1 Mary and her three sisters drove from Iceland's coastal capital of Reykjavik to Akranes, a port town and municipality on the west coast. The weather was very, very cold, but the views were stunning.
2 This was the view while driving up to the Akranes beach, Langisandur. It is so clean and so beautiful, and quite a popular stop for the birds.
3 Along the way, Mary and her sisters, Diana Stevens, and Lynn Merkel, posed for this photo. It was definitely cold and windy - they're all wearing fleece leggings, wool sweaters, and long coats. The wind was especially strong here in front of the Atlantic Ocean.
4 Icelandic horses are small, long-lived and hardy. Icelandic law prevents horses from being imported into the country and exported animals are not allowed to return. Since they don’t have any natural predators they’re generally docile by nature. It was a highlight to see them.
5 The Icelandic horse comes in many different colors and color patterns. It is small, weighing between 730 and 840-pounds and standing an average of about 52 to 56-inches tall - that's just under five-feet.
6 Mary and her sister, Diana, stopped for another photo. When this was taken, it was about 10-degrees Fahrenheit, with icy sea winds whipping all around them.
7 They passed several churches. This was the first one they saw off Route-1 or the Ring Road, a national road in Iceland that runs around the entire country.
8 This more modern Icelandic church was high up on a hill.
9 The architecture of this church was so interesting.
10 Hallgrímskirkja or Church of Hallgrímur is a Lutheran parish church in Reykjavík. At nearly 250-feet tall, it is the largest church in Iceland. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson. http://en.hallgrimskirkja.is
11 State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson's design of the church was commissioned in 1937. It took 41-years to build the structure. Its nave can hold at least 1200-people.
12 The church houses a large pipe organ by the German organ builder, Johannes Klais of Bonn. The pipes are controlled remotely from the four manuals and pedal console. There are 102-ranks, 72-stops, 5275-pipes and weighs 25-tons.
13 This stained glass window is one of several in the stark church. It is set in a side chapel, near the church's entrance.
14 This is the iron candle holder in the Church of Hallgrimur.
15 Here are all the sisters after arriving at Akranes - Peggy Delgato, Diana, Mary, and Lynn.
16 This was along the drive to the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa in Grindavik. Mary says they got really lucky on this day because the weather was calm, sunny and beautiful.
17 Here they are walking into the Blue Lagoon. The spa is located in a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula, southwestern Iceland. http://www.bluelagoon.com
18 Peggy took most of the photos. Here, Lynn, Diana and Mary posed in front of the entrance to the Blue Lagoon, located along a 650-foot long pave walkway cut through lava rock.
19 The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. It was formed in 1976 during an operation at a nearby geothermal power plant. After it was constructed, people often came to bathe in the unique, mineral-rich water.
20 Here is one of the swim-up bars at the Blue Lagoon - just swim up to the window and order your cocktail.
21 Mary is in front of the silica bar - guests can swim up to the bar for a scoop of silica that's applied to the face and then rinsed off after 10-minutes. The silica is mixed with algae and minerals to strengthen the skin barrier, help maintain skin radiance, and stimulate natural collagen production.
22 Lynn, Mary, and Diana are all surrounded by snow. The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulfur. The outdoor temperature may be 10-degrees Fahrenheit, but the water is 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit.
24 Here are Lynn, Mary, and Diane enjoying wine while they wait for lunch. LAVA focuses on fresh, dynamic flavors and natural Icelandic ingredients. Some of the dishes include fish from the nearby harbor of Grindavik.
25 Mary's sister, Peggy, was the only one who dunked her head underwater - the minerals in the geothermal spa pool made Peggy's hair a little wild.
26 On the drive to the Great Geysir, it is isn't unusual to see people swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving in the Silfra, a crack between the North American and Eurasian continents right where the continental plates meet and drift apart about two-centimeters per year.
27 Here is another beautiful view on the road to the Great Geysir, Iceland's most famous hot spring geyser.
28 It looks so serene.
29 Mary and her sisters stopped at a family run farm to table restaurant called Farmhotel Efstidalur II. Mary had the cauliflower soup and loved it. Can you guess what the squiggly line of sauce is? It's chocolate. http://efstidalur.is
30 This is the Fish Market, one of the most popular restaurants to visit while in Reykjavik. Three of the four sisters enjoyed Cosmopolitans - Peggy, however, attended a sonar concert that night instead.
31 Mary had a delicious salmon dish with radishes, cucumbers, dill and vinaigrette.
32 Lynn had haddock, with corn off the cob, zucchini, and greens with a pesto sauce.
33 Here is Peggy at Sonar, the International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art in Reykjavik. https://sonarreykjavik.com
34 Finally, the sisters reach The Great Geysir, one of the earliest documented geysers, which has been active for approximately 10-thousand years. Originally owned by a local farmer until 1894, it passed through several hands before it was donated to the residents of Iceland in perpetuity.
35 These are four statues of people playing music without instruments outside of the Perlan Center, a landmark building in Reykjavík. This lookout point is also popular for star gazing at night.
36 Mary, and Peggy stopped at an old apothecary display at the Apotek Hotel and Restaurant, and posed for the camera pretending to drink out of old apothecary jars.
37 Here are Diana, Mary, and Peggy enjoying a moment of freedom and beauty.
38 Lynn, Mary, Diana pose as Peggy snapped this photo - Mary said they all felt as if they were on the moon.
39 The Northern Lights are one of the biggest draws to visiting Iceland, however they are also unpredictable. Northern lights is a common name for the Aurora Borealis (Polar Aurorae) in the Northern Hemisphere. They are flickering lights mostly caused by the sun's radiation, and are seen in red, green and occasionally blue.
40 Mary and her sisters saw them from Keslavik, in southwest Iceland. There must be complete darkness in order to see the lights. The best season to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is from September to mid-April.
41 After seeing the Northern Lights, the group took a drive and came to this sign - Bruin, spelled with an e instead of an i, is their maiden name, but seeing it inspired the group to stop. The cafe was actually closed, but the owners opened it just long enough for everyone to have a refreshing drink.