It's time for Iceland part deux! Our first trip to Iceland was two years ago during the depths of winter. We've learned a lot from our first visit and decided to return in summer for a completely different perspective on the country. The entire country morphed from a winter wonderland of frozen glaciers and snowcapped volcanoes to a much more accessible land of running streams, wildflowers, and midnight sun.
On this trip, we experienced a new region of the country - Northern Iceland. It's a place that gives you a sense of wonder, mystery, and fear all at once. We embarked on a full day-trip adventure with Air Iceland Connect to see the volcanic landscapes and powerful waterfalls in Iceland's northern region.
We fly from Reykjavik to Akureyri, a 45-minute flight. Aboard the short flight, we were treated to the aerial views of Iceland, which give you a sense of the magnitude and vastness of the landscape. We also wrote in the onboard journals #mynorthadventure, which felt like signing an adventure guestbook. The domestic flight is via propeller plane and we took the morning flight at 7am with a return at 6pm.
We take a full day 10 hour guided tour that includes transportation.
Our first stop is the stunning waterfall of GoÃ°afoss a semi-circle waterfall with electric blue water from the glacier.
We travel to Lake MyvatnÂ´s unique nature and pseudo-craters, followed by the Dimmuborgir lava labyrinth which was created over 2,300 years ago.
Dimmuborgir is filled with archways, peaks, and caves all carved by mother nature. The dramatic structures are some of the most unique in the world.
Next, we reach a desolate landscape that looks like mars. Red sand covers the ground with not a spec of vegetation in sight. The air smells of sulfur gas (rotten eggs). As we walk across the landscape we notice bubbling mud pools and steaming fumaroles hissing and brewing from below the earth's surface. This bubbling area is known as Hverarond (aka Hverir), a geothermal area that is a sight to be seen and explored.
Now it's time for one of the main highlights, which we hear before we can see. The sound of plummeting water fills the atmosphere as we trek across a rugged wet terrain of boulders and basalt columns.
âFinally, we look below and realize we are on a cliff. Below us is Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. You might recognize it from the science fiction movie Prometheus.
Every 1 second, 500 cubic meters (of over 130K gallons) of water plummets to the edge. The river that flows to the waterfall's edge rushes and swirls forward. We were left breathless.
Next, we visit the volcanic wonderlands of Vatnajokull National Park, Jokulsargljufur canyon, Hljodaklettar (Echo cliffs), Asbyrgi a horse-shoe-shaped cliff formation.
âWe finish our tour in the quaint Husavik fishing town. Lastly, we head to Akureyri to fly back to Reykjavik! ââ
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the most exciting cities to visit in Europe. The city was spared much of the destruction of 20th Century Europe, leaving the major historic Gothic and Baroque buildings intact. Many of Europe's finest cities such as Dresden were rebuilt, but here in Prague, you can see magnificent churches and impressive monuments in their original state.
We arrived via train from Berlin, a 3 hour ride (that turned out to be much longer). Luckily the Prague train station is centrally located in the historic town center, so we were able to walk to our hotel and all the destinations listed below. We spent a weekend in the city and discovered the top 5 beautiful sights to visit.
1. Old Town Square:
The square is the center of the historic Praque and features many notable architectural sights, including the Tyn church (below) dating back to the 14th Century. Additionally, you will find the world-famous Astronomical Clock, one of the world's oldest clocks. It is currently under construction to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia (set to reopen at the end of October 2018).
2. Prague Castle - The largest castle complex in the world (at 70,000 square meters) is perched on a hilltop with panoramic views of the city. Be sure to take the "Free Walking Tour" to learn the history of this magnificent complex. If you arrive at noon, you will also be able the see the ceremonial changing of the guards.
Free Walking Tour:
One of the highlights of the Prague Castle is the St. Vitus Cathedral, a stunning Gothic Cathedral with a gold mosaic facade.
3. Charles Bridge - One of the oldest bridges in Europe built in 1357, this historic bridge is excellent for people watching and views of the city.
4. Lesser Tower - The tower is adjacent to the Charles Bridge and offers a bird's eye view of the city and the Prague Castle.
5. Prague Beer Tour -
Last, but certainly not least is the Prague Beer Tour. Prague prides itself on being one of the top beer destinations in the world. In fact, the world's first golden beer "Pilsener" was invented in a town called Pilsen in Czech Republic. There are many other varieties of beers found here in Prague and the best way to learn about the culture and tradition of this drink, as well as meet other locals and tourists is through the pub crawl.
"Nazdravi" - or Cheers!
We barely scratched the surface of things to do in Prague, but if you are here for a short time - be sure to check out these sights.
What are your favorite things to see in Prague?
I was not prepared for how dramatically beautiful Dresden is to visit. Dresden is considered the cultural jewel of Germany's Saxony region. The city center is a wonder world of baroque architecture, thought provoking museums, and scenic river landscapes. Best of all, it is easy to get to from Berlin and offers some of the most unique accommodations we have ever encountered.
Dresden Travel vlog:
Getting There from Berlin:
Dresden is about two and a half hours from Berlin - which makes it the perfect weekend trip. We arrived via Flixbus, which is a comfortable and affordable bus service.
Dresden has one of the most memorable hostels - the Lollis Homestay. The hostel has vintage DDR "ostalgie" decor, and our room even which featured a East Berlin TRABI station wagon-turned bed. The headlights served as the lighting for the room!
► ►Lollis Homestay: https://www.lollishome.de/en/
We were quite excited to stay in this awesome hostel:
Getting Around The City:
Once we arrived in the city, many of the attractions were either walkable or accessible via the city's excellent tram service.
We took the hop on hop off bus to explore the city's highlights.
The city center is alive with baroque architecture, including the iconic landmark Frauenkirche. This church was originally built in the 18th century and stood in ruins for decades following the war until it was rebuilt to its historic glory.
Pfunds Molkerei :
This shop is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs, including porcelain, soap, cheese, and chocolate. The interior of this shop has floor to ceiling embellishments and was featured as a filming location for the Grand Budapest Hotel.
Cruising the Elbe -
Dresden is situated on the Elbe, and a visit is not complete without a river cruise. The cruise takes you past some of the most stunning bridges, palaces, parks, and vineyards.
A visit to Dresden is not complete without learning the history. We visit the Military Museum, which has thought provoking exhibits on the events that shaped the city.
This 18th century baroque palace is a must see in Dresden. It was bombed during the war and was stunningly rebuilt to its pre-war state. The complex includes picturesque museums, fountains, and gardens.
We truly enjoyed our stay in Dresden. It was not only beautiful, but cultural and historic. What are your top places to see in Dresden? Comment below!
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.