I am back home with my family and favorite blonde enjoying the beautiful Oregon summer for the next couple weeks. Now I know I have been just dying for some heat but you guys, it is HOT here! Everyday has been 35-40 degree Celsius, that is a big temperature change for this little Icelander.
Heat wave and all I couldn’t be happier to be home visiting my family. When I came home for Christmas it was my first time home in over a year and a half, far to long! This time around it has been just 6 months since I have been home, much more how I like it. My plans for this visit involve lots of relaxing family time, days lounging by the pool, and of course cuddles with my pups, all the makings for a great holiday.
Lets back up to last Thursday when I said goodbye to Iceland.
Thursday was my sisters birthday, it was also the day I was flying home. My sister had no idea I was flying home on her birthday, let me just say it was no easy task keeping this secret from her these past couple months! All those white lies where so worth it when I wandered into her birthday party and surprised her. My mom who was (suppose to be) recording the whole thing forgot to hit the record button so the jumping and screaming that occurred is not caught on film, but it was better than I had hoped.
After our fun reunion and a night of jet lag sleep (I woke up constantly!) I packed right back up the next morning to head off for a weekend camping trip with my family in one of my favorite parts of Oregon. It was the perfect way to kick off my first few days at home. And the sunsets weren’t to bad either.
And no weekend would be complete without a little outdoor adventure.
From Iceland to Oregon both of my homes are just beauties!
A weekend unplugged, it was more than what I needed! And keeping with the theme of relaxing I am off for a Monday by the pool with my sisters, a rough Monday I know. Hope everyone had a great weekend and happy Monday!
Question of the Day?
Have you ever surprised someone? What is your favorite kind of weekend adventure?
Hi! I’m Sara, and I blog over at SARA SEES, where I document all of my travels and general adventures! I’m so pumped to be sharing a little bit about one of my favorite cities – Lisbon, Portugal. To me, this place is extremely underrated and was actually my favorite stop during my Europe trip last summer. It was a last-minute addition to the trip, and our last stop, but oh my goodness was it worth it!
Not only was it the cheapest city (that uses the Euro) that we visited, but there was SO much to do there and it was absolutely gorgeous! I wish we could’ve spent about a week more there, but it just gives me an excuse to go back.
I’ve decided instead of doing a typical “5 things to do in (insert city name here)” list, I would make my list a little different by breaking it up into the 5 senses. Lisbon is definitely a lively, beautiful, bustling, unique place, and really is a feast for all of the senses!
1. SEE the amazing views from theCastelo de São Jorge Not only is this 11th century Moorish castle so cool to wander through on the inside, but it also offers amazing views of the red rooftops of Lisbon’s historic centre! During my visit, we spent hours wandering through the gardens, towers, and basically went into every nook and cranny we could find. We even stopped by the cafe for a coffee afterwards and there were peacocks roaming the grounds!
2. TASTE amazing food at Time Out Mercado da Ribeira This food market in Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre area was seriously amazing. It’s a fantastic place to explore! Did I eat there two days in a row? Um, duh. It took me SO long to decide what to eat because there are so many vendors with various offerings, and I’m so indecisive and wanted everything. The market is indoors and offers tons of seating as well! You really can’t go wrong here, and I highly doubt that when you do FINALLY decide what food you want to try, it’ll be anything less than delicious!
3. FEEL around for some great finds at the Feira da Ladra Ok so basically, Lisbon’s market game is super strong. Not only is the food market amazing, but this “Thieves’ Market” was such a cool flea market to explore! The market is held every Tuesday and Sunday, from dawn until dusk, on Campo de Santa Clara street in the Alfama district. Some vendors are jewelry makers, artisans, or craftsmen selling handmade items, and others are students selling old clothes and knick-knacks for extra pocket change. There’s a wide range of goodies, and the winding aisles become a labyrinth of treasures! I picked up some great finds here!
4. HEAR the sweet sound of silence at the Quinta da Regaleira A 45-minute train ride out of Lisbon will take you to the beautiful town of Sintra, which seriously looks like a land out of a fairy tale. You could spend an entire day wandering it’s picturesque streets. We, however, only had an afternoon, and decided to visit this estate complete with a palace, chapel, lakes, gardens, grottoes, etc. It’s seriously so easy to get lost here, it’s absolutely magical! There’s such a peaceful air to it, and if you get lucky and go when it’s not too busy, you’ll be mesmerized by the silence and tranquility. (View my full, in-depth post on the Quinta da Regaleira here)
5. SMELL the sea water at the amazing seasides Whether it’s the nearby area of Cascais or you trek out to the Azores Islands, Portugal has some incredible seaside areas in and near Lisbon. The wind in your hair, the sand in your toes, the saltwater smell…ugh, I’m drooling just thinking about it! I mean, who doesn’t love a good beach? Or even amazing views of the cliffs?
If you’re at all interested in posts like this and perhaps even my other general ramblings, make sure to follow along with my journeys on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Bloglovin!
Time to recap this amazing month with some by the numbers fun!
One hour spent recovering from a long hiking adventure at the beach
Does it still count as the beach if you are sitting in a hot pool next to the beach? If it is in Iceland then I am counting it as a yes! This was my first visit to Nauthólsvík and I can’t believe I haven’t been to this pool before. This beach is literally right behind my work, you now know where to find me on sunny days this summer.
Three caves explored at Heiðmörk
A few weekends ago the Viking said he had an adventure planned for us. I should of known this adventure would include some caves, H loves exploring caves! Me personally, I think I am still traumatized from that movie The Descent (do you guys know that creepy cave movie I am talking about?) but I was more than happy to explore the area around the caves while the Viking did his cave exploring.
Four hours spent hanging out on a glacier
You guys I still can’t believe I did this! Walking around on a glacier, how many people can say they have done that?! I will admit, I was really nervous about this adventure I had signed myself up for. What if I slipped on the ice and fell down a crack? What if the ice axe fell and hit me in the face? Ya, I am really good at thinking of the worst situations possible. Thankfully none of this happened and I spent my time on the glacier in totally amazement of my surroundings. A post is coming soon on this bucket list adventure so stay tuned!
Three days road tripping around Iceland
When I told H I wanted to visit the north of Iceland for my birthday I had no idea how amazing my birthday weekend would turn out. Seriously, I had the best birthday ever! How could I not, my birthday weekend was filled with waterfalls, adorable Icelandic horses and the stunning Icelandic landscape. 26, I think it is going to be my best year yet!
Two hours visiting an Icelandic farm
Back to how amazing my birthday weekend was, starting my birthday horseback riding in the Icelandic countryside, ya, that was a bucket list item for me! If only H had a better experience with his horse, maybe I could convince him that we need to get our own horses so we can go horseback riding all the time! #thiswillneverhappen
Four waterfalls visited in the north of Iceland
I really think I need to start a waterfall wanderlust series, Iceland is just full of so many beautiful ones I have to discover them all!
Five kilometers ran while getting covered in colored dust
Months ago H and I had signed up to run the color run with a bunch of our friends. The days leading up to our run were filled with wind and rain storms, not ideal for a color run. When I went to bed the night before I was so not looking forward to running in the wind and rain while getting colored dust thrown on me, what a mess it would make! Thankfully the morning of the run was absolutely beautiful and sunny, and while I was a colorful mess it was a blast.
Second time visiting the beautiful Glymur
I just love everything about Glymur. The hike back to the waterfall, the waterfall itself, even the drive there, it is all stunning! Add in the beautiful weather we had for our hike and it was Icelandic heaven.
Two days spent celebrating my Viking
I got to go on an awesome road trip for my birthday weekend, H got amazing weather for his birthday weekend. I think we both have had some pretty awesome birthdays this year! H has another celebration waiting for him when he arrives to Oregon next week, I can’t wait to share with you all the surprise gift I got him!
Seventeenth of June, Iceland’s Independence Day, celebrated inside a glacier
H and I showed our patriotic spirit while we walked the tunnels of the newest attraction in Iceland, Into the Glacier. This was one unique experience that we both loved. We sure did explore a lot of glaciers this month!
I told you Iceland spoiled me this month! I am heading back to Oregon for the next month and while I will miss my Icelandic adventures I am so looking forward to seeing my family and having sunshine in my life again!
Question of the Day?
What adventures have you gotten up to lately? Would you explore a glacier?
If someone asked you if you wanted to go inside of a glacier what would your answer be?
Last week H and I got the chance to check out Iceland’s newest attraction, Into the Glacier. A man made ice cave located on Europe’s second largest glacier, Langjökull, Into the Glacier is a once in a lifetime experience!
I will say this is probably one of the most unique experiences I have ever had in my travels. And now I have an awesome travel story to share… “this one time in Iceland and I went inside a glacier”. I just made my self sound a thousand times more interesting than I really am with that statement!
Lets back up to the start of the tour, this was the real highlight for my Viking.
To kick off the tour you are taken in a big 8 wheel jeep across the glacier to the ice tunnel entrance. H was so excited about this part, he has always wanted to ride in one of these jeeps across a glacier. Into the Glacier, making my Viking dreams come true with one jeep ride:)
I tried my best to join in with my Viking on his excitement, and while I maybe wasn’t on his level it was pretty awesome riding across the glacier in one of those massive jeeps.
After about 45 minutes of bouncing across the glacier in the big jeep we arrived to the entrance of the ice cave. Iceland made sure to greet us well with a big gust of wind blowing the snow on the glacier right into our faces. In true Viking fashion we continued to explore around a bit while the others rushed inside away from the wind.
I don’t think I will ever become a fan of the wind no matter how long I live here.
If your like me you may be wondering why in the world there is a man made ice cave inside of a glacier. Fear not, I asked the tour guide first thing, mystery solved.
Into the Glacier came to be after two Icelandic men had a daring dream of what it would be like to take people inside of the glacier. After five years of planning and hard work this dream came to life with Into the Glacier opening this June. I was so excited to get to be one of the first to get the chance to go inside and explore this unique attraction.
My second question for our tour guide, is it going to be slippery inside? Me and ice don’t really go so well together, I am a guarantee to slip and fall on the smallest patch of ice. Thankfully my fears were put aside when I was given my lifesavers, crampons. I must buy a pair for myself for next winter!
Just as I was thinking I wouldn’t be an embarrassing clutz slipping all over the place I managed to spice things up a bit when I grabbed crampons a size too small. When I tried to fit the band across my boots it quickly shot across the room, thankfully missing everyone else in its path and only a few people giggled at me. Way to start off the tour Kaelene geez.
This is me trying to nonchalantly look for my crampon, smooth I know.
With the correct size of crampons successful attached to my boots I was ready to start exploring. H and I spent the next hour walking around the ice tunnel listening to our guide share stories about the glacier, point out interesting formations and we even got to see some blue ice!
Into the Glacier is a large ice tunnel but there are also several different rooms inside, even a chapel! These rooms can be rented out for meetings and events, or a wedding if your into a winter themed celebration. Last weekend there was the first dance party held inside of a glacier, how cool is that?!
So who is ready to join me for a journey inside of the glacier?
The entire ice cave is lit with led lighting. I loved all the different colored lights against the ice, isn’t it pretty?
The chapel room. Could you imagine getting married in here? Sounds chilly and amazing!
Spotted, blue ice! Quick definition of blue ice, “a clean, dense ice of a vivid blue color, formed in glaciers by the recrystallization of snow.” My definition, it is beautiful and amazing and everyone should see it!
H and I of course both had to touch it and then have the tour guide take our picture in front of it, blue ice fans here ha.
The crevasse inside the tunnel were an unplanned finding when they were making the ice cave. I am oh so glad they found them though, the ice formations inside where so beautiful, pictures just can’t do it justice.
Walking through the halls made completely of ice, that was just amazing!
A bonus to H and my’s visit, it was on the 17th of June, Iceland’s Independence Day, so we got little Icelandic flags to celebrate.
Hanging out inside of a glacier, pretty much the coolest way I can think of to celebrate Iceland’s Independence Day!
If your headed to Iceland and want to add a unique experience to your itinerary I definitely recommend checking out Into the Glacier. I mean, how many people can say they have gone inside of a glacier!
For tour bookings and more information head over here.
Question of the Day?
Would you be up for going inside of a glacier?
*I was a guest of Into the Glacier however as always all opinions are my own. This truly is one unique attraction and if you have the chance to visit while in Iceland I definitely recommend it!