To start the day we visited the cutest coffee/pottery shop called Bragginn.
I had seen this place online while doing my research
and knew right away I needed to add this to our itinerary.
The decor was charming and the staff was so friendly!
Small but thoughtful menu...
we had tea, coffee and an assortment of delicious pastries.
Half of the shop is a pottery studio that
customers are free to wander through.
I loved all the beautiful items here
and ended up purchasing a vase to bring home.
Our next stop for the day was horseback riding with
Our guide Martina was amazing...friendly & patient...a true gem!
Some of us were a bit nervous but Martina was so kind
and such an excellent instructor...it was a wonderful experience!
After our horseback riding we then headed over to
I had made a reservation well in advance as suggested...
this place is becoming quite the hot spot.
We had the most delicious tomato soup with homemade bread,
mozzarella and tomato tortilla,
tomato ice cream and more!
The staff is friendly, the ambiance is perfect...
this place needs to be on your must do list.
Please visit their website to learn more about
the important work they are doing.
After filling our stomachs with that amazing food
we needed to soak our tired muscles once more...
this time we visited
This place is much smaller than the Blue Lagoon
but still very nice...and VERY hot.
We really had a hard time staying in the steamy water
for more than a few minutes.
We had to keep leaning out of the water
halfway to cool down a bit.
All in all we did enjoy this place and our muscles thanked us : )
We went to the supermarket after our dip in the lagoon
and bought an assortment of things to have a nice quiet dinner at home.
The house was such an amazing oasis to come home to
after a full day of exploring...the view took my breath away everytime!
Thank you for visiting!
Day 6 will be next
(our final day!)
On this 4th day in Iceland we woke up nice and early
and headed out for our full day of adventure.
Our first stop was a hike at Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon.
The views were so beautiful...you can walk along the ridge at the top
or enter the canyon below and traverse across the creek as we did.
It's a good idea to have on water shoes or shoes that can get wet
and also to have on pants that can be
rolled up if you decide to do this as you will have to cross the creek
several times depending on how deep you go into the canyon.
After exploring at the canyon for a while
we headed towards the town of Vik.
We stopped for a bite to eat at Restaurant Vikurskali
(not the best but good enough)
Then we did some shopping at the shop Ice Wear.
We stopped along the way to take a closer look
at the moss covered lava rocks.
So bouncy and fun!
More lupines and a beautiful church.
The black sand beach was breathtaking.
I could have spent the whole day there just walking along the shore.
We continued along and made our way to the starting point for our
almost 5 mile roundtrip hike to see the wreckage of the
DC 3 plane crash along the shores of the beach.
It really was worth the long and very windy walk from the road.
Wear a windbreaker and bring a hat. Don't underestimate the wind!
Also, bring a backpack with water and something to munch on.
We are so glad we pushed through and saw this amazing site.
Our next stop was the waterfall Skogafoss!!
WOW...WOW...WOW...loved this waterfall.
If you want to get close to this beauty...and not get soaked...
you will need something like this!
We then made our way to a hidden spot very close to Skogafoss
that I had discovered during my research.
I say "hidden spot" because it's not in any guide books I looked at...
and because there was only one other person there during our visit!
Here is the link to the information that helped us locate
this beautiful and serene waterfall called Kvernufoss.
See that ladder in the picture below?
You will climb over this and stay to your left.
Follow the path along the river until you get to the waterfall.
The grounds of the museum had some beautiful examples
of turf houses and gorgeous gardens...
If this wasn't enough...we still had another amazing
place to visit on our epic day in Vik and the surrounding areas...
the Seljavallalaug Pool.
If you decide to visit this location here are my tips:
~ Wear good hiking shoes to get there
~ Bring water shoes to wear while in the pool
as there is alot of algae and is sort of gross
~ Try to have your bathing suit on under your clothes
because the changing rooms leave much to be desired
~ This is not a "serviced" location...meaning...
there is no restroom. There is nothing except the pool
and the cement building that acts as a "changing room"
but resembles a prison from a horror flick
Despite all this...it's worth it!
This place felt surreal. Like a dream.
The surroundings are so beautiful.
Our last quick stop of the day was to see the
waterfall Seljalandsfoss but I didn't even
get out of the car because I was exhausted!
Thanks for visiting!
Day 5 will be next!!
On our third day in Iceland we woke up bright and early and headed out for our 3.5 hour drive to Skaftafell National Park where we would be participating in a glacier hike that I booked through Icelandic Mountain Guides. We did the Glacier Adventure Hike: IMG 22 which was a 4 hour hike on the glacier. Because this drive was a considerable distance from our rental home I decided it would be best to stay one night close to this location following our day on the glacier and then the next day we would make our way back towards our rental home...stopping along the way to see all the other sites in that region. It ended up working out very well and I'm glad we did it this way! We were all pretty wiped out after hiking the glacier.
It was a pretty warm day so we didn't need to use alot of the things we were told to bring. No heavy winter coats! We just brought everything with us in the car and once we arrived we decided what we needed to wear. I did have on thick tights under my Columbia pants. These pants are amazing. So comfortable and stylish. Even my 18 year old daughter got the same ones. That's saying alot! I did alot of research on what to wear and everyone repeatedly said not to wear jeans. Too stiff and too heavy if they get wet. It did start to rain at the end of the hike, so it's wise to pack a windbreaker or rain jacket with hood. One of my sons used THIS one and it worked quite well. I also wore this Cuddl Duds Climate Control shirt and this Eastern Mountain Sports Micro Fleece. I felt very warm and very comfortable.
When we arrived at the location we were able to use the restroom facilities and purchase water if needed. We headed over to the Icelandic Mountain Guides office which is located right in the parking lot and checked in for our adventure. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. They fit you with crampons for your boots, a harness (in case of emergencies) and give you an ice pick. They also have hiking boots available for rent if needed. Then they take you by bus to the glacier. Our guide "Philly" was from London, England. She was great! Very patient and very knowledgeable. She taught us how to use the crampons properly and how to navigate our footing. What an amazing feeling to be walking on this glacier...it's something we will all never forget.
After our glacier hike we decided since we were so close to the Jökulsárlón-Glacier lagoon (about a 45 minute drive further east) that we would just go for it! Thank God for no setting sun! This allowed us to sight see the entire day. There were many nights that we found ourselves out adventuring at midnight! Whew...so amazing and so worth it.
After exploring the icebergs we headed to Systrakaffi Restaurant for dinner.
It felt great to sit and relax after our long day!
Then off to our one night rental house in the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur...
called Eldhraun Holiday Home.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS:
~ Day 4 will be next...thanks for visiting!~
*this post contains affiliate links of which i receive a small commission from any sales. your price remains the same. *
We woke up nice and early for our day on the Westman Islands. We drove to Landeyjahofn which is where the ferry docks and checked in for the 35 minute ferry ride over. We decided to bring our vehicle over with us as we wanted to be able to explore the island after our guided tour. I had booked a tour several months earlier called The Puffin & Volcano Tour through Eyja Tours. Once we arrived on the main island which is called Heimaey we parked our car and headed over to the tour office. We boarded our tour van/bus and headed off with Ebbi (our tour guide). He drove us around the island while narrating through a speaker system. We stopped at many places along the way, learning about the culture and the sites. What was great was that we got an overview of the island so that later on we could go back to some of the places that we wanted to spend some more time in. All in all we really enjoyed the tour and the best part was...we got to meet and interact with Toti the puffin!
We went inside of a volcano...very awesome.
We were able to see all the different colors of the lava rock...
There were beautiful sheep everywhere you looked...
I had to stop for a while to observe them and of course take lots of pictures.
Some of them didn't want to be bothered. But a few of them were curious.
I was so in love with the lupine fields...
I could have stayed there all day just relaxing and taking in the beauty.
After exploring the stave church and the surrounding areas we headed into the small town. We stopped in a few shops and then went over to GOTT restaurant for lunch. A really nice spot to have a bite to eat; great atmosphere and decor. And the food was delicious. When we were finished we headed back to the harbor to board our ferry back to mainland Iceland.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS:
~ Day 3 to follow! Thank you for visiting! ~
THE BLUE LAGOON
We arrived in Reykjavik early on Sunday morning and after getting all of our bags and rental van we headed over to one of the only places that was open that early to get some breakfast...Hotel Keflavik. I had emailed them a few weeks prior to ask about the breakfast. You don't need to be staying at the hotel to dine there. It was a small dining area and slightly confusing but after a few questions we figured it out. They serve the breakfast in a buffet style...many offerings including quiche-type tidbits, hard boiled eggs, breakfast pizza, fruit, cakes, juices and more. You pay at the front desk when you're done. Since we had almost the whole day before we could head over to our rental home for the week and check in, I reserved our visit at the Blue Lagoon for this first day. We wouldn't be heading back in this direction during the week so this worked out best for us. It was also a wonderful welcome to this beautiful country...and a great way to relax after the stress of travel/flying/not showering! I booked our reservation well in advance as this is a popular destination and does become fully booked. They will turn you away if they have reached capacity, so please book ahead! In all of my trip planning and research I often come across alot of negative reviews and comments about certain places. I have learned to be objective when reading/listening to others opinions and observations. Everyone is different. It still continues to amaze me how some people love something and other people don't. Well this would be one of those situations. We absolutely LOVED our time here and actually stayed longer than we originally planned and wished we could have stayed longer! We also wished we could have just come back here everyday of our trip...we joked about it and said "let's just forget everything else for the week and just come back to the Blue Lagoon everyday!" : )
Here are a few snaps from our time at the Blue Lagoon...
Here are a few tips for your visit:
LAVA ICE TUBE CAVE "Raufarholshellir"
After we reluctantly got out of the lagoon and got ourselves ready to go...our next stop was the Lava Ice Tube Cave "Raufarholshellir" in Hveragerdi. There are guided tours offered for this place but I decided that we could just explore on our own as many people do. Because we knew that we were stopping here after the Blue Lagoon we had placed all the items that we would need either in our carry on or on top of everything else in our suitcases. This way we could just grab them once we arrived in Hveragerdi. We had a warm jacket, gloves, hat, flashlight, hiking shoes & socks. One of my sons had purchased a headlamp that was really cool & came in very handy!
Here are a few tips for your visit:
Here are a few pics...
One of the things that us girls were really looking forward to was seeing were the lupine fields...
they were still very much in bloom for our visit.
We didn't have to search for them...they were everywhere!
Glorious fields as far as the eye could see.
After exploring for a bit it was time to drive over to our riverfront cottage rental in Selfoss that we boooked through FlipKey. The home was more amazing than I could have imagined. Better than the pictures and so peaceful and calming. I spend quite a bit of time looking for our rental homes when we travel and I was not disappointed. We love renting homes rather than hotel rooms whenever possible. It allows us to really "live" in the places we visit. Here are a few shots I managed to take (I wish I had taken more)...
After getting settled and checking in we were ready to eat! We headed over to Mika which was local to the house. Cozy and lively restaurant. I had made a reservation just to be sure they could seat our party of 7. We enjoyed a great meal of delicious pizzas and were really looking forward to resting our weary bones afterwards...but a word of caution...the sun really never sets in Iceland during the summer. We had purchased these sleep masks for ourselves to use on the plane and also to use during the night if needed. The rooms had shades but a significant amount of light still creeped into the rooms. You would think that we would have just passed out...but no. It took a while for most of us to fall asleep. So we managed to drift off into dreamland so that we would be ready for our next day of adventure.
~ Day 2 will be next...thanks for visiting!~
*this post contains affiliate links of which i receive a small commission from any sales. your price remains the same. *
Out of the bosom of the Air
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
Even as our cloudy fancies take
Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
In the white countenance confession
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.
This is the poem of the air,
Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.
I am participating in
i purchased the three cream colored knitted stockings
from my friend lori's shoppe out on the
east end of long island...
white flower farmhouse.
i absolutely love them!
many of the items above have been collected
on trips to france and england.
i love to find special pieces while traveling
to add vintage touches to my home!
i wasn't going to set up the lighted village
or the byers choice carolers this year
but my sweet daughter offered to do it
and i think it came out amazing.
guess who has that job from now on??
something i started doing last year
was purchasing a few small tabletop trees
from the local nursery to put in various
spots around the house.
you can use a galvanized pail,
a large crock or an ironstone pitcher.
just make sure you put another
watertight container inside
and keep watered daily.
add some clear lights for a magical glow.
another fun thing to do is add bottlebrush trees to old
silver trophy cups, creamers, pitchers and sugar bowls.
anything really! use your imagination and be creative!
i love to make handmade ornaments every year.
this year i made some nordic french inspired hearts.
i have a few extra sets available HERE.
i love using an old wooden tool caddy on my
kitchen island to decorate for the seasons.
in the spring it can be filled with colored eggs,
seashells in the summer,
gourds in autumn
and greens in winter.
thank you for stopping by today!
over the next few days i hope to take a
few more photos of my master bedroom
to share with you as well.
it's been so overcast and dark over here...
not great for photos!
this past summer our family visited italy for the first time.
it was such an amazing experience.
i did not expect to love italy as much as i love france
but it sure did rival!
here are some photos from that glorious week!
we rented a beautiful villa in the town of san quirico
which is a medieval village from the 10th century...
the stone farmhouse dates back to 1794.
one of the days we went and visited the
leaning tower of pisa...
it was only one hour away.
how could we not!?
we had (uh) fun? trying to take everyone's photos
"holding up the tower"...
i am pretty sure some bad words were uttered
and some attitudes were flyin' as we mostly failed.
the village of pisa is quite lovely.
it's not all about the leaning tower...
we went inside the cathedral, we walked around.
oh. and we had gelato. every. single. day.
we visited florence and saw "david"...
wow! breathtaking!! literally.
as i rounded the corner i had to catch my breath.
we stopped at medieval villages whenever we could
and just strolled around taking in the beauty...
we took a cooking class in san gimignano...
we learned how to make pasta from scratch...
we learned how to make bruschetta...
we learned how to make tiramisu...
when we were done cooking we got to enjoy
our meal outside on the terrace
overlooking the most gorgeous vista...
it was like a painting and we felt like we were in a dream
we hiked in cinque terre...it was so gorgeous!
we visited grotta del vento...the wind cave.
we had a private tour and olive oil tasting
at a gorgeous estate called
which dates from the 1400's
memories to last a lifetime...
italy you are unforgettable!!