Woooowwwweeee!! First I should say that it is not in fact a 14 hour travel day to get to Iceland from SFO. It was about 11. First flight was Alaska Airlines SFO to SEA. I had what was supposed to be about a 15 minute layover in Seattle, but it turned out to be more like 45 minutes. Thankfully I had time to get some grub before my flight.
I got Ramen….I would not recommend Ramen for a plane ride, when it comes in a biodegradable bowl. I didn’t want to rush eating the ramen so I was waiting until I got on the flight – what that meant was the heat and spiciness of the ramen was starting to break down the bowl, so by the time I got on the plane, it was leaking!! I had an emergency exit row so I had plenty of room to make a mess – the ramen splashed on my sweatshirt – so now I smell like spicy ramen.
Once I had finished my ramen boarding was also complete – and guess what NO ONE IN THE MIDDLE SEAT!! Woohooo!! The guy on the aisle and I chatted a bit about how he had broken up with the girl that was supposed to be coming on the trip MONTHS ago and when he called to see if he could get any money back (he couldn’t) he decided not to cancel until the morning of the flight so the middle seat would be open – and bless his hipster heart for doing just that!!
Our flight was a bit delayed, but who the heck cares, cuz no one was in the middle seat, I had my stomach full, a big ole pillow to rest my head on, and a quick 7.5 hour flight to ICELAND!!
Upon arriving in Iceland I expected the usual customs forms and check – but NO!! I just walked up to the passport agent and she asked how long I was in the EU for (apparently Iceland is part of the EU) and stamped my passport and I was on my way!! I met Lauren in the luggage reclaim area – she had been there about 2 hours. She, of course had made friends with a woman who was also waiting for someone on my same flight. Once my bag arrived we were on our way through customs – which again was nothing, there wasnt even a space for someone to pretend to be customs. Iceland is apparently very free.
Lauren grabbed a coffee while I read up on where to pick up our rental car and we headed out to find our shuttle to take us off site. Lauren was concerned about the weather and driving conditions and wanted to check into a 4×4 vehicle option. When we asked about it, the guy basically made us think we were crazy for wanting one and said it would be more than double the price to get one…..so off we went with our little Hyundai i20 (small little baby car). First stop BLUE LAGOON.
Lets just say that the Blue Lagoon is a total tourist trap – but WORTH IT!! We had reservations at 8am to beat the crowds and we did!! Lauren (the little researcher she is) got us the package that came with a robe and flips, free drink and an extra face mask. Once we were all checked in it was off to change into our suits. Before going into the lagoon you have to shower – naked – and then put your suit back on over a wet body. RUDE. That is so hard to do!! At least everyone was struggling the same. We decided to take our phones with us to snap some pictures. (it didnt last long).
The water was so warm and soothing. (didnt taste great, though Im sure they warn you about that too) We strolled in (the entrance is inside) and down the ramp and then finally through the door where the wind hit us something fierce. It was COLD!! But the water remained warm, so we dropped into the water and scooted out into the open lagoon for some pictures.
After about 10 minutes we were over holding our phones above the silica heavy water. So, the phones went back into the locker. We came back to the lagoon and headed over the face mask bar. We got Silica masks and you are supposed to leave that on for 10-15 minutes, but it is COLD!! Cold because of the wind blowing off over the ridge hits the mask and freezes your face. I could only handle it for like 2 minutes before I started taking it off. Lauren was a champ and made it the full 10 minutes. During that time I got more mask and put it on again. Made it a bit longer this time. We waded the water for a long while. We got some “pure Icelandic water” they had a little spigot of fresh water under one of the bridges. (Also ice old). We tried the steam room, it was pretty cold; and then off to the waterfall. The waterfall was like a massage for your shoulders, the weight of the water pelting your muscles was great. Lauren didnt care for it as much as I did.
We got another mask, this time algae. Its supposed to make our skin look like Cindy Crawford’s. Im not sure it worked, but it felt nice!! After the mask we headed to our lunch reservation.
Originally we had just decided to go get the sparkling wine that was complementary with our ticket, but then we heard it was pretty good, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
While the lunch was roughly $60 it was a good experience and the food was worth it!! After lunch it was back into the lagoon for some last minute pictures (we needed to try out portrait mode) and then head on our way.
After Blue Lagoon we headed to COSTCO!! Mainly just to see what they had there and it was basically a regular Costco. They had some different candy and such, but mainly the usual. After Costco we hit a supermarket (Bonus!) and stocked up on some snacks for our ROAD TRIP!!
We checked into our hotel and then ventured off to the downtown area of Reykjavik. It was a cold 20 minute walk each way, but the town was cute and felt very European.
We ate at a bar that was Big Lebowski themed bar (turns out I have no idea what that is). We got veggie burgers and then headed back to the hotel.
On our way we stopped at another grocery store to see if there was any bath towels there (we are going to go to another thermal bath and they charge you like $5 to rent a towel – and if we keep that up we might as well buy our own!). There were no towels there, but Im pretty sure I found a package of Whale, which made me sad.
Back in the hotel now and trying to warm up after the cold walk back. Planning tomorrow and looking forward to our continuing adventure!