My trip to Iceland all began with a hostel. That might not be the start to many travel stories, but to be honest, Kex is the reason we began considering Iceland as the first time I would leave the country. Kex is a hostel in Iceland and although I had never thought about visiting, the pictures and the possible excursions sold us. Iceland offered history, beautiful sights, simple living, and the Northern Lights. Everything that we were looking for, and more.
Let’s start from the beginning.
My boyfriend and I had been wanting to travel during the year of 2015. Although I had never left the country before, Jordan is what I refer to as a world traveler. He was no stranger to long plane rides, foreign countries, and visiting places where he didn’t know the language. Once we figured out Iceland was the place for us, our trip just fell together. We booked our stay at Kex, which offered day trips and excursions out of hostel. So we chose the trips where we would be able to experience the most in the country, booked them, reserved our flight, and we were set.
Booking the Flight
We booked our flight on WOW Air on March 7 to leave on March 29. WOW Air is the type of airline that makes it inexpensive to book your flight but everything else is an added expense. We were trying to keep this trip as cheap as we could so we could spend our money on adventures.
The day was finally here. We drove to Boston, had breakfast at one of our favorite places, and headed for the airport. The WOW Air gate attendants were very friendly and we were through security in no time. As we boarded our purple plane named “Freya”, my excitement continued to grow. We were going to Iceland in a PURPLE plane that had a name and our flight attendants were dressed in all purple. Come on, that’s pretty cool. It was also Freya’s maiden voyage. We were the first passengers to ever take it to Iceland. There were no amenities since everything was an add-on. It was a short flight though – only five hours to get from Boston to Keflavik. We landed at four in the morning, picked up our bags and hopped onto the shuttle to get to Kex!
According to their website, Kex is housed in an old biscuit factory and furnished with salvaged materials and found objects from various places. It is, “an organic concept blending a vintage industrial feel with an eclectic, contemporary touch”. It was perfect. They had a lounge, restaurant, bar area that was comfortable and inviting. We had breakfast here almost every morning because all of their foods were fresh and delicious. I still dream about their homemade bread, jams, and orange juice. It was simple but the best breakfast I have ever had. Their staff was super friendly and I would definitely stay here again.
Golden Circle Tour
When we checked into Kex, we booked our Golden Circle day trip, got breakfast, then went to our dorm to sleep for a couple hours. Our tour didn’t start until 9 am and we wanted to be able to stay awake for it (I still caught myself dosing off here and there. Whoops.)
Once we were rested, we couldn’t wait for our tour to begin. The Golden Circle Tour included a bus trip to the most well known spots in Iceland. It was the perfect way to see the key places in one shot and be a typical tourist for the day. We started at Þingvellir National Park. It is the national shrine of Iceland where the oldest existing parliament in the world first assembled in 930 AD.
Our next stop was the world famous Geysir Geothermal Area. Although it’s less active these days, it was still amazing to see where all other hot springs get their name. We saw Strokkur erupt, as well. It spouts water about 100 ft into the air every few minutes. Before we left the area we grabbed a quick lunch of Skyr and veggies at the newly opened Geysir Center. We also shopped around a little and picked up some Icelandic wool hats for the rest of our trip!
After Geysir Geothermal Area, we moved on to see Gullfoss, the most iconic waterfall for Iceland. Water plummets about 100 feet down into a canyon. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
After the tour, we tried a local restaurant for dinner where we had lamb stew. This is one of the most common dishes in Iceland and it was a great finish to the first day of the trip. We had a big two day trip planned for our next adventure and I couldn’t have been more excited.