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Yummy Bagel Sandwich + Iceland Recs, Please!

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday from a moody sky DC:

morning in DC

I started off my day with a workout with the girls (forgot to take a photo, so no sweaty selfies today!) – always the best way to start a day! I’m working downtown, so I walked to my coworking space after showering at the gym. A couple weeks ago the owner of Urban Athletic Club was telling me that Bagels etc. on P Street is awesome; I’m not a bagel and cream cheese fan but I love bagel egg sandwiches. I go right by it every time I do a workout there and then walk to my coworking space, and today I was in the mood to give it a shot!

bagels etc P street DC 1

I went for an egg, cheese, and bacon on a sesame bagel. It was delicious! Next time I’ll add an extra egg and maybe a slice of tomato, too. :) Yum! I don’t love eating at my desk so I snagged one of their outdoor tables and enjoyed some fresh air with my breakfast.

bagels etc P street DC

And now, I’m looking for some recommendations! Matt and I have our big trip of the year coming up in a week and a half – we’re going to Iceland!!! I’m SO excited – it’s been on our bucket list for awhile now. We’re there for 9 days and spending the first half of the trip with our German friends Melli and Moritz, and the second half of the trip on our own. Remember Melli and Moritz from our big western Canada hiking adventure last year? We’re excited to have another travel adventure with them! :)

P5280049

We’ve got most of the trip planned out (lots of hiking/outdoor adventures!), but I’d still love your recommendations on things we must do/see – and any general traveling around Iceland or food in Iceland tips, too! Matt and I are considering going snorkeling (yes, snorkeling in Iceland – you wear a dry suit instead of a wet suit – sounds intense but really beautiful because the water is so clear) – have any of you done it? Thoughts?

We are spending just one night in Reykjavik, and we’ll have a rental car, so the majority of the trip will be in the smaller areas/towns.

Any Iceland tips welcome! Thanks in advance. :)

Comments

  1. 1

    I’m curious to see your itinerary! I’m leaving May 25th for Iceland and we have 10 days with a rental and only the last night in Reykjavik. We plan on driving around also, but all of the F roads are still closed for the most part, so I’m hoping we can get where we want to go. We had an entire day planned for Landmannalauger but apparently the road is still closed. Hoping to find a local that can get us there somehow, otherwise we’re going to snorkel the divide at Thingvellir. But we’re driving around the country and have AirBnBs booked throughout, so hopefully we spaced it out well enough so that we can do a lot of exploring.

    • 2

      I’ll be sharing our itinerary but not until we get back, I’m sorry! Maybe I’ll see you there :) That’s good to know about the roads – thanks for the heads up!

  2. 3

    Iceland is gorgeous! You will have a wonderful time. Not quite a tip, but be prepared to spend major bucks on gasoline and food. Gas is about $8/gallon, and Iceland has strict agricultural laws that state that certain products, such as dairy, cannot be imported. This calls for high prices since Iceland’s geography does not land well to farming or food production. Expect to pay $10 for a beer, $16 for a cup of soup, $7 for a cup of drip coffee etc. We had some major sticker shock, especially when it cost $100 to fill the tank of our tiny rental car and we found ourselves paying $40 for two sandwiches and waters at a serve-yourself cafeteria at a national park!

    • 4

      Yeah, we heard it was REALLY expensive once you get there (it was cheap to fly there, at least!). We were thinking of going to the grocery store and making most of our meals to try to save some money… and just doing a few special meals out! We’ll see!

      • 5
        Julie McClure says:

        Yes, hit up grocery stores before you leave Reykjavik because there’s not many outside of the city. Also think about stocking up on stuff (especially alcohol if you want it) in Duty Free in the airport.

  3. 6
    Katherine says:

    Hi Anne, that’s so awesome you’re going to Iceland! I went there a couple of years ago and did the snorkeling at Silfra Rift (I assume that’s the one you’re considering). And while it was a neat experience to say that I swam over the continental divide, I don’t necessarily think it was worth the money (our trip was around $160/person for a total of 30 minutes or less in the water). You can get a similar experience walking through Thingvellir Park. In the water, your hands get reallllllly cold (mine didn’t regain feeling/proper motion for a couple of hours) but the rest of your body mainly stays warm and dry. The water is beautifully clear (and tasty!) but there’s not a ton to see other than some rock formations. I even brought a waterproof camera but there was nothing photo-worthy. In my opinion, snorkeling in warmer waters where there is actual wildlife and plants is a better snorkeling experience. So if you’ve done that type of snorkeling before, this might not be that cool to you, but if you’ve never snorkeled, then you may as well give Silfra a chance! Others might have different opinions, but to me, this was one thing to skip compared to all the other awesome things to do.

    Oh, and definitely give yourself a couple nights to try to see the northern lights. Many tour companies will cancel if the atmospheric conditions are poor and re-book you for the next night, so if you are flexible in that (although sounds like you aren’t staying in one place very long), I highly recommend allowing time for that. Unfortunately, even with a re-booking, my group didn’t see much in the way of lights.

    Have so much fun!

    • 7

      That’s a really good tip about the snorkeling – we’ve been scuba diving all over before so maybe it’s not worth doing the snorkeling… we’ll look into it more, thank you! I thought you couldn’t really see the northern lights in late May?

      • 8
        Katherine says:

        The guides on the tours told us northern lights viewing more to do with atmospheric conditions (plus obviously darkness) than season. I went in October and saw none, and neither did my mom who went in January. It’s still technically possible in May, so I think you’d just have to try much later at night–although now that I think about it, there may not be tours. Anyways, best of luck!

        • 9

          Okay interesting! We’ll ask around once we’re there… maybe we’ll get lucky :)

          • 10
            Melissa says:

            I teach astronomy. I was going to give you an “assignment” to see the aurora borealis, but I’m glad to see that someone else already mentioned it. The season of the year doesn’t matter, but it’s true that there are just fewer night-time hours in the summer, so less time to see them. You will have to be in a REALLY dark area to see them – not from Reykjavik. The important part is how active the Sun is, and unfortunately right now the Sun is being pretty quiet – we did some solar observing last weekend, and there were only a handful of sunspots. Nevertheless, even if you don’t see the aurora, if your skies are dark, you’ll see some awesome stars. The Milky Way will be high in the sky a couple hours after midnight. Have fun! Iceland is on my list to visit!

            • 11

              Thank you, this is helpful! Fingers crossed the sun gets more active when we arrive. :) Looking forward to the stars either way!

  4. 12
    Charise says:

    I’m currently planning a trip with a few girlfriends for September, so I can’t wait to see your recaps to see if there’s any more adventures we need to add to our itinerary!

  5. 14

    You should totally check out Davida’s post! I found it so helpful. Iceland is so beautiful. I hope you have the best time!

    http://www.thehealthymaven.com/2016/07/5-days-in-iceland-travel-guide.html

  6. 16
    Julie McClure says:

    I was just there in March and while we LOVED Iceland, finding good food was the most challenging part. FYI, all the food in Iceland is pretty expensive, so it’s a matter of finding stuff that’s good. A lot of people eat at the gas stations along Ring Road, which are fine (in fact I would definitely recommend eating at least one hot dog with all the toppings!), but if you’re looking for restaurant recommendations here are a few. Definitely check out Fridheimar Farm (http://fridheimar.is/en/restaurant) when you’re visiting the sites on the Golden Circle. We went there for lunch and it was amazing!!! You eat in a greenhouse with all these tomato plants. Maybe look into making a reservation. We got there right when it opened for lunch and were lucky enough to get one of the only non-reserved tables. The Eldstó Art Cafe in Hvolsvöllur had good food, especially for being in a small town. And then Suður-Vík Restaurant was a nice pub with great pizza in Vik. As for general sightseeing, I would recommend trying to go the Geysir on the Golden Circle earlier in the day if possible, it gets really crowded once the tours start coming through. Any even though it’s a bit expensive and a little touristy, the Blue Lagoon is super cool. You definitely want a reservation for that. If you’re feeling like indulging, I got a massage in the water, which was a totally unique experience. I think the puffins have migrated back to the island now which was my only regret going in March was missing them. I hear the best place to see them is off the Westman Islands which is along the south side of the Island. You can get there by ferry. Iceland was one of my favorite places visiting so I’m sure you’ll have a great time!

    • 17

      Thank you so much for these helpful tips! We booked at Blue Lagoon already and are splurging on the massages – glad to hear it’s worth it! :)

  7. 18

    I went to Reykjavik for New Year’s … it’s an amazing city! Based on the recommendation of another blogger, stopped by Sandholt Bakery for breakfast – amazing fresh pastries and fruity yogurt. (Yes, Skyr is the most amazing yogurt ever. Skyr all the things.) I wasn’t able to get a reservation at Grillmarkadurinn, which I’ve heard great things about, but I did have an amazing wine paired dinner at Geiri Smart – stellar service and menu. Don’t be afraid to try new things, too – where you can get it, try the puffin, whale, and/or reindeer. Definitely make it to Hallgrímskirkja for the views at the top. And making a trip out to Gullfoss, Geysir, and Thingvellir is a must. I also brought back some wool blankets as souvenirs, and they’re quite possibly the best souvenir purchase I’ve made. Totally paid for themselves as they keep me warm all the time here in the UK.

  8. 20

    I’ve been a few times over the years and have a few recommendations for Reykjavik. Also, swim in all the small towns, the pools are just so great.
    The coffee shops downtown are great and relaxing.
    nat has great salads, smoothies, bowls. Laugavegur 85, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
    There’s also a few good options for Icelandic cuisine that blends traditional and modern. Skólavörðustígur 14, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
    sjavargrillid.is

  9. 22

    I love Iceland. I hiked a glacier: https://cuckoolemon.com/2015/09/01/hiking-a-glacier-in-iceland/ and rented bikes in Reyk. It’s a great, easy to navigate trip! Have such a fun time.

  10. 26

    How exciting, Iceland has always been a bucket list place of mine as well. Hope it is amazing and can’t wait to see pics!

  11. 27

    Can’t wait to hear all about your trip. My husband and I are going there June 22nd for 9 nights. I am gluten free, and I recall you saying Matt is as well. So if you find any good gluten free eats along the way, I would love you to share once you return. Have a great trip!

    • 28

      Yeah, that’s potentially going to be a challenge – I’ll definitely share tips! I think we are going to bring some food from home… and probably hit the grocery stores in Iceland too.

  12. 29

    I went to Iceland a few years ago and loved it. We stayed at an apartment and did day trips. If you are doing the Blue Lagoon-make a reservation for an inwater massage. It’s amazing when you first get to Iceland or heading out as it is close to the airport. We did the snorkeling and we were in the water for at least an hour. You dont see fish but to see something so clear was amazing. We also did a mini cliff jump at the end. We booked it with a tour company -drove ourselves to the site and got outfitted and snorkeled with them. http://www.dive.is/diving-snorkeling-tours/snorkeling-day-tours/snorkeling-silfra-the-golden-circle-combo/
    We also did a glacier walk with icelandrovers.is
    Bring waterproof pants. Ski pants may be a bit warm for the waterfalls.

    Some eats:
    http://www.grillmarkadurinn.is/en
    http://fiskmarkadurinn.is/english/
    http://www.fridrikv.is/en/
    http://www.koparrestaurant.is/en
    http://saegreifinn.is
    http://www.hofnin.is

  13. 31
    Jennifer says:

    Just curious- what are you doing with the new puppy while you’re away?

    • 32

      Thankfully my friend Gretchen who has other dogs and loves puppies offered to take her while we’re gone. :) And we have a friend staying at our place to take care of Zara! Not ideal timing with the new dog, but we couldn’t wait until after the trip to get her unfortunately.

      • 33
        Jennifer says:

        That’s a great option to have! Hope you and the pup don’t miss each other too much :)

        • 34

          I feel really guilty leaving her so early but we’re hoping it will help with socialization/keeping her open to new situations. :)

  14. 35

    My family and I went to Iceland last year and were actually very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food, since we had been warned that it was not always great. Here are a few restaurants that we really liked, if you spend time in those areas:
    -Matur og drykkur (Reykjavik)
    -Icelandic Fish and Chips (Reykjavik)
    -Kaffi Krus (Selfoss)
    -Hotel Leirubakki (near Mount Hekla)
    -Gamla fjosid (on the Ring road, between Seljalandsfoss and Skogar) – VERY good, all the food was made with fresh ingredients from their farm, including lots of veggies

    For sightseeing, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is absolutely beautiful and you can walk behind it. We also did a fun glacier walk (it was around this time of year as well) with glacierguides.is. The black beaches and cliffs around Vik (Reynisfjall) were one of my favorite spots, as was the Kerid crater near the Golden Circle.

    Enjoy your trip, Iceland is truly magical!

  15. 37
    Kristine says:

    I went to Iceland a couple years ago, it was an amazing trip! I think my favorite stop was Jokulsarlon – pack a picnic lunch and enjoy watching the icebergs. We also did a glacier hike (http://www.glacierguides.is/GlacierTripsFromReykjavik/BlueIce) and a guided day trip to Laki Mountain (http://secreticeland.com/project/lakagigar-laki-craters-mountain-expedition/). We got to see a lot on the tour that we wouldn’t have been able to get to on our own, it was very cool. My friend’s favorite hike was the hike out to Glymur waterfall, but I wussed out halfway there because I’m not a fan of heights, and there was some cliff edges I wasn’t happy about! She loved that hike though and the waterfall is very beautiful. I also really enjoyed the hikes at Asbyrgi canyon, Kirkjufell, and Helgafell (make sure to get your 3 wishes! http://www.reykjavik.com/five-steps-to-three-wishes-on-helgafell/)
    In Reykjavik, on our last day, we did a walking tour that was really great, but we should have done on our first day, as we found out a bunch of good information about the city, parking, food, etc during the tour (https://citywalk.is/)
    On the food, we brought a jar of peanut butter and jelly, and packed a bunch of granola and protein bars, then hit up the grocery store as well. Definitely check out the gas station hot dogs though, they are delicious after a long day of hiking (and one of the cheapest food options you’ll find). The skyr is also very delicious.
    Hope that helps, have a great trip!

  16. 39
    Melissa says:

    Iceland is wonderful! I went at the end of October with some girlfriends and we loved all the waterfalls, sheep, and Icelandic horses. :) We also saw Iceland’s first snow of the year while we were there!

    I did the snorkeling over Silfra and although it was fun (getting in and out of the dry suits is a challenge for sure though), I’d save my money for something else. Like someone commented above, it’s mostly rocks and even though there are a few cool parts, the time goes by wayyyy too quickly (30 mins in the water I believe- it was getting dark so they had to get us out). Floating in the dry suit is an interesting experience! We stopped at a place that sells geothermal baked bread- it was right over the mountain near Skogafoss I believe. We tried fermented shark and predictably it was gross. You wash it down with Icelandic schnapps. Cafe Loki in Reykjavik has traditional Icelandic food and is so cute. Get the rye bread ice cream if you go!

    Have an amazing trip!!

  17. 41

    Reykjadalur is a fantastic scenic hike ~40 minutes outside of Reykjavik. After a couple miles up the mountain you can jump in a steaming hot river for a nice soak :) In general, always bring your swimsuits when you go on a hike! You never know when you may come across a natural geothermally heated pool. No need to go to the Blue Lagoon when you find the real deal out in nature!

    • 42

      Sweet, that’s good to know! We’re still going to do the Blue Lagoon just because we keep hearing about it, but all about finding natural hot springs too!

  18. 43
    Abigail T says:

    Sara Dietschy (she’s a YouTuber/filmaker/social media person) has a few vlogs and a blog post from Iceland. I think she went to places like That’s about all the help I can give. I hope you guys have fune.http://saradietschy.com/post/121643739686/iceland-p02-views-for-days-stykkish%C3%B3lmur-was

  19. 46

    I took a 2 week solo trip to Iceland last March and you all will absolutely LOVE IT out there!! I snorkeled Silfra and it’s unreal down there. If you guys have a GoPro, I recommend bringing that because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sure. The one thing I did notice was that the battery can drain fast because the water is so cold, so make sure you’re at 100% before you go in. I rented a car and road tripped around the ring road for most of the time, and the actual restaurants and food are few and far between once you leave Reykjavik itself, so I recommend hitting up the grocery store before then. I stocked up on a ton of groceries, snacks, and water and it saved a lot of time (and money because Icelandic food is expensive!). The main grocery chain out there is named the “Bonus Supermarket” in case you want to research locations! If you also see horses on the side of the road, definitely pull over and say hi. They are the sweetest and most adorable animals ever.

    A good resource for Iceland recommendations is one of the trave bloggers I follow: http://unlockingkiki.com/. She moved from Oregon to Iceland and I used a lot of her tips and recommendations when I was planning my trip last year :) Have fun and I can’t wait to read all about it when you’re back!

  20. 48

    Wow Iceland?! I can’t wait to see your pictures!! Also, there’s nothing quite like a yummy bagel sandwich :)

  21. 49
    Caitlin says:

    We went to Iceland in March and it was so lovely! Reykjaladur hot spring hike was lovely and beautiful! Don’t forget your towel and FYI the dressing space is open on two sides so it might be wise to put your suit on under your hiking clothes that way you only have to change once (when you’re done). My favorite time there was spent on the Snaefellness Peninsula. It is so remote and beautiful. We went to some of the sites first thing in the morning and it was a so lovely to be there alone with my partner. The Secret Lagoon was also cool and less touristy than the Blue Lagoon.

  22. 51

    I went to Iceland in February – it is such a beautiful country! I’d also recommend Jokulsarlon (the glacier lagoon) and diamond beach near it. Just breathtaking. I bought most of my food at grocery stores, which saved a lot of money. Finally, I’d recommend Reykjavik Roasters for delicious coffee and there’s a beautiful bakery near there called Brauo & Co. The shopfront is super colourful, so it is hard to miss. A little later each morning they make the MOST deliciously fresh cinnamon buns. Enjoy!

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