During our recent, epic trip across Europe, we ‘only’ got to Egypt, Tunisia, France, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy. Three months just isn’t enough time to see all the magic Europe has to offer, so we’re already thinking about our next trip.
Quick note: I was asked to share my Iceland dreams by Guide to Iceland, but all opinions and views are my own.
Geothermal hot springs in the nude
No, I won’t be sharing any pictures of this one. You’re welcome.
Iceland’s hot springs are fairly well known – definitely better known than the Korean jimjilbangs I thoroughly enjoyed while living in South Korea. For some Koreans, the highlight is the extreme temperature shift – head from super-hot bath to the ice-cold bath or room to really get your circulation going. How’s about going from nice hot bath to running naked through snow? Yeah, it’s not for everyone – but I’ll try it once. (Just like in Korea, take a shower before entering the public baths.)
The bizarre basalt pillars
Photo credit: redorbit.com
Created by water and lava, they look a bit like the hexagonal columns seen on Jeju-do in South Korea:
The ones in Iceland, however, have only recently been figured out – thank you, science! Thank the very slow lava flow from Iceland’s volcanoes mixed with water to create these hollow columns. Naturally, you’ll need to get out and actually see these for yourself – pictures, presumably, don’t do them justice.
The whale testicle beer
Say whaaa…? Yep. Never mind the fact that Iceland banned beer from 1915 until 1989. If you’re looking to wash something down with the whale testicle beer, try the Hákarl (the fermented shark), the sheep’s blood (AKA Icelandic black pudding), or the sheep testicles. Note this isn’t without controversy, as the testicles used come from endangered fin whales. Based on the internet, it’s unclear whether this is still available, as the Guardian claims it was brewed for the mid-winter festival Thorri. I remain hopeful.
The penis museum
Photo credit: Wikimedia
This one’s received plenty of mainstream attention, but the Icelandic Phallological Museum is still bizarre. Don’t know about the most bizarre place on the planet, but it’s certainly on my bucket list.
Iceland ice cave tours
Photo credit: guidetoiceland.is
Go on, admit it. Just the idea of an ice cave tour is either thrilling or of the ‘will I be warm enough‘ variety. These incredible glaciers are both naturally blue and of gargantuan size, and yes, you’ll want to bundle up. Learn more about Iceland ice cave tours.
23 life-size whales in one museum
Photo credit: Whales of Iceland
When we say life-size, we mean frikkin’ huge. It’s too easy to forget how big whales can get when they’re under the water and you’re not. Look for the humpback, beluga, orcas, and minke whales, amongst plenty of others. Head to Reykjavik’s harbor area to check it out, and learn more at whalesoficeland.is.
The Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights
Photo credit: iceland.is
Again, bucket list. Might be a pretty standard bucket list, but it’s still a one-of-a-kind sight not seen worldwide. It’s still very much dependent on clear skies, and clouds seem to be the biggest spoiler instead of artificial lights. Check out the Iceland tours available to see these or any of the other sites around the country.
Are you planning a trip to Iceland? Found any other weird places? Shout out in the comments.
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Also published on Medium.