Travel Diary: Iceland
Hello everyone, over Spring Break I led a team to Iceland on a mission trip to work with the Filadelfia International Church, below is my travel diary. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the details. Stay tune for the follow up blog post to this one (here) featuring the greatest day touring the South Coast of Iceland, plus a special surprise!
Day One-ish | February 24-25
These days were reserved for travel being that we left Florida at about 6pm the 25th and arrived to Iceland at 6am on the 26th. I am horrible at sleeping on planes, I only got about 2 hours of sleep. As soon as we landed everyone was staring their day in Iceland, and back home it was 2am. WHAT A JET LAG! After we arrived we made a pit stop at my favorite: Joe & the Juice for an amazing Power Shake, before we caught the Fly Bus into the city. I missed the crisp cold air that you get blasted with once you exit the airport doors. Now my friends who live in Iceland had been telling me that there hadn't been a lot of snow during the past month. However, right when we got onto the Fly Bus, it started SNOWING!! We drove into the city amidst this snowstorm that fluctuated every 5 minutes. You think Florida's weather is bipolar, go to Iceland. After an hour drive we made it to our hostel and went to the Filidelfia International Church to visit our friends, now family! We had some amazing coffee and hung out until our check in. We called this night, and early night...and by early I mean I was in bed by 7pm my friends. Best sleep of my life!
Day Two | February 26th
We woke up bright and early for some delicious traditional Icelandic breakfast and got ready to go to church. Remember that thing I told you about the snow? Well I woke up bright and early to find the whole city covered in snow. I mean record snowfall. Reykjavik turned into a winter wonderland with its record snowfall in 80 years! 51cm (20inches)!!! All transportation and roads into and out of the city were closed, and the stores, coffee shops, etc., didn't open until about 2pm, and some didn't even open until the next day. Nonetheless, church service had to be canceled, but that didn't stop us! My team and I hung out in the morning and watched people and cars try to walk/drive in these conditions. Pretty remarkable and funny. For lunch we walked to the church to cook some lunch and play in the snow! The parking lot was turned into a pool of snow! It was so much fun! After lunch we decided to see if any shops were open. We made it to a couple of souvenir shops and had the best swiss mocha at the Sandholt! (Must go to!)
Day three-four | February 27-28
Monday was the start of my team and I's ministry days working and helping out the church. We partnered with Filadelfia International Church and helped them clean, paint, build, and worked with the young adults and their youth. It was such a remarkable experienced. This was my second time coming to Iceland and working with them, they are family now. After ministry we booked tickets to see the Norther Lights aka Aurora Borealis. Last year when I took this tour, I barely saw them. I just saw whispers, compared to what I saw this year lol. This year the Northern Lights were so vivid! They danced across the sky like never before! I even got to see the band of the Milky Way! It was so breathtaking (1. because it was freezing cold, and I couldn't feel any part of my body, 2. we drove out of the city and into the middle of nowhere, on top of a frozen over crater. It was just us, tiny humans sipping on hot cocoa, eating a delicious Kleina, staring at the majasty of nature and the creator show off. This was perfection.
Tuesday was ministry day during the day and then at night we booked the Blue Lagoon. Everything went wrong to get to the Blue Lagoon and that but a real damper into the experience. However, it was beautiful and very luxurious. It even started snowing as we swam above the dancing Northern Lights. Magical. I would definitely return to the Blue Lagoon during the day. I recommend booking the first available time in the morning, so you can actually see the blueness of the lagoon and take rad pictures.
Day 5 | March 1
This day was reserved for young adult ministry. We had an amazing time with them and they prepared a "Fear Factor" for us and had us try some Icelandic delicacies, like fermented shark and fiskur. Beforehand we walked down to Hallgrimskirkja and got some hot cocoa at Reykjavik Roasters (YUM!). We also went to the coast and enjoyed the view and took some pictures!
Day 7-8 | March 3-4
So I skipped day 6, I know. I am saving that one for a post all by itself! Friday was out final day working with the Filadelfia Church. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to everyone who had quickly become home. That night we spent time with the youth at the service, it was so much fun! I stayed up late trying to squeeze everything in my luggage and pray that it wasn't over 50lbs. The next day we ate breakfast at took the Fly Bus back to Keflavik to the airport. These futuristic luggage machine weighed my luggage and luckily sucked it away with a bright green light giving me the go! SWEET VICTORY! The Keflavik airport is so modern, and they have the best restaurants to eat, and bathrooms...haha. Seriously. When it was time to board the plane, we took a bus to load on through the side stairs of the airplane! OMGSH I have always wanted to do that!! It was so cool! Iceland does have the beautifulest take offs. Then we had a 7hr 30min flight back home, which had the worst turbulence and I thought I was going to dye over the Labrador Sea. Thankfully you didn't, plus it wasn't a full flight so I had an empty chair next to me...score! Iceland, I said it last year, and I said it again this year, I will see you again. Iceland had become another home for me. Devito's Pizza, you know.. frequent costumer for real. I can't wait to return to the land of fire and ice full of beautiful people with the warmest hearts!
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