I decided to go to Iceland and hopped on a plane that day. I can't tell you how happy I am that I did. There is something special about taking advantage of those serendipitous moments in life. The trip was short, but sweet, three full days and four nights, was all I needed to escape the hustle and bustle of NYC and get back to nature.
Iceland is a place of pure magic. With only 300,000 people on the whole island, the land is untouched, and tranquil, you sense if from the moment you step off the plane. Looking back on my trip, these are the 5 things you must do when you visit the not so icy Iceland.
1. Fish for Icelandic Salmon - Fishing in Iceland is unparalleled, the rivers are pure, the water is crisp and the fish love to bite. Find a local fishing lodge (Ranga rocks) and hit the stream in your groovy waders. Slow down and get in touch with the natural rhythm. If you are lucky enough to get a fish you can have some sashimi on a rock, or even poach it in a hot spring. I am sure any of your new Icelandic friends would be happy to have you over for dinner and share some salmon too.
2. Stop at a road side market for local fare – Along the desolate Icelandic roads, you may encounter an unsuspecting gas station… take a peak inside, they may have some truly traditional Icelandic eats for you to indulge in. Get a flatbread and a coffee, enjoy the photo filled dining room and hit the road.
3. Descend into a Volcano – Yup sounds freaky? Well… it kind of is, drop down 200 meters into the heart of a volcano. We always think of going up and exploring the stars, but what about exploring what is right under our feet? Walk through magma chambers and journey towards the center of the earth... you may get a little emotional... don't worry, it's only natural.
4. Visit a waterfall and hike to the top – Stand below the waterfall and feel the cool fresh mist cover your body. If you are up for it, get as close as you can and get wet. Breath deep and take in all those negative ions… they make you feel great and crush those free radicals. Iceland is jam packed with waterfalls and gorgeous. You thought that Ithaca was Gorgeous… think again, Iceland blows it all away.
5. Hit a local Pool/Hot Spring – In Reykjavik alone, there are 18 pools. Not to mention the countless hot springs around the country. I recommend getting a slice of local life by going to a local pool and catching some rays outside. Bounce back and fourth between hot pools, scalding steam rooms, saunas and ice cold baths or lakes. At the end of your session, grab a cup of soup and a cold glass of water to replenish.
Journey to Iceland. Let yourself go and experience one of the last places that humans haven't touched... at least not too much. Find peace and tranquility of nature and a new pace of life. I came back to NYC feeling refreshed and inspired. I am sure you will too.