Friday, December 02, 2016

1 Week in Iceland: Day 7

Our final few hours in Iceland were the most relaxing ever. We decided to go to the Blue Lagoon on our last day so that we could decompress and soothe our muscles and get in a really zen headspace so that we'd be happy on the flight home, despite the fact we knew we all had to go to work the following day.
We munched on some of the complimentary cereal in the hotel for breakfast and drank some of the complimentary apple juice before packing up our car and getting on the road for the 45 minute drive to the lagoon.

BLUE LAGOON
We arrived while it was still dark and it was actually drizzling aggressively as we jogged from the parking lot to the main building. I had booked our admission online weeks in advance for the opening time slot (between 9:00 and 10:00). This slot was actually a bit cheaper than the others at 5400 kr ($50).
Like we'd done at Myvatn Nature Baths, we showered completely nude - in really nice private showers - before changing into our swimwear. I loved this little graphic indicating the "hot spots" requiring the most attention.
People say that the Blue Lagoon is overrated, and honestly, I would agree that it's overpriced. But if you have the funds and the time, it's well worth it. The water is really soothing and warm and there are definitely hot spots and cooler spots. I had a great time putting on the silica mask (except when the wind blew some crumbs into my eyes and blinded me) and it left me with really clear, soft skin, which promptly turned to shit when I returned stateside and was left to using my crummy public water system (instead of amazing melted glacier water).
The facilities are really well-maintained and I don't know if it's the salt water or the minerals or the upkeep, but unlike Myvatn, the surfaces under the water, including the little ledges you can sit on, were not slimy. And it was so refreshing to have the cool wind in your face while you soaked in the hot water. We also took advantage of the sauna, steam room, and steam bath.
The three of us felt so refreshed and calm after our soak. And, I mean, look at my skin! It's glowing and happy.
And make sure you take a minute to appreciate the location of the lagoon as you're leaving too. It's beautiful. By the way, there was a really long queue as we were leaving, which was around lunchtime. We also noticed that the locker rooms were all marked as being full, which sucked for everyone waiting. If you can, get there early and definitely book your tickets in advance because there is a limit to the number of people they allow in; after all, if the locker rooms are at capacity, you're out of luck. We waited for maybe two minutes behind some people that were just having some problems finding their tickets on their mobile phones. Other than that, there was no queue and we zipped into the locker rooms in just a few seconds.
We enjoyed our lunch at this charming little harborside cafe. It's family run and the menu on offer changes day to day. We each got a bowl (or two, free refills!) of the lobster soup. It was so hearty and delicious and came with unlimited bread. We also got a slice of the carrot cake, which totally hit the spot. It was obviously homemade as well. The woman running the show asked me about our stay and I commented that we were sad to be going because it was so beautiful and how we'd just come from Blue Lagoon and she said that it was just too expensive and that Icelanders were getting a bit too greedy for their own good. She said she knows Iceland is a bit expensive because of course, so much is imported, but she believes in fair pricing and that's how she runs her cafe. She was the sweetest lady and I highly recommend you get a meal here if you have a chance. Do like we did and go after you visit the Blue Lagoon.
KEFLAVIK AIRPORT 
After lunch, we returned our rental car and then they shuttled us to the airport. Security was a breeze, though, we had to go through passport control once we'd made it into the terminal so take note of that so you're not late. There was a gaggle of girls who had a flight to catch in five minutes and cut the queue and I get it because I've been late at an airport before (if you remember we had an incident in Italy that caused massive stress) but I don't know why everyone else has to pay for your tardiness. It's annoying!
Everything in duty-free was still rather expensive so we just bought one sensible gift for my cousin who took us to and from the airport and called it a day.
Actually, we called it a day after we bought some snacks for the plane ride. A big shoutout to Joe & the Juice for their serrano ham sandwich because it's bomb.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stopover and I honestly can't wait to plan another trip to Iceland. If I ever go back (which I'm 99% sure I will) I'd probably spend all my time in one area (I think the Snaefellsnes Peninsula would be ideal) so that aurora hunting would be a bit easier. If you stay in one spot, the chances are better that you'll catch a day with high aurora activity and few clouds. We found that several days in a row, the area we had just left the night before had zero clouds and awesome aurora activity and it just made us sad. Anyway, it was a supremely memorable trip and even though I'm sad it's over, I think I'm going to spend the next few weeks watching and re-watching my video diaries and picking out photos to print out and frame.

Here's my travel map:

Here's my video diary:

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