As Xmas Eve arrived we left Selfoss and headed to our most Northern destination and would-be home for Christmas. As we drove north the miraculous happened: We saw the sun rise. This was the first time in over a week that we saw the honest-to-goodness sun. And holy moly was that an incredible feeling! The sunlight was shortlived, and by the time we were north of Reykjavik, we were back the overcast skies we had grown accustomed to. Along the way we found another friendly pack of Icelandic horses. After our previous encounter we had taken to stockpiling the sugar cubes we found at cafes, The horses didn’t mind, and they even trudged into the furiously biting wind to get their snack.
These stout little horse could look so majestic at some moments…
Annnddd completely derpy at others.
Icelandic horse are so small! They’re like the hobbits of the equestrian world!
Back on the road, we experienced some of the worst white-out conditions I’ve ever seen. The craziest part of this was that it wasn’t even snowing. This was just from the wind pushing the snow off the mountains next to us!
We crossed the Bifröst (I’m not even kidding!) and arrived at our wonderful country hotel (and working farm!) just in time to unpack and relax for a bit before diving into a traditional Icelandic Christmas. They ring the church bells at 6pm on Christmas Eve (they even broadcast the bells fromRekyjavik’s Hallgrímskirkja Church on the radio), which officially marks the start of the holiday. Our marvelous hosts told us all about their traditions, both Icelandic and their family’s personal ones, and treated us to a traditional meal, and the BEST food we had on our whole trip. We had read ahead of time that books commonly exchanged at Christmas, so we had each brought a wrapped one along for the trip. Full to the brim, we sat around after our feast and exchanged our books with each other.
And finally, at around midnight, just as we were making the trek from our warm room to the outdoor geothermal hot tub (bottle of chilled prosecco in hand, of course) we looked up to see a clear sky and the stunning aurora borealis dancing off in the distance. It’s hard to imagine a better way to spend Christmas.