Gabriella and Marshall St. Amant with Bella and Marshall in Skaftarhreppur

Travel journal: Iceland

Seen through the eyes of: Gabriella St. Amant

Who went: My husband, Marshall, and I, along with our daughter Bella and son Marshall

We went because: It was on our bucket lists

Hotel recommendations: We did a driving tour through the southern part of the island. We flew in to Reykjavik and picked up a car and were on our way. Most hotels there are not like European or American hotels. They are more like staying in someone’s guesthouse (but all extremely architecturally modern!).

Where to eat: We stuck to local restaurants and stopped where we saw something that looked good.

Favorite dish on the menu: You don’t go to Iceland for the food, unless you are dying for puffin!

Waterfalls in Rangárping eyestra

Item of clothing you shouldn’t leave home without: Iceland has its own unique climate. It can be sunny and 70 degrees one minute and very cold a few minutes later—so pack layers.

Favorite historic landmark: Our historic favorite would be the Lutheran Cathedral in Reykjavik. But the true draw of Iceland is its natural land formations such as glaciers, waterfalls and beaches, hot pools and geysers.

Local attraction worth a drive-by: It is one of the most beautiful places on this planet!  We were not there at the right time to see the aurora borealis, but it is known for great viewings in the fall months.

Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík

A great experience off the beaten path: Eating a hot dog from Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which literally translates as “best hot dog in town.” It’s the vendor that Bill Clinton famously patronized on his trip to Iceland.

Something surprising we learned on the trip: Iceland is probably the only place in the world where the effects of two major tectonic plates drifting apart can easily be observed above sea level.  So very cool! It is full of natural beauty and lots of sheep.

We would suggest this trip to others because: Iceland is rich with incredible natural beauty. There are geysers, great national parks, waterfalls galore, rugged cliffs and volcanic beaches as well as huge glaciers.