Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JUL-AUG 2019

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"I'd been to Iceland before, but I don't really feel like I've seen it until now," uttered one of my fellow travelers, breaking the silence between us as we stood behind a majestic waterfall, mesmerized by the cascade as the icy mist needled our cheeks. For six days, water in all forms formed the crux of our adventures in Iceland. We simmered and subsequently froze in it, slid on it, sloshed through it and marveled at it. Iceland has loomed large on my must-see list for years. •e most sparsely populated country in Europe, Mother Nature has endowed its 40,000 square miles with a mind-boggling array of amenities: waterfalls, active volcanoes, glaciers, ice caves, black sand beaches, crystal-clear lakes, and hot springs. While a do-it- yourself itinerary is undoubtedly doable, given the country's temperamental weather and vast landscape, I knew I was more likely to encounter trip-busting incidents than happy accidents, so I turned to the experts in insider travel intel—Classic Journeys—and their multisport itinerary to deliver maximum adventure in the minimal time I had available. Delivering the ultimate insider experience is what drove Edward Piegza, a "reformed" banking executive, to found Classic Journeys in 1995. Tasked with planning group outings for VIP bank clients in his former career, he discovered that his ardor for planning group trips was proportional to his abhorrence of banking. Exhibiting the energy and enthusiasm of a Labrador puppy, Edward's passion is palpable, as is his desire to deliver a truly authentic experience, which he says begins with using local guides. "We have one goal: to hand-craft trips of a lifetime," explained Edward, who added that his guides are empowered by the company to be agile in their decision-making. •eir guides always have a Plan B (and even a C and D if needed) to account for the unexpected. THE SHAPE OF WATER From ice caves to hot springs, Classic Journeys' multisport adventure trip makes Iceland's myriad natural wonders accessible Written and Photographed by Bridget Williams •e Blue Lagoon at sunrise slmag.net 33

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