Iceland 2014 – Day 3 – Blue Lagoon

A very lazy start today, the bus to take us to the Blue Lagoon wasn’t arriving until 10:30am, which gave us plenty of time to sleep in, eat breakfast and then surf the web for places to eat later.

Come 10:35, our coach shows up and we are off to the Blue Lagoon, around an hour or so trip from the bus depot, and in the middle of nowhere, we finally arrive to a small clearing amongst a giant field of rock, a flag pole and sign are all that are outside to signify you have arrived at the world famous geothermal pool. We take a brief walk outside in the wind, down a narrow alley between rocks, where a gigantic cloud of steam is pouring out of the building complex in front.

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After presenting our tickets and getting our wristbands, it’s off to the changing rooms and then out into the actual pool area in only a swimming suit. The wind outside is maybe 3°C, wind chill effect possibly bringing it to around 0°C, we quickly run towards the lagoon and slowly get in..

It’s incredibly warm, hot even. It’s unlike anything i’ve ever experienced. The water is a light blue hue despite the black and grey sands sitting at the bottom, the rising steam creating a thick fog to further immerse you into the lagoon. It was rather disappointing taking the pictures, as it is impossible to properly show the experience you get without taking the camera into the water, while it looks more like mist in the pictures, when you are in the water your visibility rapidly drops because of all of the steam, at times we were able to look around and feel completely alone in the water, with only hot spring water and the mountains in the background to accompany us.

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There was more than just a small pool area of course, a steam room (cave), sauna, hot waterfall, massage area (extra cost of course) and floating bar were also present. Around the lagoon were also some boxes filled with silca mud – supposedly good for the skin, it’s ritual to smear some on your face as you float about the bath.

After a long enjoyable soak in the lagoon, we were off back to Reykjavik again, to clean ourselves up and then have a walk around the harbour area. It’s already 5:30pm or so by the time we are preparing to walk to town, however the sky is still bright as ever – I can’t remember if i’ve mentioned this yet, but it doesn’t really get dark here. Even at 10pm, it’s impossible to sleep without closing the curtains as the sky is still bright – and if you wake up at 3am, the light peaking through the curtains can completely disorient you as to whether it’s 11pm or 7am. As I type this at around 10pm, the sun has only just set.

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A long walk from our hotel later, we are by the harbour and trying to locate the famous icelandic hot dog stand ‘Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur’, a hot dog stand so famous it has its own wikipedia article and a google search of the stall turns up a picture of Bill Clinton at the stand. These things are supposedly the best hot dogs in the world, and have been voted into the top fast food stalls in the world and so on, naturally of course I was expecting something special. The stall itself was small and modest, though adorned with small groups of tourists and locals alike, they say there is a queue at all times of day when the shop is open, and in our short time in line we saw 2 cars stop at the side of the road just for the dogs.

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They were good. I mean, it goes without saying that it was going to be good, but yeah, they really were – Perhaps not quite the best hot dogs in the world, nor the number 2 best fast food in the world, but it was a good hot dog and it was served quickly. It was fairly barebones in its construction, but the secret lies in the sauce and in the finely chopped onions underneath the sausage which adds a lovely spark of sweetness and crunch to each mouthful.

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Moving on, we stopped off at the national theatre of Iceland, a large building on the waterfront with an impressive glass front. It was around this point I noticed the multiple EVE Online Fanfest billboards around the place, apparently this fanfest is taking place from the 1st-3rd of May, and the fans were already out in full force – Some restaurants were also sporting small plaques saying supporters of EVE fanfest. I didn’t get to take a picture of it, but I also saw a guy walking around the theatre with the logo shaved into the side of his head. Hardcore. Also a very stark contrast to the random groups of little girls prancing around upstairs, I can only imagine what sort of Icelandic Oliver twist troupe they belong to.

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From the theatre we walked down the seafront a little, taking in the scenery, a beautiful collection of mountains in the distance over the water. We stopped to take a few pictures and then moved on to find dinner.

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Passing through the main shopping district of Reykjavik and taking in the sights there as well, we would eventually head back to the church on the hill to a restaurant called Kol. Lovely 3 course meal here, with prawn cocktail for starter, followed by cod and finished with an overly sweet coffee ice cream upon melted chocolate toffee mouse thing. Very tasty.

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