Zen’s Iceland 2018 Report

Iceland Summer 2018

I will never forget Iceland. It is officially my second favorite place of all time (sorry but Japan is still always first). Aside from the adorable puffins on Drangey Island, I want to go back and here are a few reasons why:

Deplar Farm

The entire place felt like a second home but with fun outdoor activities, which are usually not my forte. I was able to enjoy the refreshing weather, not hot but also not too cold, in an extreme, luxury lodge while experiencing hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and so much more. I am not usually a hiker, believe me that it’s the bane of my existence, but I actually felt like it wasn’t a burden to climb up the side of an island. If I can do it while I can barely breathe due to sickness, then basically anyone can. A few of my favorite activities were:

    • Isopod Floatation Tanks, sensory deprivation tanks where you float in water doused with salt. I truly believe that it is better than a traditional massage since all the pressure it taken off your body. I highly recommend it.
    • Skeet Shooting, a shooting sport in which a clay target is thrown from a trap. I’m not a gun person, however, shooting a rifle in the middle of a beautiful valley with no one around is an experience like no other.
    • Drangey Island, an island in the Skagafjörður fjord in northern Iceland. I have previously mentioned Drangey Island but seeing the cute puffins is not the only reason why the experience is worth it. After the hike, a little spread is set out on the docks where you can relax or take a dip in the Artic Ocean. I sat that Artic experience out and instead spent my time snacking on dried fish, meat, cheese, and crackers.

Enjoy watching my compilation of video and photos taken during our stay at luxury, Deplar Farm!

Nests at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

The relaxing and warm pools of water made my skin undeniably soft. It felt like a much fancier version of a private pool with a lot more health benefits. The “ritual” after the lagoon is full of algae and helpful minerals that you use on your skin. As long as you don’t get the algae in your hair, which I learned the hard way, it’s very therapeutic. The retreat features a really nice place to relax which they called nests. I want these things in my house now. It was by far the best nap I’ve ever had. The jet lag mixed with a warm sunny spot where you’re nestled AND the view of the Blue Lagoon was paradise.

The whole group on a glacier hike in Iceland

Glacier Hike

While we were in Iceland, we had a chance to hike up a glacier and again, I hate hiking, but it felt less like a hike and more like a scenic route walk. Every time we moved ten feet I found myself intrigued by the different colors and shapes I got to see. We even got to drink from one of the streams on top of the glacier. It tasted so fresh and clean. We all were able to try our hands at doing a “Viking Push-Up.” Our guide put a pickaxe across a stream of glacier run off and we were supposed to do a push up in order to drink from the stream. Personally, my arm strength was not up to par so I went down to drink and then rolled to the side in order to get out. Being there also brought the melting glacier and global warming up close and personal. The rapid decay that you can see every step you take is insane.

Private island proprietor, Hakoń, preparing fresh caught salmon

Private Island Excursion

We took a small boat to have lunch with a man, named Hakoń, who owns is own private island. While we were there we got to see him cut up a freshly caught salmon. Right then and there we were able to dip it in soy sauce or a lemon and salt combo that cooked the salmon. I could’ve eaten the whole salmon by myself with the bottle of soy sauce. I’m still chasing that experience to this day. Later he cooked up another salmon and we had a great meal along with a homemade dessert of rhubarb and cream. Honestly, it was a weird combo, but it was really tasty. The selling point to me was that I found my best friend, who was an Icelandic dog on the island. His name was Balder (the Norse god of light, joy, purity, and summer sun). The dog belonged to the island owner’s sister and he himself had a dog named Skuggi which means shadow in Icelandic. Both of these dogs were insanely beautiful and I loved them. I would go back for the raw fish and the dog alone.

Randy and Zen Lynch on a waterfall hike in Iceland

Bonus Point (The Water)

The water in Iceland is enough to make me want to move there. I drank from the tap and felt like it was better than bottled water from Chicago. Their water bottles also have the bottle molded to look like a glacier which I thought was just clever in general. Anyone who says all water is the same clearly doesn’t drink water enough. Icelandic water puts all other water to shame.

My new best friend, Balder

In Conclusion

Overall, I want to go back to Iceland. It was such a great place with beautiful scenery and incredibly nice people. I’m pushing my parents to go back as soon as possible.