Four Days in the Land of Fire and Ice Part 1: Reykjavik #Iceland #travel

It was our first time traveling without our kids, who are no longer kids, but 17 and 18 yrs. old, for more than a night. They were originally supposed to go with us in April of 2020, but the pandemic hit and plans changed. So, my husband and I used our airline vouchers and took a long weekend in the land of fire and ice to celebrate our 23 yr. wedding anniversary.

And, it was wonderful.

The area surrounding Keflavík airport

Stepping off of the plane in Keflavík feels like stepping into another world. You are greeted by a landscape devoid of trees, but filled with rocks. Black, lava rocks covered in a green-yellow moss that made me think of Dagobah. It is a dreamscape of wonder that never ceases, and gets more alive and intensely surreal the further one travels outside of the city.

“Is that a volcano,” my daughter asked when she saw this photo. The entire island is a network of volcanos, making it nearly impossible to avoid their looming presence.

Life has taken ahold of this volcanic island in a way that makes a person feel like a somewhat foolish intruder. Untamed and wildly unpredictable, it is nature at her rawest form. One misstep and she can swallow you whole or spit you out in a fury of fire.

Well, just about.

Despite having an intense love-affair with the wild beauty of Mother Nature, I don’t think I could embrace her unpredictability in quite the same way as Icelanders seem to.

Even the cats are entirely at ease here, aside from the orange tabby on the right whom I disturbed in the middle of the night from its contented slumber in front of our window.

After driving to our Airbnb on the outskirts of the city, we took a three-hour nap with the intention of making the most out of our brief trip. Reykjavik, as we discovered, is very walkable, and it is quite a joy to ditch the car and don your sneakers to get in your steps for the day.

Highlights from our walk into the city center. The parks are beautifully welcoming and maintained.

Reykjavik is a wonderful city. If wears an aura of welcome without the feeling of overwhelm that often accompanies larger cities. We spent a very fully day walking its streets, popping into shops, taking photos and enjoying its stunning art and delicious food. We even caught the end of a women’s soccer match with the locals.

It was a fully day, well spent. The kabobs at the Sea Baron are pretty much to die for, and we regret not having purchased a container of the seasoning they have for sale on the self beside the counter. If you go, go early. They are a small, no frills restaurant, but their fabulous food makes them quite popular.

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