Let me tell you about Europe. Cady and I set off in November for Iceland en route to London, Ireland, and Paris. One of those "while you're young" bucket list trips. We had a long flight over with no sleep and hit the ground "in the morning" in Iceland. We picked up a SADcar - literally as "economy" as a car rental can get - this thing was a hooptie. There was confusion where to pick it up, how to buy the gas, and how much we were paying since $100 usd is approximately $11,400 Icelandic Krona. Everything seemed massively expensive, but in reality it was cheap (exception being the food).
We drove the rinky little stick-shift bomber to the blue lagoon. The wind was intense, almost blowing us off the road, and it was raining. Visibility was about 15 feet and we had little idea where we were going but after a couple brief side-tracks we were there. I thought it would be miserable due to the weather, but the entrance to the lagoon is indoors and once we got outside it was quite refreshing. We did some mud and algae masks, had drinks, took some photos/videos and set sail for the Air B&B.
We checked into our guest house in Reykjavík which was set up somewhat like a tiny house. We toured downtown, tried some customary dishes including dried fish, mashed fish, fried fish (seeing a pattern here?) and shark which is a delicacy. A few beers took the edge off the first long day of travel and we caught some needed rest for the ever important day 2.
The following day was spent touring the "golden circle." SADcar was on the road well before sunrise and we were well on the way to our first stop by the time we could see any land. The whole country seemed to be covered in sulfurous lakes, geysers, mountains, glaciers, lava rock, volcanoes, and some knobby vegetation. Very wild, very beautiful. This is probably the most captivating place I have visited. I don't think we passed one spot that wasn't photo-worthy. Stopping about ten times we saw a volcanic crater, a geyser park, a hidden lagoon, a massive waterfall, and several other natural wonders.
One of the highlights was a trip down a dirt road that led us to a herd of Icelandic sheep crossing the road. During the stop for some photos we also caught a small group of cattle crossing the same point. I could absolutely plan a trip just to go back and wander the countryside. The free-roaming sheep, cattle, horses, buildings - just about anything would make an amazing photograph when framed by the snow-capped mountains and wild terrain.
I don't think there is any question we'll return to this place, hell I'd consider living there. Convenient location for a connecting flight, friendly locals, BEAUTIFUL sights, and the entire country operates almost completely on renewable energy which includes a sweet rotten egg shower - you can't just get that anywhere. If you're thinking of going and/or have any questions about the trip send me a message!
London, Ireland, and Paris yet to come, among other things. Stay tuned, Cheers!