iceland adventures | photo travel diary

if you haven’t been to iceland, you need to consider going there. it’s seriously one of the most photogenic places i’ve ever visited. you can’t see nature here like it is there. we were only in iceland for 3.5 days but got to travel all along the southern coast and stopped in Reykjavik before we flew home. luckily, we missed the snow (it had snowed 22 inches just a week before we got there!) and the weather was fairly pleasant the entire trip (minus the 80 mph winds on one of the days…). we hope to make it to the northern part of the country one day; perhaps in the summer when it’s a bit warmer and is an entirely different experience!

i wanted to share some of the magical places we visited and saw. these pictures don’t do it full justice so i’d recommend just going to iceland and seeing it for yourself. :)

fun facts we learned along the way:

  • there’s more green in iceland and more ice in greenland.
  • gas costs about $8/gallon. yep, we spent $200 on gas in 3 days.
  • any food in iceland also costs an arm and a leg because they need to import everything. a large domino’s pizza was nearly $40. bring snacks and ramen to munch on as you travel.
  • iceland has some of the cleanest water in the world. you can drink straight from the rivers and glaciers!
  • despite having the cleanest waters, the showers smell like rotten eggs.
  • the weather can change in a second. staying on top of the weather forecast is a must if driving far distances!
  • iceland is known for their fermented fish.

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i’d recommend joining a tour to see the northern lights since they always scout the best places for the best chances, depending on the weather and cloud activity that night. it was about $60/person for a 2-2.5 hour tour. despite the cloudiness earlier that evening, we got lucky and caught a glimpse of some beautiful lights dancing across the sky at Þingvellir National Park.

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yes, it is cold, but the blue lagoon is quite hot! free mud masks and a complimentary drink included with your ticket. :)

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these natural hot springs are a wonder!

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alcatraz, painted ladies, & city eats

6 days in san francisco sure flew by fast. this was our last full day in the city and we were ready to make the very most of it!

IMG_7463IMG_7466 HRD coffee shop is not your typical coffee shop. when we walked up here, i was expecting it to be a cute little cafe, but was pleasantly surprised when joe told me we would be getting korean food (YES.) the spicy pork kimchee burrito was great. we were also tempted to try one of the cheesesteaks – honestly, everything on the menu sounded good.

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we had some time to spare before going to alcatraz, so we stopped by R & G lounge for some cantonese food. i believe they’re best known for their salt & pepper dungeness crab, which smelled amazing.

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roadtrip to big sur

after the wedding, joe and i took our rental down the pacific coast highway to big sur. i’ve seen a lot of pictures of big sur and was super excited to finally see it with my own eyes. along the way, we stopped in carmel for our last bite to eat with our maryland friends.

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we saw great reviews on yelp for dametra cafe so we decided to check it out. it got packed pretty quickly for lunch hour. the staff were all very friendly and the food was delicious! we also got to see a live singing performance.

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some of the things we ordered: prawn pasta a la cream, greek chicken kebab (yum!), and greek combination platter.

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halfway to big sur! joe and i made another stop in monterey to check out the monterey bay aquarium.  this was one of the destinations on the san francisco citypass. my favorite exhibits were the jellyfish and penguin feeding.

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