I've already been back in Chicago two weeks and I'm still trying to process it all. Iceland was everything and more. Expectations met and exceeded.
Hmmmkay, so Day 1, I fly into KEV airport on the fuchsia WOW Air (if you want a cheap way to get to Iceland, that's it!) and get in at 5 am, but it looks like noon already because even in early May, the sun NEVER truly sets. My travel companion and bestie from college, Vern, won't get in until 10am, so I grab a yummy avocado tomato flatbread sandwich and beet juice from Joe and the Juice. I was exhausted and my phone was dead so I curled up in a little ball near my luggage and awkwardly slept till she got in. Didn't know it at the time, but saw people at the airport who I would see sporadically during our trip. That's how small (?) Iceland is.
Vern gets in and is wearing shorts and a tshirt (she came from Houston) we laugh, she changes.
The bus ride from the airport to Reykjavík is truly amazing. It's a little taste of whats to come on the road trip - snow capped mountains, moss covered rocks, natural lava sculptures...
We booked 2 nights at the incredibly hip KEX Hostel. Hostels in Iceland are on another level. Locals hang out there, concerts happen there, the best food in town is there, Pinterest-worthy interior ideas are there. You get it. Hipster, eclectic. We get beers at the hostel, even though we can't check in yet, and then head our way into the city.
Reykjavík is an extremely walkable city. There's a few main shopping and restaurant streets and you can spot them right away. I loved all the color and public art on buildings, which I'm sure brings much needed joy and brightness in the winter months.
After window shopping, we go to Mokka Kaffi for a light lunch and coffee. At the time it was new - a ham, cheese, and pineapple sandwich - but as I soon learned it was an Icelandic favorite.
We wander around some more (super proud that we stuck it out as long as we did, being jet-lagged) and eventually head back to hostel where we chill and stay for the evening. Their restaurant was hopping and we ate bone marrow and burgers at the bar along with some beers. Delish.
We fell asleep by 10:30.
Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran church on top a big hill
ham, cheese, and pineapple sandwich
Let the trip begin!
bone marrow at the hostel