I wake up in my familiar hostel bed, feeling at home. It is impressive how quickly we embrace the familiar. It shows you even thousands of miles away you can find comfort. Home really can be where you lay your hat.
The schedule is wide open today. We left day 4 open to explore Reykjavik and visit the Blue lagoon. We kick the day off walking the streets we have only seen “at night” and pass the only places we have visited so far, the bars. Our first stop is breakfast. Iceland is known for hot dogs and coming from NYC we are interested to see what they have. We head towards the water to find the food cart that Forbes has listed as the best hot dog in the world. Walking down the streets we see people enjoying the sun and brunch. Keep in mind its Monday, I realize I need a more flexible schedule. Across from the flea market we find this little stand. We order one with everything which means it is a lamb hotdog is covered in ketchup, mustard, fried and raw onion and remoulade, a type of sweet mayonnaise dressing. We order two and a Coke a Cola lite. Breakfast of champions. From there we walked around the hilly city until it was time to jump in the Suzuki and head towards the Blue Lagoon.
Time for the main event. The guidebook compares the Blue Lagoon to Disney World and the Eiffel tower. It feels odd to throw on a bathing suit when I know its 30 degrees outside. We leave the city and head out past the Reykjavik signs towards the airport. The Blue Lagoon was about a 45 minute drive from there. We drive past this power plant producing tons of smoke and see the signs.
Tons of rocks greet us 10 feet high that look like lava or moon rock. We enter the building which looks like an upscale spa. For 33 euro we get a wristband which we have to return when we exit. There is a cost if you loose it but they won’t tell you what it is. It also is how you can lock your items in the locker and purchase drinks at the swim up bar. Now we are talking.
Before you enter you have to shower. Since it is a natural pool there aren’t chemicals in it. Trying not to think about how dirty this water probably is I lock everything up and head towards the deck. I have my phone in my LifeProof case so I can take some much needed selfies. From snorkeling in Thailand to the natural springs in Iceland it is crucial. There are hangers to place your towel while you are in the water. We run from the building to the water because it is freezing. Happily we submerge. I had been warned not to put your hair in the water because it dries it out so much. We walk around finding the hot spots in the ground. The ground is surprisingly smooth considering it is a natural pool. There is a waterfall and plenty of places to post up. They even have silica mud in bins by the water for you to put on your skin. I lather up and after 5 minutes already can tell how smooth my skin is. Natural hot springs are the coolest.
There is a 3 drink maximum because of the potential for over heating and dehydration. After a couple hours and drinks later we head out to shower and find some food. We feel relaxed after the insane week of hiking. Definitely the best way to spend a Monday.
On the drive back we see a Taco Bell and decide to stop. Since our days were filled with so many activities we barely had time to eat. This meant every meal was dancing between starving and hangry. The next trip to Iceland will definitely be more of a foodie tour. We had the rest of the day open which is exciting. After taking a shower I dress up and we head out to some bars. Finally I can wear a dress and boots that are not made for hiking.
The bar scene in Reykjavik is unique. There are some American bars like a Big Lebowski bar and a Chuck Norris restaurant but we head to Micro Bar for a flight of beer. All flights are not created equal. This one is 10 beers and almost 6 oz a piece. We settle down and start tasting.
From there we head back to Mikkeller & Friends. It has become our local hang spot these past couple days. The walls are covered with weird art work. Stools and long tables surround the room. If I lived in Reykjavik this would be my spot. Its a Monday at midnight and we close the place down. Afterwards we head to Lebowski Bar because why not. With a White Russian in hand we enjoy our last night in Iceland.
Lebowski closes down around 1am and we are not sure what to do next. Considering bars are open until 4am most nights in NYC we are lost. We walk around the streets and decide its time for fourth meal. On the way to the McDonalds we try and find some local late night spots. Reykjavik is more of a weekend city so if you are visiting I would suggest going Friday-Sunday if you want the night life experience. Even though it is past 1am the sun is still not completely set. It seems to be waiting just beyond the horizon. The McDonald’s is closed, time to get some delivery and of course its Dominos. With a couple of pies in hand we sit in the hostel and scarf it down. Now time for bed.
Last day in Iceland! Our final item on the itinerary is a Free Walking tour. There are many to choose from but I went with Reykjavik City Walk. They leave every day at 10am and 1pm on a 2 hour tour of downtown Reykjavik. We throw everything in our suitcases, check out and head towards the plaza. The tour leaves from this central location right next to Micro Bar. Our guide Eric, introduces himself with his nickname and then says his full Icelandic name. I wish I could have written that down. We spend the next two hours walking around downtown learning about Iceland. Considering most of my American friends had trouble finding it on a map, it was great to actual learn about the country. Their houses have this special siding to protect them from the elements. Naturally there had to be a viking statue.
We leave the tour a little early because it’s time to head to the airport. On the way back to the hotel we stop by Lobster Hut, this food cart for one last taste of Iceland before we leave. I get a coffee and the lobster soup, the boys get sandwiches. We sit at a table nearby and enjoy the fresh lobster. We have one last trip in the Suzuki to the airport. After 5 days in Iceland and I can’t decide if it feels like I got here yesterday or 3 weeks ago. On the flight home I pass out but awaken to an announcement that we are flying over Greenland. Automatically I think of the Mighty Ducks…
Even though we have seen so much I am already planning the next trip. Since Iceland is the perfect layover it looks like a trip to Europe is next. Suggestions are always welcome! As we drive back to NYC from Boston we think of other places we can go. Looks like its time to plan the next adventure.