Living

Honeymooners take romance to the extremes of the Earth

We recently asked readers to share their experiences from honeymoons celebrated in unusual locales. Here are three that clearly show that where there's a will – and when there's romance – cost and distance can sometimes be overcome.

Warm memories of Iceland

When you mention honeymoons, Iceland seems to be the farthest from most people's usual expectations of sun, sand and sitting on beaches. It's not that we set out to do something different. Iceland was just a place we both wanted to visit, and we took the opportunity of our honeymoon to make it the trip of a lifetime.

We were married Oct. 8, 2005, and spent a very romantic and adventurous honeymoon exploring the southern half of Iceland. We started by spending a few days in Reykjavik enjoying the culture and nightlife, but preferred the outdoor adventures during the following week. From Snaefellsjokull Glacier in the west (where Jules Verne “journeyed to the center of the Earth”) to Jokulsarlon Lagoon in southeast Iceland (where the climatic car showdown in the James Bond film “Die Another Day” was shot), and everywhere in between, Iceland was a spectacular experience.

We have so many wonderful memories of our trip, including the serenity of the geothermal spa that is the Blue Lagoon (www.bluelagoon.com), snowmobiling on the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull (www.glacierjeeps.is), waiting for the Strokkur Geyser to erupt, climbing to the top of wondrous waterfalls such as Gullfoss and riding the small but sturdy Icelandic horses.

After each day's adventure, we had an exquisite and relaxing meal at one of the Icelandair hotels we used throughout the trip. We were in Iceland at the end of their tourist season, so we felt like we had the entire island to ourselves. This was especially apparent when we were the only guests in the 57-room Hotel Klauster.

RJ and Beth Dellinger, Charlotte

Off to Thailand

When my fiance and I were planning our honeymoon, we knew we'd be placing a down payment on a house at the same time – so Alan and I didn't have a lot of money to spend. We decided to cash in frequent flyer-miles to keep down honeymoon costs. I called USAirways and asked about the farthest destination we could reach with 100,000 frequent-flyer miles.

One of the options was Thailand, so we began doing some Internet research. With no travel agent (and several round-the-world e-mails with translation hiccups), we planned a 12-day visit to Thailand. We spent three days in the Chinatown section of Bangkok in order to soak up the culture of the Thai capital.

Then we boarded a local (farm animals welcome!) train for a four-hour train ride to the seaside resort of Hua Hin, where we stayed in a private lodge on the grounds of a four-star hotel. Our no-itinerary, no-travel-agent trip included:

Thanks to the monetary exchange rate, our entire trip cost about $150 per day. This was in November 2001.

Karen Martin, Mooresville

South Pacific

Two days after we got married, Michelle and I headed to Ofu, in the South Pacific.

It was small island and nearly impossible to get to: It was off the coast of Pango Pango, in American Samoa, and you could only get to it from Hawaii. But it had a six-mile beach and few tourists: perfect for a honeymoon.

This was in 1999 before the widespread use of the Internet, and the island had no telephones at the time. So, I had written a letter two months earlier to Marge and Tito, owners of the Vaoto Lodge … and they met us at the airport!

The only footsteps in the sand for the next six days were our own.

Michelle passed away from ovarian cancer in August. I still find it amazing that she let me take her on a honeymoon to a place with only a description – no pictures and no reservation.

Macon Dunnagan, Charlotte

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