“Why Iceland?”

Here’s the beginning of my answer to the same question everybody asks me when they learn I went on vacation there.

1. The Northern Lights

2. Sweet architecture

Hallgrímskirkja

3. Geysir: the geysir that all geysirs are named after

4. Dimmuborgir

5. And the Dimmuborgir Yule Lads

6. Cozy chic fashion & shopping

7. Shops, restaurants, & guesthouses that put all others to shame with their hospitality

12 Tónar

8. Picturesque harbor towns

Höfn

9. Waterfalls

This one’s Gulfoss.

11. More waterfalls

Dettifoss!

12. Waterfalls you can walk behind

Meet Seljalandsfoss.

13. And waterfalls like Skógafoss that you can hike to the top of

14. Wild arctic foxes

15. The challenge of not hitting sheep* on the Ring Road

*or reindeer

16. Hot pots, steam baths, & town pools

Mývatn Nature Baths

17. And the tourist trap that is the Blue Lagoon

18. Gas station fast food that doesn’t suck

19. A 32 letter alphabet

22. Mud pits galore

Namaskard

23. Lava fields that make you feel like you’re on Mars

Krafla

24. Lupins everywhere

25. Midnight summer sun

26. Top-notch cities in the middle of nowhere

Akureyri

27. with million dollar views

Ísafjörður

29. Vatnajökull

30. Jökulsárlón

31. Hverfell, the ‘Dog Bowl’ you can climb

32. Blue whales

Outside of Húsavík

33. Moss and rocks as far as the eye can see

34. The Wasteland

35. Ocean views

36. One lane bridges

37. Hornstrandir

The Hornbjarg cliffs are actually real.

38. Turf houses

Skaftafell National Park

39. Volcano jokes

40. Great museums

42. The division between the European and North American tectonic plates

Þingvellir

43. 3-legged monsters

Hvítserkur

44. And did I mention waterfalls?

Goðafoss

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