View of Reykjavik from the Pearl.

View of Reykjavik from the observation deck at the Pearl restaurant.

Starting on Thanksgiving we’ve had one lovely snowy day after another and had accumulated a couple feet. Sadly it started raining yesterday so things are a bit slushy and slippery at the moment, but there’s still snow around.

Happily things were still looking pretty good when we had our first visitor to Iceland last week! I’ve known LG since 2002 when we started working together in Antarctica. She made it to London last year for a couple weeks and was here for the first time for a few days with plans to return for longer in the summer.

I took a couple days off from work, so we could have some girl time and see the sites. And see them we did! She arrived on Thursday morning and left on Sunday, and we managed to squeeze in a walking tour of downtown Reykjavik, with souvenir and Christmas shopping, a tour of the Golden Circle, lunch at the Pearl featuring their Icelandic Christmas buffet, a little drive along the sculpture trail out to the lighthouse, a Christmas choir concert at the Hallgrimskirkja, a trip to the Blue Lagoon with lunch at their yummy Lava Restaurant, and one famous Icelandic hot dog.

Þingvellir farm and church on the Golden Circle.

Þingvellir farm and church on the Golden Circle.

Gulfoss Waterfall beautiful in the snow!

Gulfoss Waterfall beautiful in the snow!

Christmas buffet at the Pearl.

Christmas buffet at the Pearl.

Christmas Choir Concert at the Hallgrimskirkja.

Slightly blurry Christmas Choir Concert at the Hallgrimskirkja.

Holiday spirit at the hot dog stand!

Holiday spirit at the hot dog stand!

She even managed to survive the jet leg long enough to have a couple home movie nights, including a campy Finnish Christmas-horror movie called Rare Exports about a bunch of miners that uncover the tomb of a monstrous, evil Santa whose helpers then start kidnapping all the local children. Needless to say, we watched it after our son went to bed…didn’t want him traumatized for the rest of his life.

I must add that if you get the chance, I highly recommend a Golden Circle tour in the winter. The geyser doesn’t seem too much different, but the waterfall is amazing with its frozen edges. And the Blue Lagoon is also very steamy when it’s cold outside. We had about 20 feet of visibility, which could’ve been a little disorienting if I hadn’t been there before. But it was a pretty cool experience all around!

Steamy scene at the Blue Lagoon.

Steamy scene at the Blue Lagoon.

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