Have you ever dreamed of going on an adventurous vacation? Your best bet is Iceland.
I was lucky enough to go to Iceland with my family. The first thing I noticed when I got off the plane was that Iceland isn’t completely covered in ice. It is covered in green, grassy fields with hills and volcanic rock in the distance.
I was excited for activities for the trip, such as whale watching, glacier hiking, horseback riding, waterfall climbing, volcano hiking, visiting a park where you can walk between tectonic plates, and relaxing in a geothermal spa, the Blue Lagoon.
We were waiting in the harbor for the whale-watching boat to arrive. I had numerous layers on to keep me warm in the cold weather. It was 50 degrees in August, but it felt colder because we were on Faxaflói Bay on the southern shores of Iceland where the bay opens up to the North Atlantic Ocean. When the boat finally arrived, we were given thick red blankets to keep warm during the experience. My dad spotted a fin in the water, and we all jumped up and ran to look at the exciting find. It was a Minke whale.
Every day was better than the last. We visited Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, which is filled with icebergs from the largest glacier in Europe (Vatnajökull). The glaciers were bright blue with white tips on the top.
Another fun adventure was Icelandic horseback riding. The private horseback riding tour taught us about how to ride properly, how to guide the horses and how to get the horses to do their gait. Only Icelandic horses can do this gait. It’s special because the horse ends up with three legs off the ground and only one leg on the ground. We went up mountainsides, over volcanic rock and through black rocky sand.
Next was the Blue Lagoon. It is a geothermal spa where there are natural hot-spring pools warmed from deep inside Earth’s crust. The temperature of the blue lagoon was twice as hot as the temperature outside. The Blue Lagoon was 100 degrees, and the temperature outside was 50 degrees. Another amazing recommendation is the Golden Circle Tour. This is a 190-mile bus tour with beautiful scenery that started from our apartment in the capital city, Reykjavik, and includes Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir hot spring area and Crater Kerid.
One of the most notable things about Iceland is that wherever you look, there’s a waterfall. Some of them are small and some are giant. We visited at least 15 different waterfalls and hiked most of them.
Now that I’ve told you some the amazing things I’ve done in Iceland, I feel like going back again. Next time I go to Iceland, I want to explore Icelandic caves, hike into a volcano and camp out on a glacier.
Stefanie Baldante’s fifth-grade class, W.S. Mount Elementary School, Stony Brook