When we were planning our honeymoon, we knew we didn't want to go the traditional route of a tropical vacation. We have been to St. Maarten a number of times in the last few years for family vacations and we wanted to go somewhere that was special and out of the ordinary for us. Despite being together for six years and going on a number of vacations, we realized that we had never travelled to Europe together. I quickly got very excited about the idea of a European vacation and then very stressed out at the thought of properly planning a 10 day European vacation in the midst of wedding planning.
We finally decided on Ireland and decided to do a stopover in Iceland on the way there. Dean had been to Ireland before, and we thought it was perfect for what we were looking for in a trip. We wanted a place with lots to do - so we spent a few days in Dublin and Galway - and in between we rented a small cottage in the Irish countryside to really relax for a few days. It was perfect.
Our first stop was Iceland. We left Boston on the Tuesday after our wedding, I think I was still deliriously tired at this point because I barely remember the flight there. We arrived at 4:30 in the morning on Wednesday and hit the ground running. We visited in early June, so there was about 21 hours of sunlight each day. This was a little weird at first, but ended up being great because you could see so much more in a day. Our first day we had booked for the Blue Lagoon first thing when they opened - which I would highly recommend to beat the crowds - and after that we headed in to Reykjavík to get lunch (pylsur!) and check in to our (super cozy) airbnb. I decided about a week before we left that I was going to keep a travel journal during our trip. This was my first time doing it and I am so happy that I did. I usually rely on photos to document a trip, which I still did, but we were able to capture so much more of our trip by documenting it in writing. We took turns writing, collected receipts and other small things to include, and took one Instax per day to keep with our entries. We filled about 100 pages of a notebook and it's something that I will cherish forever.
The second day we grabbed breakfast, checked out Hallgrímskirkja, walked around the city, explored some Icelandic record shops (they have a ton and they are all great), made some coffee pit stops, and ended the sightseeing day at Harpa. On Friday we headed out of the city to see some of the more rural landscape. We stopped at some waterfalls (foss, foss, foss!), went swimming in a geothermal bath, had to stop the car for a herd of horses, saw so many farms and small villages, and overall marveled at the beauty and lack of people.
Friday night we stayed at a hotel in the middle of nowhere, overlooking a glacier, and left early to make it to Jökulsárlón, the glacier lagoon, and one of my favorite parts of our trip. After seeing the lagoon we made the 4.5 hour drive back to Keflavík where we stayed for the night in a cute airbnb on a farm before catching an early flight to Dublin the next morning.