind the water. The other waterfall, Skogafoss is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland and when we were there it was surrounded by a vibrant rainbow. It was picture perfect. We also saw a geyser before we retired to our AirBnb. The owner of the AirBnb turned out to be a professional horseback rider and he took us out for a ride in the morning. While on horseback we saw over 100 Huskies who were training for bob-sled racing, sprinting through the fields in front of an icy beach. It was definitely one of my most wild mornings in my semester so far.
The next day we headed to Glacier Lagoon where we visited Europe’s largest free standing glacier and actually were able to go inside it during an ice cave tour! The inside of the cave was a bright icy blue and we were able to explore some narrow twists and turns in the cave which was very exciting (although a little claustrophobic). This sadly marked the end of our amazing trip but how sad can you really be when you’re heading home to Amsterdam?
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<p>"It feels good to be lost in the right direction" </p>
<p>Leading a dangerously caffeine dependent life and learning as much as I can wherever I go. </p>
<p>University of Massachusetts Amherst ---> University of Amsterdam </p>