Cairo, Egypt

~By:  Julie

In 2011 I received the opportunity to travel to Cairo, Egypt, one of my most memorable trips even to this day. I was only given a small window of time to prepare before the trip and I didn’t know when I’d ever return, so I hired a tour guide/ driver to take me and a couple of my co workers at the time to see the things you are supposed to see. Our hotel was directly on the Nile River, with the most incredible views that immediately gave me the warmest feeling. It’s been 6 years and I’m still pinching myself about this opportunity.


A few things that surprised me:
1. The Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza are located right dab in the middle of Cairo. No joke. When we were flying into it, I saw a huge city with bare land in the middle like an abandoned dusty golf course and upon closer look I spotted the pyramids and the Sphinx from above. It still blows my mind.

2. Now, I had a certain expectation of camels when I came to Egypt… I figured I’d see one… but I really didn’t think I’d get to interact with them. They are really the oddest looking creatures and call me crazy but I couldn’t stop looking at their weird butts.

3. I’ve now stood in front of the giant stones that are the base of the pyramids and I really do question how they got there. ET? I’ve crawled underneath the smaller pyramids, touched the hieroglyphics, and was thankful for the shade of any shadow from the torturous sun. I came as close as possible to the Sphinx and she’s entirely much smaller than I anticipated, which doesn’t happen often to me based on my size. But all of it is a wondrous marvel.

4. I learned to not judge a book by its cover in Egypt because no house is finished. They never finish the top floor or roof of the house in order to avoid paying taxes. I was told the dirtiest looking places can really be the most valuable palaces inside. From the street you really get a different perspective on things.

5. After a necessary food stop for street-side doner Kabob, a voice came over the public loudspeaker chanting in a religious tone and the entire city paused in the most eerie way. No one made us feel uncomfortable for not practicing the way they did. We just kept quiet and reserved to the side out of respect until it seemed ok to continue our journey.

The video is long but I’m so grateful I have it after so much time has passed.

I had plans to return to Egypt to visit Alexandria before things became tense… I’ve lost some of the memories. But I still wear my cleopatra cartouche, display my papyrus paintings with pride and can’t wait to explore the rest of this incredibly mysterious country.


Throwback Thursday: Paris

Sitting on a train bound for Bratislava, I reflect on how I got to this moment. My travel companion, who is a new traveler, has conjured up thoughts on how I made it to here, about to cross the border into my 57th country. I remember my very first trip with Anna and Julie to Paris five years ago. Before this trip I was the typical American girl choosing vacation destinations closer to home such as Mexico and cruises to the Caribbean. My job has taken me to Europe, Asia, and South America; however, work trips allow less time to truly explore a culture. This Throwback Thursday is special, because this was the trip that started it all, bonding us as travel companions for life: our first trip to Paris!


Paris was an easy choice as it was a new destination for all of us. The movie Midnight in Paris had just released and this provided all the inspiration we needed. Using AirBnB for the first time, Anna and I found a beautiful apartment with a garden in Montmartre. Exhausted from travel, but never too exhausted for breakfast beers, after checking in we parked ourselves at a café to plan out our next 5 days. After a quick nap we headed toward Sacre Coeur to explore the area of artists and Bohemia. We never managed to leave Montmartre that first night. Finding ourselves at a little café above the Moulin Rouge, we drank beer mixed with Fanta, (which tastes better than it sounds) and made a dinner of pomme frites and creme brulée before heading down the hill. The last thing I remember before heading back to the apartment  is shots being set on fire at the bar and techno music bumping. Back at the apartment, listening to the Backstreet Boys, Anna and I laughingly fought over a stuffed tiger we found in the apartment we named Le Tigre before drifting off to sleep.

The next few days are a blur now, of exploring the city, shopping on the Champs de Elysees, and bar hopping in St Germain and the Latin Quarter. Our boat tour along the Seine was an amazing trip, as we were cleverly armed with water bottles filled with wine. It’s the best way to cover all the must-see sites of Paris in an efficient amount of time. Our nightly dinners were amazing, including fondue, steak frites and more creme brulée. I couldn’t even tell you the name of that fondue place, but the fond memory of bonding over wine and cheese is there forever. Later finding three cute French boys on the street walking past us in Odéon, we ended our night drinking wine with them under the Eiffel Tower. Being one of the greatest museums in the world, Anna wanted to spend at least one day exploring the Louvre; but she dragged along the two least museum people in the world, so after 5 full hours of beautiful art, it was definitely time for happy hour cocktails!

The details of this trip have faded away; I couldn’t tell you a single name of a restaurant or which boat company we used. (It’s Anna who always remembers those things.) What IS important is that this particular trip started something– it was not long before we were planning another adventure together and then another. I recently went back to Paris on a business trip, visited that same area of Montmartre, and found that little bar on the hill and sent pictures back to the girls. They both knew without missing a beat exactly what bar it was. This trip bonded us together as best friends, and as travel buddies for life– this is what started our way too wanderlust. Sitting on a train bound for Bratislava, I reflect on how I got to this moment. My travel companion, who is a new traveler, has conjured up thoughts on how I made it to here, about to cross the border into my 57th country. I remember my very first trip with Anna and Julie to Paris five years ago. Before this trip I was the typical American girl choosing vacation destinations closer to home such as Mexico and cruises to the Caribbean. My job has taken me to Europe, Asia, and South America; however, work trips allow less time to truly explore a culture. This Throwback Thursday is special, because this was the trip that started it all, bonding us as travel companions for life: our first trip to Paris!

~By: Amanda


Goin’ Up, On a Tuesday: Flight at Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore


There are some things when visiting a city that you just do; even if it means spending an insane amount of money on just one cocktail. Everyone knows I have an affinity for rooftop bars, you can just read my other blog posts. So, when in Rome… or Singapore as the case may be, you go to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, you ride that elevator all the way to the top, you go to Flight Bar and Lounge and you order that Singapore Sling. Money will always come back, time and experiences will not!

Donning the one ‘fancy’ dress we had thrown in the backpack for our month long tour of Asia, we choose the food court in the mall attached to the Marina Bay Sands for dinner in order to balance out the budget for what we were about to blow on cocktails. For about 8 USD I had a delicious Indian vegetarian feast, which I couldn’t possibly finish. Anna opted for Chinese duck, which was weird, but she loved it. Anna always likes to order duck anytime it’s on the menu, and when in Asia, I like to stick to vegetarian. After our food court adventure, we moved on to what we came for. The Marina Bay Sands is a beautiful maze. Even sober we managed to get on the wrong elevator twice. We discovered that there are three tower elevators. You want to take the first Tower One elevator from the main lobby entrance, straight up to the 57th floor. The rooftop in itself is a wonder with three restaurants, a bar, a club lounge and the infamous infinity pool whose entrance is more guarded than Fort Knox. You can only enter the pool by use of a room key to prove you are staying at the hotel. Flight Bar and Lounge is about as bougie as it gets. With incredible views of the skyline and comfy seating, it would have been the perfect place to watch the sunset, if we were ever on-time for anything. However, just as beautiful is the backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers lit up against the night sky.

Now let’s get to the most important thing: the cocktails; specifically, the Singapore Sling. Flight’s Singapore Sling menu offers three options, the traditional one and two other variations.  The bartender provided an explanation for the Sky Sling and the Straights Sing, which were created by Flight’s own mixologist. Daring to be different, I elected to take one for the team and order the Sky Sling. Anna kept tradition alive and choose the original cocktail, for proper comparison. While both options were quite delicious, I was happy with my choice of the modern version of the classic. If Gin is not your thing, the bar menu includes a variety of other creative cocktails, an extensive wine list and every high-end liquor available. Food and snacks are also available at Flight, but we couldn’t justify spending an hour’s worth of work on a couple of appetizers. That’s only appropriate for alcohol!

Of course, pictures are absolutely necessary atop the Marina Bay Sands. The bar manager Michael is a master at capturing the best angles and lighting for your photos and he is a really nice guy as well. He spends several minutes with each group of guests to ensure their complete satisfaction and to help them take the best “no filter needed” photos! Before we knew it, those little black checkbooks came all too quickly and in the end we each spent about 30 USD inclusive of tax and tip. 7% GST and 10% service charge are automatically included on all checks. Vowing that it was our vacation splurge, little did we know we would return two evenings later. The rest of our group arrived in Singapore wanting to enjoy the same experience, but that, my friend, is what American Express cards are for.

Way too Wanderlust Recommends:

Flight Bar and Lounge at the Marina Bay Sands: Sands Sky Park, Tower 1, Level 57, Singapore +65 6688 9977 Say hi to Michael O’Shea, Bar Manager, IG: @flightofoshea

~By:  Amanda

Goin’ up, On a Tuesday: Gordon’s Wine Bar, London

The perfect combination, wine and cheese, are nectars of the gods. I can’t even remember how I learned about Gordon’s Wine BAR. Several years ago I enjoyed a glass of wine on the patio with friends. Fast forward to this year, I remembered Gordon’s Wine BAR when meeting up with a friend who shares my passion for refreshing white wines.


Gordon’s Wine Bar is located just off the Embankment stop on the Tube and is the oldest wine bar in London. Located in the basement, you step down into a grotto style establishment, detailed with an original wine cage, antiquated wood and candlelight. The bar is located in the back and there is an amazing variety of whites, reds, roses, ports, bubbles, basically if its made from fermented grapes, you will find it at Gordon’s. Stepping outside the box we grabbed a Hungarian Savingon Blanc, which the bartender highly recommended. Now comes the other important decision of the night: which cheeses are going to make the best dinner ever. You can purchase a plate of 1, 2 or 3 cheeses and you need the three cheese plate, because there are so many amazing options. Our hands-down favorite is the Taleggio from Italy. The cheese portions served are insanely large and accompanied by chunks of delicious bread.


A fair warning though, this bar is always crowded. The indoor seating never seems to be enough, so it is recommended you arrive by 4 pm to guarantee a seat inside. There is additional seating on the patio sidewalk which flanks up next to Victoria Embankment Gardens. Typically one can find a seat outside quite quickly or a spot at one of the standing barrels. Heat lamps hang over head and keep you warm in the chilly months, but after a bottle you wont feel the cold anyways and after two you wont care about anything…. Needless to say, we returned three days later to order the exact same thing.


Way Too Wanderlust Recommends

Gordon’s Wine Bar: 47 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NE +44 207 930 1408

~By: Amanda

Goin’ Up, On a Tuesday: Rock and Reilly’s NYC

Displaying IMG_1292.JPG


If you have read any of my past posts, you already know I think a rooftop or high-rise bar is everything. While typically more pricey than an Irish pub happy hour down the street, there is something to be said about seeing the city from several stories up. From this height, all the crazy and mess melts away and you only see the beauty of the sprawling metropolis. Six stories off the Manhattan streets, Rock and Reilly’s is a great place to meet your friends and enjoy the view before starting your night out in NYC.


Looking to escape the crowd near Penn Station, I stumbled upon this gem hidden in the Renaissance Hotel on West 35th St. With indoor seating and an outdoor patio, this place is jumping around 5-6 pm as the after-work crowd pours out of the their cubicles, seeking coping mechanisms from their jobs. Rock and Reilly’s amazing wine list includes a French Rosé and an Italian Persecco, which are superbly  refreshing for those summer evenings on the patio. With an extensive whiskey list, several beers on tap and creative cocktail list there is something for every type of drinker. While tequila is a poison that I typically enjoy, I suggest avoiding the tequila cocktail on their signature menu, because it tastes like a hospital smells. I wish I could remember the name, but some things you want to forget, like bad sex.

Lets talk about food, because that is truly the way to everyone’s heart! Well, after alcohol. A pivotal reason why I return here so frequently is for the Wee Burgers; maybe order two plates, because they are topped with bacon and cheese. The beef used on these sliders is sensational. I actually personally know the individual who sells the beef to the chef at Rock and Reilly’s and this man knows his meat. Other menu favs include Blistered Shishito Peppers (which taste just like Spain), and Irish Nachos.

Soooo, sneak out of work early and join me for a cocktail…..and Wee Burgers!

Way Too Wanderlust Recommends
Rock and Reilly’s:  218 West 35th Street New York, NY 10001 +1 646 850 2850
By: Amanda

Iceland: The Final Stretch

Day 7: Seydisfjoudur to Hofn

After clearing the mountain pass, we stopped in the little town of Egilsstadir, pretty much because they have a Vinbudin. After stocking up, we noticed our left tire was flat. After consulting Avis, it was off to the tire shop. Back on the road and a large bill for Avis, for 2 tires we attempted to make up time driving to Hofn. There is a short cut on the way, highway 939, which is a mostly gravel and mountainous road which splits off the ring road, you still save over an hour taking this extreme detour, but watch out for crazy idiot sheep!


‘Lambhus Cottages’ located just past Hofn on a farm, overlooks the Vatnajokull glacier, the largest in Iceland. After nature time and petting the horses, we drove to dinner at a recommended restaurant on a nearby farm. The Hofn area is known for its langoustine or lobster and Jon Riki Restaurant at Holmur Guesthouse has mastered the art of lobster. After an appetizer of lobster soup, it was onto the main course of lobster pizza, because there is no such thing as too much lobster. This restaurant is also a brewery, which just recently became operational. The restaurant has no real address, but can be found thru their GPS coordinates, basically its on the Ring Road, in front of the big glacier.

Displaying Image-1.jpg


Day 8: Hofn to Vik

After an early wake up in Hofn, because some weirdos like alarms on vacation, we headed to another neighboring farm for the breakfast buffet. For approximately $15, the buffet at Brunholl is well worth the price, plus their bread tastes like Christmas. Score Iceland: 1, the rest of Europe: 0 for properly cooking bacon, as an American I find this very important.

After breakfast we headed towards Vik, one of our shortest drives on our route. On the way we stopped at Jokulsarlon for the glacier lagoon experience. Showing up without a reservation, we waited an hour for a ticket time to accommodate five people. Thankfully the lagoon cafe sold hot chocolate mixed with rum. The Amphibian Boat tour costs 5,000 Kr or $45 for a 45 minute boat tour of the glacier lagoon. The lagoon was created by the receding Breidmerkurjokull (where do these words come from) glacier and is dotted with hundreds of beautiful white and blue icebergs, which have broken off due to the warming climate. Before leaving the boat, you have the opportunity to sample 1,000 year old ice. Slightly overpriced, I still recommend this tour because how often does one get to play in a glacier lagoon.

Soon, we arrived in Vik and checked into ‘North Star Apartments’, a spacious 2 bedroom apartment. Immediately we set off for the beach with bottles of champagne in our backpack. In Vik you will find one of the few black sand volcanic beaches in the world. The atmosphere on this beach is incredibly calming and I found myself happy sitting alone with my thoughts, music and of course champagne. After dipping our feet into the icy water we set off to explore Vik, which took a whopping 10 minutes.

Our only requirement for dinner was a menu which included fermented shark, therefore we selected Strondin, for the last supper. With only 4 full service restaurants in Vik understand that you might wait for a table, which just means time for a patio beers. The fermented shark appetizer was definitely a palate adventure and is served with a shot of Brennivin, a traditional Icelandic liquor. Snap chat captured our experience and the taste can only be described as fish dipped in chemicals, but when in Rome… Our entrees proved to be more fulfilling and we headed home early, as there is absolutely zero nightlife in Vik.

Displaying Image-1.jpg

Day 9: Vik to Selfoss

Waking up I realized with a heavy heart, that this was my last real day in Iceland. For our morning exercise we hiked the majestic mountain behind our apartment. Half way up we realized there were thousands of Puffins nesting in the rock face which jutted out over the ocean. Careful not to disturb the bird’s environment, we were able to get with in 5 feet a family of puffins. We retreated back down the mountain before I kidnapped one as a new pet.

Unfortunately due to work constraints I would travel back to Reykjavik alone and without seeing the Golden Circle. Iceland has a wonderful bus system connecting each city back to Reykjavik. I hopped on the public bus in Selfoss for approx $9. I booked a bunk at Hlemmur Square hostel, while nice enough, this was by far the most boring hostel I have ever stayed in. Most people kept to themselves, even in the common rooms and happy hour. After a quick and lonely dinner at the Laundromat Cafe, I crashed early for an oh dark thirty departure to the airport.


Day 10: Fly home little bird

The most efficient way between Reykjavik city center and Keflavik airport is the Flybus. This express bus can be booked online at and will pick you up at most city center hotels and hostels for 3000 isk or $25. Before boarding my 10:30 flight, I quickly scarfed down a breakfast of pizza and beer, because I make adult decisions.

If you take anything away from this trip know Iceland is not cheap, however one of the most beautiful countries I have visited to date. My baller on a budget style was blown out of the water, but whale watching and glacier lagoons are once in a lifetime opportunities, definitely worth the dip into the savings account. My do or die list includes

  1. Book your Blue Lagoon, whale watching and other popular attractions asap, especially in the summer months, we missed out on Westman (Vestmannaeyjar) Island ferry by waiting.
  2. Duty free is your best friend, after that behold the Vinbudin
  3. Use Bonus and picnic/cook as much as possible
  4. Happy hour is also your best friend….life lessons
  5. Book accommodations early, if traveling in a bigger group, 5 people was difficult to book for, while maintaining a budget. Solo travelers or doubles can get away with waiting, but some places/towns offer very limited price conscientious options, especially in summer.
  6. If you are a camper, bring a tent and go for it
  7. See everything you can on this beautiful island
  8. Boys will do laundry, if the machine resembles a video game

Displaying Image-1.jpg

~By: Amanda

Read parts one and two of our Icelandic three part Saga: Reykjavik and The Ring Road

Way Too Wanderlust

Lambhus Cottages: Lambleiksstadir, 781 Hofn Iceland +354 662 1029

Jon Riki Restaurant and Brewery: GPS location N64 16.825 W15 29.016 +354 478 2063

Brunholl: Myrar, 781Hornafjordur Iceland +354 478 1029

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon: Reynivollum 3, 781 Hornafjordur Iceland +354 478 2222

North Star Apartments: Bakkabraut 12, Vik 870 Iceland +354 4871212 booked via

Strondin: Austurvegi 18, 870 Vik Iceland +354 487 1230

Hlemmur Square Hostel: Laugavegur 105, Reykjavik Iceland +354 415 1600 booked via


Iceland: Part 2 of 3

~By:  Amanda

Day 3: Reykjavik to Stykkisholmur

After a late night of fun in Reykjavik we finally started our adventure on the Ring Road. After a quick stop at Domino’s Pizza for a hangover breakfie, because we are still American, we set off with google maps as our guide. Driving north, the Ring Road has two toll stops, after the insanely long underwater tunnels, which feels like driving into the fiery depths of earth.

After 3 hours and a couple minor water falls, we entered the town of Stykkisholmur. With a population of 1,195, Stykkisholmur is a tiny fishing village on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Our afternoon activity was to climb Sugandisey, a rock island, connected by causeway to the main peninsula. The hike to the top of Sugandisey is intermediate and the views from the top are defiantly worth the effort.

After lounging in the grass, enjoying the last bit of sun, we headed back down the rocky trail to Sjavarpakkhusid restaurant for our reward beer. Here, we learned that Justin Bieber songs have been actually translated into Icelandic, why…… The wooden deck facing the fjord was the perfect place to settle in with our new favorite, Einstok beers. Afterwards we headed to Skurinn for dinner, the most budget conscientious restaurant in town. After our dinner, of you guessed it fish, we devoured their featured desserts, Nutella muffins and apple pie.

To finish off our day we decided to check out the Stykkisholmur pool, because if somewhere has a water slide, you go! The Stykkisholmur pool has a large indoor/outdoor pool area with three geothermal hot tubs at various temperature levels. The entrance fee was approx $8 and was well worth the unlimited trips down the water slide.

Day 4: Stykkisholmur to Akureyri

After a quick and delicious breakfast at Nesbraud ehf, a cute cafe and bakery, we said goodbye to Stykkisholmur. Next stop was Helgafell, which is a noted religious hill outside of town and is a must for everyone’s itinerary. According to Icelandic legend, one can make three wishes while climbing the hill, without speaking (a monotonous task for me) or looking back. In all seriousness though, 2 of my 3 wishes have come true so far…


Google maps suggested two options for this route. We choose the ‘short route’ traveling across highway 54, which was a ridiculous gravel road, however a trade-off for amazing scenery. Back on the Ring road, just past Laugarbakki we stopped lunch at Kolugljufur waterfall, to have a picnic lunch, complete with champagne.

The city of Akureyri is known as the northern capital, with our whale watching adventure planned we spent 2 nights here. “Akureyri FP apartments” has the best possible location in the city. The amenities in the apartment were endless including 2 balconies and blue tooth washing machine, which can be operated from your phone. For the first time in history, I saw boys excited about laundry. After an hour of playing with a washing machine, we headed down to R5 Beer lounge for 5 euro happy hour drafts. By suggestion from the bartender we decided on Akureyri Fish and Chips for dinner. Best fish and chips ever and coating every bite with jalapeno-garlic dipping sauce is absolutely necessary.

Day 5: Whale watching in Husavik

If you eat one meal in Akureyri make it breakfast at Cafe Berlin. After the most difficult decision of life thus far, I selected the egg, bacon and gouda on toast. After breakfast we set out towards Husavik for our pre-booked whale watching tour with North Sailing. On a stroke of luck the company contacted me the previous night and upgraded our tour to the 3.5 hour, Whale Watching and Puffin Tour. Our boat was a traditional Icelandic sailing ship and North Sailing, operates as certified carbon neutral. With the exception of the ugly ocean suits we were required to wear, provided by the company, the day was absolutely amazing. As they say, “life isn’t perfect but your outfit should be.” After skirting the island where we found thousands of puffins making their nests, we followed a pair of humpback whales as they dove and surfaced from the sea. Our tour concluded with hot chocolates with rum and pastries on our way back to Husavik.

Back in Akureyri we decided to check out Cafe Amour for another happy hour, notice a pattern here? Our dinner restaurant Bryggjan was suggested by our wonderful guide from the whale tour. The food was well worth the 30 minute wait. Since calories don’t exist on vacay, we hit the local favorite ice cream shop Brynja for dessert. Brynja serves soft serve ice cream with a variety delicious dips and toppings. #fatdays


Day 6: Akureyri to Seydisfjourder

With a heavily planned day, we set out early with our eye on the Myvatn Nature Baths. Similar to the Blue Lagoon, however less touristy, Myvatn is a smaller scaled geothermal heated spring. This geothermic pool is more scenic and quaint than its popular neighbor to the south, with an average temperature of 95-105 degrees (36-40C).The locker rooms are clean and provide the same amenities as the Blue Lagoon, including lockers and hair dryers. Entrance was 4,000 or $35 USD and obviously we opted to pre-pay for two beers. To obtain your beverages, one must flag down a nature bath employee and they will deliver your order poolside… fancy!

Back on the road, we steered towards what is arguably the best waterfall in Iceland, Dettifoss. Approaching the waterfall is the equivalent of being inside a monsoon, from the intense back-spray. Initially we planned for a nice picnic lunch next to the waterfall… try again! You can view Dettifoss, from the east or west of the falls and both with large parking areas. As you approach the waterfall you can hear the roar as thousands of gallons of water topple over the rocks to the 144 ft (44 meters) drop. The sheer force of the water proved to be too much for my little 5’3” body and I quickly retreated back to the car after only a few minutes with this amazing giant.


Soaked and cold we made our way towards Seydisfjoudur, stopping at the Bonus to pick up provisions for dinner. The drive over the mountain pass into this small and cute town situated on a fjord is difficult and snow still dotted the hill top, even in mid-August. Our cabin at ‘Langahlid Seydisfirdi’ was my favorite accommodation in Iceland. Approximately 2 minutes after our arrival we grabbed a bottle of red wine and ran for the hot tub. We all spent the next 2 hours chilling in the bubbles, listening to my favorite house playlist, taking in the view of the fjord.

Soon after arrival, we realized a serious lapse in judgment, the alcohol was almost gone. With the Vinbudin being closed on Sunday (DO NOT make the same mistake we did) we quickly weighed our options. Intel provided by locals suggested that sometimes local bars and restaurants will sell you full bottles of alcohol, however at a serious mark-up. The two girls were voted as best representatives to take on the mission, so we jumped in the car and headed back into town. We found a bar and settled down with two beers before propositioning the friendly bartender. After a call to the owner we were sold a bottle of vodka for about $75, the bartender threw in some mixers as a good gesture. We closed out the night with series of card games, drinking the most expensive bottle I have ever purchased outside a NYC club.

After a night of games and fun (never leave the house with out Uno and Phase 10) we settled off to sleep in our precious little cabin. The next morning we hiked thru the fields to the waterfall behind the cabin before heading down the road.

Read part one: Reykjavik  and the conclusion: The home stretch

Way Too Wanderlust Recommends

Our Home Apartments: Laufasvegur 21-43, Stykkisholmur 340 Iceland +354 899 1797 booked via

Sjavarpakkhusio: Seabraut 2, 340 Stykkisholmur Iceland +354 438 1800

Skurinn: Thvervegur 2, Stykkisholmur 340 Iceland +354 544 4004 no website found

Stykkisholmur Pool: Borgarbraut 4, Stykkisholmur Iceland +354 433 8150 no website found

Akureyri FP Apartments: Radhustorg 3, 600 Akureyri Iceland +354 863 0042 booked via

Nesbraud ehf: Nesvegur 1, 340 Stykkisholmur Iceland +354 438 1830 no website found

R5 Beer Lounge: Radhustorg 5, 600 Akureyri Iceland +354 462 1400

Akureyri Fish and Chips: 12 Skipagata, 600 Akureyri Iceland +354 414 6050

Cafe Berlin: Skipagata 4, 600 Akureyri Iceland +354 661 0661 webpage thru Facebook

North Sailing Tours: Hafnarstett, Husavik Iceland +354 464 7272

Cafe Amour: Radhustorg 9, 600 Akureyri Iceland +354 461 3030 webpage thru Facebook

Bryggjan Restaurant: Strandgata 49, 600 Akureyri Iceland +354 440 6600

Brynja: Adalstraeti 3, Akureyri Iceland +354 462 4478 no website found

Myvtan Nature Baths: Jardbadsholar, 660 Myvtan Iceland +354 464 4411

Langahlid Seydisfirdi: Langahlid, 710 Seydisfjourder Iceland +354 8971524 booked via

Iceland: A three part saga

Part  One:  Reykjavik

The perfect blend of the great outdoors and gracious hospitality; Iceland is an adventure travelers dream. While quite pricey for most budgets, there are still ways to have a cost effective trip to Iceland. Budget accommodations are not typical for Iceland, we choose a more middle ground pricing. Opting for apartments and guesthouses, with five travelers, most hotels would blow our budget out of the water. There are several ways to save money when it comes to dining and drinks and direct those extra dollars towards adventures and must see sites!


Day 1: Arrival in Reykjavik

After arriving three hours late from New York, we hurried thru immigration and customs as we were rapidly consuming our cushioned time allotted between landing and our Blue Lagoon reservation. We reserved our rental car thru Avis and after the worlds longest line, we were informed our wait would still be an additional 20 more minutes.

Arriving an hour late, the Blue Lagoon luckily accommodated our tardiness. In advance, we booked the Premium Package online, which included a use of towel, robe and slippers, a complimentary beverage and free sparkling wine with lunch at Lava Restaurant. On previous trips I had always selected the Comfort package, which is by far the best value. Upon arrival you receive a wrist band, which is utilized for locker access and for payment of refreshments and services while inside the lagoon. It is essential during the high season, summer months that you book your Blue Lagoon reservation time in advance. You can also utilize several tour companies including Iceland Tours and Grey Line which will arrange packages with transportation.





50 Euro

65 Euro

85 Euro

195 Euro

  • Entrance
  • Silica Mud Mask
  • Entrance
  • Silica Mud Mask
  • Use of Towel
  • One Complimentary Beverage
  • Algae Mask
  • Entrance
  • Silica Mud Mask
  • Use of Towel
  • One Complimentary Beverage
  • Algae Mask
  • Use of Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Reserved Table at Lava
  • Sparkling wine at Lava
  • Entrance
  • Silica Mud Mask
  • Use of Towel
  • One Complimentary Beverage
  • Algae Mask
  • Use of Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Reserved Table at Lava
  • Sparking Wine at Lava
  • Spa Journey Product Set
  • Entrance to the Exclusive Lounge

*This information was obtained from the official Blue Lagoon website

The Blue Lagoon is an amazing geothermal lagoon, heated by the earths energy and is considered one of the 25 Wonders of the World. Iceland sits on a hot spot between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. There are several natural lagoons and heated pools throughout the island, which are created by this unique position on the planet, the Blue Lagoon being the largest and most popular, right outside of the capital city of Reykjavik.


The changing areas are clean and well accommodated, providing a comfortable space for slipping into your swim attire. Hair dryers and other amenities are supplied for efficient exit. Before entering the lagoon, it’s highly suggested to heavily condition your hair as the lagoon water can make hair very dry and sustainable to breakage. Typically, I attempt to keep my hair completely out of the water, a more difficult challenge after a few beers.


Swimming in the Blue Lagoon can be equated to being inside a giant bathtub, temperatures range from 99F (37C) to 102F (39C).The water is said to have healing properties and a complimentary mud mask is provided, which is created from the Lagoon’s silica. Of course the Blue Lagoon has a bar or I wouldn’t go there. With the comfort package, or above, one drink is included, choose the sparkling wine, its the biggest bang for your buck. Next, switch to Gull beer for drink 2 thru ???


Our Premium Package included a reservation and complimentary glass of sparking wine at Lava Restaurant. If you are looking for a fancy day, go for it. Our group mostly opted for a small appetizers, for a late lunch. My choice was the Langoustine Soup or Lobster Bisque, which I assume is on the buffet in heaven. The meal was accompanied with this delicious complimentary bread and salt butter. After lunch we paraded back into the lagoon for another hour of swimming and of course more Gull, before heading into Reykjavik.

After a 45 minute drive, we arrived in Reykjavik. For five people we booked a centrally located 2 bedroom apartment, “Thomsen Apartments”. Check in process was simple and efficient; the owner provides you with a code to retrieve your keys located in the lock box outside the apartment.

After settling in, we ventured to find a supermarket for much needed supplies. Near by we found a local grocery charging exuberant prices, $5 for a lime, never mind those duty free vodka tonics need no garnish. We gathered the most necessary items, including “Cool American” flavored Doritos and still chipped a bill equivalent to $43. Luckily thru a google search, we learned many grocery shopping lessons, this website is everything . Based on our budget, we determined that Bonus was our go-to supermarket for our journey. Several Bonus stores dot the ring road, selling basic groceries at tolerable costs, I still use tolerable loosely here. Also, package alcohol is only sold thru the State store outlets, called Vinbudin. These stores also found in every town, STOCK UP, most Vinbudin operate limited hours. Best advice stop at duty free and bring in the maximum allowance.

After a pre-dinner cocktail, we set out to wander the picturesque town of Reykjavik, before deciding upon the Laundromat Cafe for dinner. This restaurant located in the central square of Reykjavik has an amazing variety and was relatively cost efficient for dinner. The restaurant is decorated in a quirky style and also doubles as a laundromat. If available choose the high-top tables nestled on either side of the entrance. For the nosy, there is a drawer fixed on the table which contains notes and cards from travelers past, an intriguing activity while waiting for dinner. My menu favorites include the fish and chips, the steak sandwich or the tapas platter. We ended our night here with another fresh cold Gull beer, exhausted from travel.


Day 2: Reykjavik Part Deux

Everything is brighter after a good night sleep, especially on the best couch bed ever. For lunch we settled into the cozy and rustic Islenski Barrin restaurant and ordered beers produced by the Einstok Brewing Company. The Icelandic lamb stew was hearty and sensational, other favorites included salmon and lobster “missing dogs” with delicious, crispy, waffle fries. Our friend ordered for the table, the Hardfiskur or dried fish chips. Hardfiskur makes the list if must try Icelandic delicacies, however I don’t understand the appeal.



After lunch we headed to the Hallgrimskirkja Lutheran church, for our attempt at being cultural. The cost is 7 Euro or 8 USD per person, to ride the bell tower elevator. The aerial view of Reykjavik is breathtaking, spanning 360 degrees. This church is also a Pokemon Go gym, in case you cared. After our church visit it was only necessary to browse the Icelandic Phallological Museum, that’s right, the Penis Museum. It’s interesting to say the least, it proved to be an entertaining 30 minutes.

Happy hour is an important thing to consider in Iceland and well, life in general….beer typically costing $8-10, wine is $11-14, cocktails….elevating from there. Many places run a spectacular happy hour, we choose Bar Anasas, which is fabulously decorated as a beach tiki bar. Bar Ananas is also a tapas bar, serving Icelandic inspired tapas in mason jars. We ended the night at Cafe Rosenberg listening to amazing live music.


Check out parts 2 and 3 of my  Iceland Saga:

~By: Amanda

Way too Wanderlust Recommends

The Blue Lagoon: 240 Grindavik, Iceland +354 420 8800

Thomsen Apartments: Reykjavik City Center, Iceland +354 519 2626 booked via

The Laundromat Cafe: Austurstraeti 9, 101 Reykjavik Iceland +354 587 7555

Islenski Barinn: 1A Ingolfsstraeti, 101 Reykjavik Iceland +354 517 6767

Hallgrimskirkja Lutheran Church: Hallgrimstorg 101, 101 Reykjavik Iceland +354 510 1000

Iceland Phallological Museum: Laugavegur 116, 105 Reykjavik Iceland +354 561 6663

Bar Ananas: Klapparstigur 38, Reykjavik 101, Iceland +354 551 5444 no website available

Cafe Rosenberg: Klapparstigur 25-27, 101 Reykjavik Iceland +354 551 2442

Throw back Thursday: Canal Tour, London

Looking for something different in London and optimizing on our love for boats, Anna and I found The London Waterbus Co, operating a canal tour of London. With pick up points in Little Venice, the London Zoo and Camden Town, the 50 minute long tour provided a unique prospective on the history of London for 8£ one-way or 12.50£ return. Tickets are purchased on-board and require no reservation. Times of operation change seasonally and can be found on the company’s website.

We always need “provisions,” so we filled a couple of water bottles with sparkling wine for our own trip enhancement. The covered boats are historical narrow boats, which are designed for the shallow depth of the canals. Commentary discussing the history of the canals and locks of London was provided by our very witty tour guide.

We selected to start from Little Venice and disembark in Camden Town for an opportunity to explore the quirky northwest London borough.
Way too Wanderlust Recommends

The London Waterbus Co: 32 Camden Lock Place, London NW1 8AL +44 020 7482 2550

~By:  Amanda


Throw back Thursday: Electric Bike Tour, Barcelona 

Art museum visits typically end with me in some sort of trouble. Therefore, when choosing a cultural activity, it’s best to steer toward one without breakable objects. Having traveled to Barcelona several times, we wanted to see the city from a different perspective. After consulting my best friend Google, we found the Barcelona Electronic Bike Tour with Tapas and Drinks. Yes! They officially stole my heart with ‘tapas and drinks.’ With a very reasonable 4 pm start time, this was definitely the tour for us! We booked the 3 hour tour, which included the bike, the helmet, a guide, bottled water and insurance for about $50 a person via

The meeting point was Avendia de la Cathedral, which has a noteworthy religious sculpture, and our tour began in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona. Luckily our group that day was very small and included only a nice Scottish couple, which allowed for more time to become better acquainted with the bike operation. Before the tour commenced the guide gave us a small briefing and instructions, as it was our first experience on electric bikes. Electronic bikes operate similar to normal bikes, except that the small motor gives you an additional push as you pedal, increasing your speed. Our smaller group also allowed for a more interpersonal experience with our wonderful guide, who spoke English, Spanish and Italian! Guides fluent in German are also available.
The tour continues through the Gothic Quarter (El Gotica) and El Born, stopping next at the Parc de la Ciutadella. Later we headed down towards the Mediterranean sea to Port Olypmic, and then La Barceloneta before finishing off at the W Hotel. The extra push from the E Bike allowed us to cover much of the city in just a couple hours, before heading back for tapas and wine.
The tour included three glasses of wine– a white, a red, and my favorite: sparkling  Spanish Cava! The pours were quite generous and the tapas were delicious and filling. It was enough to for two small girls to call dinner. The local restaurant, Els 4 gats was finished in typical beautiful Catalan decor and operated in Barcelona since 1897.
For an interesting and active way to see the city of Barcelona, this tour is an amazing addition to your vacation.
Way too Wanderlust 

~By: Amanda