Welcome to Travel Tuesday!
This month’s travel-themed prompt is all about your weirdest, most unexpected layovers. Have you ever made a flight despite the universe being against you? We want to hear all your best stories!
Looking back on my travel years, I’ve had some really unfortunate layovers (although I still love airports). However, most of them don’t make good stories–either I just got stuck for hours (side eye Denver where you will always get stuck in blizzard in December), got sick, or had to kill many hours. I’ve managed to get out of the airport a few times–including in Seoul, South Korea. However, my favorite layover ever was last summer!
I was intrigued by Iceland before we visited, and figured we could find a little something fun to do during our 17-hour layover. Mostly, we were just stopping there because it was the cheapest flight home from Europe.
Instead, we were instantly enchanted by the odd, moonscape of Iceland, the stormy sea, the charming houses, the history, the Icelandic horses (the closest living relatives to these horses, which can be traced back to the original Viking settler horses, are wild horses in Mongolia!) and the beautiful people. Fun fact: 99% of Iceland’s population can be traced back to the original Viking settlers, as well. Basically, Iceland was an unexpected boon on our European trip, that ended up being one of the highlights of our travels.
While we originally had planned on sleeping in the airport, a quick Google scan showed us this may not be welcome (or comfortable). Instead, we found a basic hotel not too far from the Keflavik airport. While I wouldn’t recommend the hotel we stayed because it doesn’t have a shuttle at this point, and our taxi rides to-and-from were not cheap, there are several others nearby! (This one looks nice…and if you can shell out the moola, stay at this one near the Blue Lagoon).
After six hours of sleep and a continental breakfast, we headed back to the airport to join our tour. While we had planned just to visit the Blue Lagoon, we found a tour that fit into our schedule just right, and we couldn’t resist. So, instead of just wallowing in the wonderful waters of the Blue Lagoon (which would not be a bad thing!), we ended up cramming in an amazing tour that visited the Reykjanes Peninsula with an ending stop at the Blue Lagoon.
We used Gray Line Iceland tours, which I highly recommend. While tours can be hit-or-miss, we loved this tour because they picked us up/dropped us off at the airport, could carry our luggage if necessary, and it was easy to switch buses if you needed to go elsewhere, like into Reykjavik. Our guide, “Hilda,” with a full Icelandic name I could never pronounce, was a knowledgable native full of tips and facts. All of the stops on our day-tour really made us love Iceland more. (Gray Line also has multi-day tours that look fantastic).
The tour took us to a small fishing village, an Icelandic church and cemetery, an unplanned stop to visit some horses, a lighthouse, the Gunnuhver geothermal area, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, driving through the lava fields, and the Blue Lagoon. My favorite stops were the Blue Lagoon and the coast, and just the drive through the foreign landscape was a great orientation to Iceland. (I’ll write more about our specific stops later–they deserve their own posts!). While it was August and still pretty freezing and drizzling the entire time (which gives you a hint about their usual weather patterns) we at least had our raincoats. I hear the weather is usually like this, or worse, so that’s something to keep in mind. I prefer colder weather, so I didn’t mind, but even still, the Blue Lagoon was a welcome treat after our chilly tour!
^^just a dork at a cute little fishing village. ^^ponies! Adorable Icelandic ones. ^^of course I needed a picture of the baby. ^^the picturesque Icelandic church. NOT built by Vikings. ^^The coast makes us giddy.
I was intrigued by Iceland, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. After traveling like whirlwinds through Europe for a few weeks, I was actually ready to just sit still for awhile. However, I’m so glad we decided to layover in Iceland.
We adored Iceland, and can’t wait to go back! IcelandAir makes it really easy, as you can add a few extra days onto your layover in Iceland for free. Take advantage! I know that every time I fly to or from Europe, I’ll do my best to stop in Iceland.
Disclaimer: This is a rave review about Iceland, but nobody asked me to write it or offered to pay me for visiting! I can only dream that someday someone will pay me to travel…
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Have you ever had a layover in a place that turned out to be a new favorite?
This week, I am spotlighting Yalanda from Laugh Anyway and her post about Busan, South Korea. I sometimes want to go teach in Korea after Prague, and I think Busan would be my first choice. Her gorgeous pictures of the stunning scenery show me that this just may be something I have to do someday! Make sure to check it out for yourself.
Ready to link up?
1. SHARE a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay, or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. GRAB the lovely button above. If you run into trouble, just make sure to mention Bonnie, Amy, Jessi and Camila in a link!
3. LINK-UP goes live every Tuesday at 0800 GMT. Make sure to comment here, on the co-hosts blogs, and visit around!
1. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future link-ups!
2. The last Tuesday of every month will be a themed prompt if you want to join in!
3. HOP around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!