We not too long ago bought again from a reasonably superb trip to Iceland! I’m excited to share the highlights in right now’s put up alongside with a meal impressed by our time there. While the meals exterior of town was not that various (LOTS of burgers and pizzas!), we did take pleasure in scrumptious steak and lamb a number of instances, and it all the time appeared to be paired with a yummy Bearnaise sauce. Even the burgers generally got here with a aspect of Bearnaise.
We are big-time sauce folks on this household, and it made me come house wanting to whip up some selfmade Bearnaise myself. So I’m going to share simply how simple it’s to make with a brand new recipe, alongside with some particulars and pics (all taken with my non-pro iPhone 11) from our trip!
What You’ll Find in This Post
It’s no secret that our household loves happening a giant journey virtually each summer season. Well, apart from final summer season after all due to COVID! And with issues nonetheless being somewhat contact and go proper now, I wasn’t positive if we’d have the opportunity to go anyplace this summer season both. Traveling is one in every of my largest passions so I REALLY wished it to occur, and Iceland has been excessive on the checklist for a while now. So again in May I actually googled “where can Americans travel” to come up with a brief checklist of choices and was excited to see Iceland as one in every of them! And with hardly any COVID circumstances there (this complete time actually), it appeared like a wonderful place to safely take a look at the waters.
But, since restrictions had been lifted simply weeks earlier than the one large opening in our summer season schedule, I ended up reserving our trip with about 10 days discover! Absolutely not my fashion!! But, hey, nothing mistaken with the planner in me going out of my consolation zone, proper? And all of it labored out in the long run. 🙂
One of the advantages of happening this trip proper now could be since Iceland only recently opened again up, there have been hardly any vacationers there. From what we had been instructed, it had been getting virtually overrun with vacationers the previous couple of years (earlier than COVID), and having all these superb sights virtually to ourselves was positively a silver lining that we didn’t take without any consideration. It was an extremely particular expertise!
What We Did in Iceland!
My husband and I form of knew what to count on in Iceland, however our youngsters actually had little or no thought (the place the heck is Iceland? LOL), particularly because it was all so final minute. All that apart, the 4 of us had been completely blown away by the expertise!
One factor I’ve realized from all our travels is you probably have little or no expectations you may find yourself having a reasonably superb time (as a result of you may’t be let down by “what should’ve been”)! And primarily due to my lack of time to do analysis I didn’t fairly know precisely what we had been getting ourselves into, however every little thing we did was truthfully even higher than I may have imagined!
We first stayed in Vik (extremely suggest!), and right here’s a few of what we did and noticed…
The Plane Wreck
It simply so occurred to be very foggy (and chilly! It’s Iceland in any case) after we went on the lengthy trek to see the famed 1973 airplane wreck. With the foggy vibe, the black volcanic rock, and the dearth of timber (there are hardly any timber in Iceland), we truthfully felt like we had been strolling on the moon down this path. My youngsters thought it was so cool and that stroll, alongside with truly having the ability to climb on and get contained in the previous wreckage, was a wonderful begin to our trip!
Town of Vik
I used to be secretly nervous it will rain our complete trip (particularly after trying on the forecast and arriving on a very wet day), so I used to be completely DELIGHTED when the solar got here out after a late dinner on our very first evening. The surroundings that all of the sudden appeared round us actually took our breath away. The undeniable fact that the solar hardly units there this time of yr actually helped with permitting ample alternative for the sky to clear up throughout daylight!
This is on one aspect of the famed Black Beach proper by the city Vik. Almost all of the seashores in Iceland are black from all of the volcanic rock!
A pleasant stranger snapped this image of us that’ll possible reappear on our vacation card. Always a aim of mine to get pics for our card after we journey! Haha. This was our first day, and we had been simply so excited to be there and to see the solar.
Just above the city of Vik we stopped to see these Icelandic horses … they had been all over the place there! And we bought to experience some on somewhat tour later within the trip. 🙂
Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and Dyrhólaey Lookout
The subsequent day we went to the opposite aspect of the Black Beach the place the Basalt Columns are … this was our first time ever seeing one thing like this and it was so cool. Oh, and the solar got here out once more making my day! The climate may be very erratic there.
Snowmobiling on the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier
We’d by no means been snowmobiling earlier than and it was one thing my husband had all the time wished to strive. The situations truthfully may have been higher, however we nonetheless had enjoyable. I let my 16-year-old drive me round on ours so I used to be largely simply holding on for pricey life, LOL.
Ice Cave Tour
We weren’t fairly positive if we must always join an ice cave tour; it’s not likely the season for it (there are extra cave choices within the winter), however we’re so glad we did! Just the drive by the lava fields to get there and the information of our tour information would have been tour sufficient with out even testing the caves. We did the FastTrack Ice Cave Tour by Katlatrack Adventure Tours and thought it was very cool!
Drive to the Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach (with plenty of sudden sights alongside the way in which!)
After the ice cave tour, we had been planning to head straight west to our subsequent cease till our tour information talked us into getting in the exact opposite path first earlier than leaving the realm. We ended up not getting to our VRBO rental till 2 AM (it was nonetheless gentle out!!), however it was price it. The climate was pretty good that day, a giant consider our determination, and we noticed so many superb issues…
First, as we had been driving alongside we observed miles and MILES of those mossy mound-covered rocks. We had to get out of the automobile to verify them out … they had been so squishy and bouncy my ladies had been simply operating and bouncing in every single place! Okay, all of us had been, haha.
Then we stopped at Diamond Beach and Glacier Lagoon … subsequent time I’d love to kayak across the Glacier Lagoon. I didn’t notice how spectacular it’s, and to suppose, we virtually missed seeing it if it weren’t for our information speaking us into going!
And then we noticed so many rainbows (one of many advantages of all that rain, I suppose!) that we repeatedly stopped our automobile … plenty of stopping and operating out of the automobile to see tremendous cool sudden issues on this trip! You by no means know what you’re going to encounter.
Breathtaking Waterfalls Everywhere!
We had been laughing to ourselves as a result of we’d be driving round Iceland seeing superb waterfalls even taller and extra spectacular than Multnomah Falls (a serious vacationer attraction in Oregon) and nobody even cared or was stopping to see them. This is as a result of there are SO MANY waterfalls all over the place, together with a fairly large one you may stroll behind! Nature is basically superb.
After we lastly made it to Hellnar, a city on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, we used it as a leaping off level to discover this quieter aspect of the nation.
Town of Hellnar
I remembered our VRBO host saying one thing a few good stroll/hike to the subsequent city, however it was after all Iceland-style WAY MORE AMAZING than we had been anticipating! We had been wowed even earlier than the views close to the subsequent city appeared. And the icing on the cake was that proper in Hellnar we found this superb little cafe in an previous fishing cottage with a spectacular overlook that served yummy coffees, drinks, quiche, waffles, and many others. It was actually the one factor open on this tiny city (which was actually only a assortment of buildings), and we went there twice in in the future … the entire afternoon turned out to be a trip spotlight for me!
Snæfellsjökull National Park
We actually had this complete nationwide park to ourselves; I’m making an attempt to keep in mind if we even noticed every other folks. We had bother discovering the “white sand beach” (a uncommon phenomenon in Iceland) however had been so glad we continued as a result of it was (shocker) extra superb than we had been anticipating! The black volcanic rock in opposition to the lighter sand with the solar making an attempt to set within the background was a sight to see.
Quaint Little Churches
Both of those had been on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, though I do know there are comparable church buildings everywhere in the nation.
Driving round Snæfellsnes Peninsula
We took our time leaving the peninsula and stopped at fascinating locations alongside the way in which, together with this beautiful spectacular canyon that my husband loved climbing into a reasonably good way.
Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, and the (energetic) Volcano!!
Our final cease was Reykjavík and the encompassing space.
Snorkeling within the Silfra Fissure (Þingvellir National Park)
We all 4 braved the 36 diploma F temps to snorkel in a number of the clearest water on the planet situated between two (actively separating) tectonic plates that divide North America and Eurasia. I used to be truly not too chilly in my drysuit floating on the floor whereas the remainder of my loopy household selected wetsuits so they may dive down to get a greater look. Let’s simply say they had been coooold and at last absolutely recovered after a pair hours LOL!
Our closing keep was in a VRBO condo within the funky metropolis of Reykjavík, which was enjoyable to discover (whereas additionally offering a greater variety of tasty meals choices that we loved)!
The Erupting Fagradalsfjall Volcano!
Okay, so this was one other trip spotlight for positive. We simply occurred to be in Iceland shortly after a volcano unexpectedly began erupting there. What’s particular about this volcano (and I do know VERY little about volcanos!) is that it’s comparatively small/calm for a volcano so you may stroll virtually proper up to it and its lava (it was sizzling!). It began as a totally flat piece of floor and the mountain you see has been forming from its lava because it began erupting again in March/April!
The situations and climate had been continually altering so we weren’t positive if we’d have the opportunity to get an excellent view, however we bought very fortunate! It was fairly a trek (a 45-minute average hike) to get to the perspective, and we selected to do it from 11 PM – 2 AM for the very best viewing in opposition to a darkened sky. This explicit night it was erupting each 10 minutes or so, and our 14-year-old didn’t need to go away! I used to be like, “It’s 1:30 AM now and I’ve got to go to bed at some point,” haha. I’m normally very strict about my bedtime, however I suppose you may name this an important day!! An unforgettable night for positive.
The Blue Lagoon
After all of the late-night pleasure from the large hike to the volcano, we had the right chill day on the Blue Lagoon. I do know it’s a really touristy cease, however we had to do it!
The snorkeling we did within the fissure was truly on the Golden Circle as properly, however we went again on our final day to try a number of issues we didn’t have time to see earlier than.
And that was our trip for summer season 2021! I do know this was a LONG put up with A LOT of images, however I truthfully narrowed it down a lot. I can’t consider what number of photos there are on this put up after slicing so many nice ones. Iceland was simply superb and so picturesque! We are thrilled to be again to touring once more as a household and hope this conjures up you to get “back on the horse” as properly. Lucky for you if it’s an Icelandic trip! 🙂
Easy Oven Roasted Steak with Blender Béarnaise
Now right here’s that recipe! Turns out Bearnaise is one in every of my husband’s favourite sauces (I didn’t notice this), so I’m glad the trip impressed us to make it at house. It was served with steak, lamb, and even burgers in Iceland … and could be nice on potatoes or veggies, too! It’s very versatile and an effective way to kick a typical dinner up a number of notches.
Easy Oven Roasted Steak with Blender Béarnaise
Inspired by our latest trip to Iceland, this Easy Oven Roasted Steak with a Blender Béarnaise sauce is the right approach to kick your dinner up a notch.
For the Steaks
- 4 beef steaks (any minimize, though filet is my favourite for an important day!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the Steaks
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bring the steaks to room temperature (most well-liked however not required), pat them dry, and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a cast iron, or different oven-proof skillet, over excessive warmth. Sear the steaks for two to 3 minutes on all sides till browned. Slide the skillet into the new oven and prepare dinner till desired doneness is reached (instances differ relying on thickness). See notes for cooking instances.
Remove from oven, slip an oven mitt over the deal with, and let relaxation for a couple of minutes earlier than topping with bearnaise sauce (under) and serving.
For the Blender Béarnaise Sauce
- Place the egg yolks within the backside of a handheld blender cup (most well-liked) or countertop blender, pulse a number of instances, and put aside. (NOTE: My handheld blender works with a pint-sized wide-mouthed glass mason jar for this recipe.)
In a small saucepan mix the vinegar, water, shallots, and tarragon and produce to a lightweight boil for two to 3 minutes till the liquid reduces by half and the shallots soften. With the blender on, slowly pour within the heat vinegar combination and mix till properly mixed.
In the identical saucepan, soften the butter and produce it to a lightweight boil. With the blender on, slowly pour within the sizzling butter and mix/pulse till sauce reaches the specified thickness (comparable to a gravy). Season with salt and pepper, pour over prime of the steaks, and serve.
- Cooking Times for 1 1/2″ Thick Steaks:
- 9 to 11 minutes for Medium Rare (RED / 130 – 140°F)
- 11 to 14 minutes for Medium (PINK / 140-150°F)
- 14 to 18 minutes for Medium Well (BROWN / 150-160°F)
They can prepare dinner in a short time on the finish and even somewhat after taken out of the oven, so it’s all the time higher to take them out somewhat early!
- We suggest organic ingredients when possible.
Easy Oven Roasted Steak with Blender Béarnaise
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 540
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 27g169%
Trans Fat 1g
Vitamin A 728IU15%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are primarily based on a 2000 calorie weight-reduction plan.