Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Our Weekend in.... ICELAND!

On our honeymoon two years ago, Ryan and I made a bucket list. Seeing the Northern Lights was on there. Fast forward to a few months ago..... Ryan found a killer deal online for tickets to Iceland including hotel. So... why not?!?! Ryan's parents usually give us money for Christmas, and we all decided that instead of them giving us money, we would all go to Iceland. Heck yes! Iceland and the Northern Lights are also on my in-Laws bucket list, so we made it happen!! 

Let the fun begin.....  
we are so good looking.

Arriving at the airport in Reykjavik after a long flight, getting there at 6:30AM to start our day. I have never been so sleep deprived in my life!

We just started driving and almost immediately after leaving the city, we found this church on the hill with nothing surrounding it. We loved the look of it and made a stop! P.S. The wind in Iceland was CRAZY! We read online that it got up to 100 mph while we were there. I believe it.

Ryan's brother, Spencer

Embracing the cold!

Ice gliding, of course

Here are some of us walking around in Thingvellier National Park

The whole Cope fam! Minus Conner (we miss you!), Noelle, The twins, and Ellie

me & my man

We saw a huge geyser!

We visited the Sullfoss waterfall. Beautiful! It was so incredibly windy there! I literally got blown to the ground a couple of times!

The guys decided to cross the "do not cross" sign and walk down closer to the waterfall. In the Summer, they have this path open, but in the winter it gets way too icy. 
But the guys did it anyways. :)

We visited the Kerid crater. HUGE!

One of my favorite cars... LR Defenders were everywhere! 

We heard that Fermented Shark was a delicacy in Iceland, so at one of our gas station stops, we saw a tiny container with fermented shark in it. I took one small smell and it was game over for me. But these brave souls tried it- they all agreed it was DISGUSTING! 
haha just look at their faces.  

Here is Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This was my favorite!

Oh hi there

Beautiful, right?? There was a little pathway that you could walk right behind the waterfall. I was surprised with how green it was there and how little snow there was in that area! 

Making out behind a waterfall in Iceland... yes please! 

Dance party  oh yeeahh

Ryan's playground

Switching gears... here is a photo that I took while eating my breakfast - pretty view of Reykjavik!

That night, we went to the Blue Lagoon.  (Geothermal spa)  When we got there, it got dark quickly! So we weren't able to get any pictures :( So I found these on Google Images to show you how rad it is. It was so relaxing swimming around in this giant geothermal spa! Plus, the Lagoon has minerals like silica and sulfer in it, that has been known to be really good for your skin. So they have a couple of these stations around the Lagoon that you can swim up to and get a scoop of the silica to put on your face like a mask!  There are directions telling you to keep it on your face for 15 minutes until it hardens, then wash it off. It was kind of funny swimming around and everyone had white masks on their faces. haha It was so fun though! 
Next time, I definitely want to go when it is lighter outside.

After we left the Blue Lagoon around 10pm, we went to various spot to try and see the Northern Lights.  Let me just paint a picture for you of our experience as we looked for the Northern Lights the whole trip: It sucked. ha I say this because we would drive around every night between 10PM and 3AM trying to find any glimpse in the sky of the Northern Lights, but it was just too cloudy. We were so bummed because when we booked this trip, we found out that during the time that we would be there, it would be the peak of the 10 year cycle. It was supposed to be the best time to see the Northern Lights, and our chances were super high. But then about a week before we were supposed to leave, we checked the Northern Light forecast and the weather forecast, and it looked like it would be super stormy the whole weekend that we were there. We still had hope though!  Anyways, it was exhausting because we were all off on our sleep schedule because of the 7 hour time change, the flight landing so early in the morning without getting any sleep, then going all day without sleep, only to stay up until 2AM to try and hunt for the Northern Lights. It definitely wasn't a relaxing trip by any means...  :) But after 2 nights of staying up late and hunting for the Northern Lights, on the third night we saw a little bit of green light through the clouds. We were willing to accept that that was as good as we were going to see them. We started driving back into town, but then saw a giant streak across the sky. We decided to turn around again and wait just a minute to see if we could see anything. Then suddenly, that streak turned bright green and a colorful light started dancing across the streak, going up and down. It was MAGICAL! It was honestly so so cool. It was short lived and unpredictable, so it made it even more magical. We were lucky to have been looking at that time! 
Below are some pictures that Ryan took of what we saw. SO RAD!  We also talked to some locals the next day and they said that we were super lucky to see them, and that the lights were pretty strong that night. We finally saw the Northern Lights!! It took many sleepless nights and lots of driving by my father-in-law, but we saw them. But it ended up being worth it. It was truly incredible.

Ready to go out for another day of adventures and to brave the cold!

The next waterfall that we saw was called Skogafoss. This was a big one! 

Me and my sister-in-law Brittany! 

My honey and I

It had a little steep staircase that led up to the top of the waterfall. We went up there and it was sooo windy! I once again got blown over. to the ground. It was CRAZY! This was the day where the winds got up to 111 mph. But it was a pretty spot!

Before we left, Ryan and Spencer made a run for an icy dip. Crazies!!

After that waterfall, it started snowing and it got extremely windy. I thought our car was going to get blown over! We were planning on going to the coast and seeing the Black Sand Beach, but the roads got too bad and we had to turn around. Next time we will go there!

The last day in Iceland consisted of exploring the city of Reykjavik. 
The Hallgrimskirkja church was so rad!

This is the view from inside the church, up on top. Pretty!

We visited the Harpa concert hall. Read more about it HERE. The architecture was so cool! I fell in love with it.  

Love our funky family photos - taken by Spencer

Good-bye Iceland! You will be missed! We will see you again. 

Bucket List. CHECK

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  1. Wow! Iceland is beautiful!! Great pictures!

  2. i seriously want your life sometimes :D haha so many fun trips!! thanks for sharing!!
    you two are the cutest!!!