Adventures in Iceland
How to Travel and Stay Active
As my girlfriend put it, “this is the most active vacation ever” (thank you Ms. Aitchison).
I think this whole “how to travel and stay active” post
will be part one of many to come.
With that being said, I can’t believe it has taken me this long to tell you all about my trip to Iceland. Ok, in my defense, my website wasn’t even up and running yet.
I was about 6 months into my new job and my boyfriend and I started thinking about where we wanted to travel to that summer. He had yet to take a vacation in the three years he was with his company and this was the first time I had the flexibility of taking enough time off.
We are a pretty active couple, okay really active, and knew we wanted to do something that would get us moving while also exploring some beautiful sights. Neither of us had ever planned a major, two-week vacation before so we started poking around to see what information we could found. That’s when we stumbled on the Mile High Run Club trip to Iceland. It sounded perfect, and after talking with the trip organizer, Laura, we immediately put down our deposit.
Day 1 – Arrive in Reykjavik
- I won’t bore you with the fact that our flight was delayed from SFO to Minnesota so that we would miss our one connection to Reykjavik so we ended up on hopping on a plane to Amsterdam to then head to Reykjavik (as my boyfriend puts it, it’s like flying to New York to get to Texas)
- Went to dinner at the historical Fish Company with my aunt and uncle who happened to be in Iceland as well (how crazy)
Day 2 – First day in Reykjavik
- Started off with a 4-mile warm up run
- Spent the day renting bikes and seeing the city on a pair of wheels
- Finished the night of with delicious tapas
- Oh and THEN I went to a hot vinyasa yoga class (led in all Icelandic)
Day 3 – RACE DAY
- Half Marathon time - what a beautiful way to see the city
- Exhausted, ate some delicious food, and went on an adorable puffin tour
- Culture Night – when all 300,000 inhabitants come out to celebrate, listen to live music, and drink beer in the streets
Day 4 – Blue Lagoon
- Woke up and headed to the gym for some stretching, foam rolling, and strength training (had to do some sit-ups before the blue lagoon)!
- We spent about four hours here, drinking rose and swimming around, and of course taking lots of photos
- Then we packed up and headed to Volcano Huts
Day 5 – Volcano Huts
- So let me tell you about these huts. We are in the middle of nowhere, we had to take giant Mercedes busses with water spouts and drove over giant rivers
- Our “hotel” was more like little huts and the bathroom was outside – I’d consider this “glamping” but it was BEAUTIFUL
- Went on a 13 km trail run through the valley of thor and ended with a view of iceland’s biggest glacier Vatnajökul
- Spent the rest of the day reading in bed and napping until dinner
Day 6 – Heading to Vik
- Woke up and did a trail run to the river and back – a few of us decided to add in a few extra miles at the end and we ended up meeting another girl who was in Iceland with a run group (always awesome!)
- Headed to Vik but first stopped at Dyrholaey – the incredible black sand beach
- From there, the van took our stuff to the hotel and we hiked from the beach, over a mountain (with the craziest 40 mph winds), to our hotel
- This hotel was by far the nicest of the trip, which seems so out of plan in the 100 person town of Vik. It was such a treat to have a great hotel after essentially camping the past two nights.
- We did a lovely date night at the coziest restaurant and went to bed
Day 7 – Skaftafell
- Started the morning off with black sand beach sprints. This was SO tough as the winds were so incredibly strong. My poor quads! But then I got to stuff my face at the best breakfast, there was even a waffle maker. Hallelujah!
- Then we headed to our Glacier Hike where we strapped on clampons and everything
Day 8 – Skaftafell
- Woke up and did a great outdoor body-weight based strength training workout (over 200 pushups and MAN was I sore the next day)
- Next up was our Glacier Lagoon Boat Trip. To be honest, this was probably the only part of the trip I could’ve skipped but mostly because I was not prepared. It was freezing, so dress appropriately.
- Then we went back to the hotel for an amazing dinner
Day 9 – Back to Reykjavik we go
- Woke up and went on a little jog and had some breakfast before boarding the bus
Day 10 – Reykjavik
- Woke up and hit the gym – man it felt good to have some weights back in my life
- We spent the rest of the day doing one my favorite activities, shopping! I picked up some great goodies that were such unique Icelandic finds. Apparently, most of the Icelandic style comes from the Danish influence so I think you all know what country is next on my list
- This was our last night in Reykjavik - it was group cocktails and dinner to end the night