Today was a perfect leisurely day all around. We were supposed to head to the South Coast today but due to the weather, our guide opted to swap days 4 and 5. I think this was a perfect decision because yesterday was jam packed and tomorrow will be too. A less physical day is a good break between leg day and.. leg day, haha!
The morning was my oyster. We headed to the Blue Lagoon today (which I’ll get to) but weren’t slated to leave until around noon. With that, I met up with four of the gals I’ve met on this trip for breakfast. Valerie, the timely solo chick she is, arrived first and I second. Sylvia, Sharon, and Theresa joined us shortly after. The breakfast at this hotel, Haust, is on point! A full breakfast buffet that is longer than my apartment is wide welcomed our hungry American stomachs each morning.
We all ate more than we probably normally would on a Tuesday morning but meh, we’re on vacation and we bouje. Once we were finished, we decided to roam around downtown Reykjavik for a couple of hours. It was still dark, have I mentioned how dark it is here? The sun doesn’t fully rise until after 10:00 a.m. and nothing was open quite yet. The only place we happened upon that was open before 10:00 was a quaint little bookstore with a store cat named Lucy. We wandered in there a bit and then continued on our way past a bizarre penis museum (ask me about it, and I’ll indulge you) and along the narrow streets decorated in full holiday attire. I felt like I was in a storybook.
We found what we dubbed the Hipster District. Turning the corner, all the buildings were fashioned as works of art. From a black and white house that looked like a Sharpie sketch come to life to a pride-inspired dragon pathway. I felt like I’d been transported into the minds of Salvador Dali and Lewis Carroll. I could have spent the entire day walking up and down each street but we eventually needed to continue on our way. Nearing our hotel on the way back, we captured the amazing views of the mountain in the distance from the hilltop streets we were on between the tall apartment buildings. Could you imagine waking up to that each morning? What a treat.
Bláa Lónið aka The Blue Lagoon was next up and man did it deliver. No article or photo I’d ever seen of the Blue Lagoon does this place justice. Seeing the bright blue ribbons of silica filled water and steam run through a lava field is otherworldly. As soon as we started on the pathway towards the entrance of the building to this geothermal spa, before we even entered, I immediately felt a sense of calm. I couldn’t believe I was there. We were welcomed by beautiful white birds just wandering around minding their own and got a glimpse of the water up close before we hit the doors. (I don’t know my birds so forgive me but I just want to refer to these dudes as swans. If they are swans, whoa.)
Once inside, we were given sweet wristbands in case we wanted to buy anything; we didn’t have to carry money with us. Checking out with the wristband seemed supes high tech and just furthered my level of impression. There are two ways to enter TBL; the spa way or the Nordic way. Once you exit the locker rooms, you walk down the steps. If you continue walking straight, you approach TBL inside, the floor dips down and you walk into the 100+ degree water while still in the building and making your way towards the wall eventually exiting outside fully submerged. If you go that way, you’re welcomed by a lava wall cave and bridge once outside. This is known as the “spa way.”
Or, you can enter The Blue Lagoon the Nordic way; wild and free! Through a bit of coercion by Sharon in our group, a handful of us decided to do as the Nordics do. We hung up our already soaking wet towels (you have to shower before entering the Lagoon), shivering, feet bare, and left only in our swimsuits.. we opened the building doors to the outside. The air temperature was sitting right at freezing and we felt like Nordic Queens as we walked the path from the building to the shimmery blue water in front of us, the steam rolling far higher than we were tall. And wow, what a feeling. From catching our breath because we were shivering to feeling the warm, healing-esque salt water hug our bodies was unexplainable.
The Blue Lagoon goes on and on and on. There are nooks and streams everywhere you turn. There are two bars; a mask bar and an alcohol bar. After applying mud masks, we made our way to the bar where I tried some Somersby Cider. Between the two places lies a waterfall that you can stand beneath and get a waterfall water massage, it was incredible. The water isn’t deep. Standing at 5’8″, I think it reached my neck at the deepest. We visited with others on our trip, floated aimlessly on our backs, eyes closed and took in as much as we could in the time we had. Iceland has so many “worth it” factors and this one is right there at the very top of the list.
Tonight we hunt for the Northern Lights but before that, I hit up the Bjór Garðurinn for dinner. I went down alone but found some people from my group that I hadn’t had a chance to talk to much yet. Deb and Dan and then Eric and Rosanne; both mother/son duos which I found very sweet. I travel with my mom at least once a year and I know I’ll forever cherish those trips so seeing other parent/child pair-ships makes my heart warm. Our conversations over dinner were great ones and the food was good to boot.
Following dinner, everyone met in the lobby bundled up in our warmest of clothes. We were about to embark on an Atlantic adventure off the coast of Iceland in search for the dancing lights of the north. I stayed on the top deck for most of our excursion visiting with Eric and G but also made my rounds and visited with a few other people while patiently waiting for the Northern Lights. There were these cool suits people could put on to keep warm, they looked like astronauts walking around. It was mighty brisk outside but I didn’t end up grabbing one.
I definitely have a vaca-crush on the Croatian tour guide, Lucas, of Elding Whale Watching. While we didn’t end up seeing the lights tonight, his commentary was delightful and his wit was on point. Only a certain type of person can make safety protocol instructions sound interesting enough to listen to. It’s the accent, I’m sure of it.
The trip out to sea wasn’t for naught, though. We saw the beautiful lit up skyline of Reykjavik from the boat and were the closest we’d been yet to one of the mountains we could see from shore. Even in the dark, it seemed majestic. We could also see the Imagine Peace Tower really well. Yoko Ono created the Imagine Peace Tower in memory of John Lennon in 2007, it holds the wishes, wisdom and peace of millions around the world. We didn’t get an opportunity to physically visit it but I still sent my wishes to it the same way I do when I see a shooting star.
Since we didn’t see the lights tonight, we go hunting again tomorrow but via bus instead of boat. The forecast was really good tonight but the cloud cover eliminated out chances of seeing anything. Thanks for reading!