Iceland: Day 1 (Blue Lagoon; Kaffi Solón)

I landed in Keflavik, Iceland around 07:00 this morning, Thursday May 24, 2012. I met up with my fellow Visit Greenland intern, Sharon, in the customs line, and together we got through the airport fairly quickly. Fortunately, we had already made transportation reservations to get us from the Keflavik International Airport to our hotel in the city center of Reykjavik, which was about a 40 minute drive, so we quickly got our bags loaded onto the FlyBus+ and were on our way. The road between the airport and the city center is flanked on either side by volcanic lava fields. It’s basically this extremely dark rocky terrain covered by a thin layer of moss.

 

We got to our hotel many hours before check-in, but the front desk attendant was nice enough to let us store our bags behind the front desk in the meantime. So we dropped our bags off and went in search of food because we were starving!! Actually, the first stop was the bank so that I could convert USD to ISK.  Then, we popped into Cafe Paris and got a light breakfast of Croque Monsieur and a Ham and Cheese Omelet. With about four more hours to kill, we decided to go on a walking tour of Reykjavik. We were not exactly sure where we were going, but we definitely figured out very quickly that Reykjavik is quite a hilly city! We had lost our map so it just felt like we kept going uphill and downhill, uphill and downhill. We finally decided to make a quick stop into City Hall to grab a map and take cover from the rain! City Hall is quite architecturally unique and sits right on the edge of Tjörnin Lake with lots of ducks, seagulls, etc. Inside City Hall is this massive, larger than life topographic rendition of Iceland. I cannot even begin to imagine how many days, months, even years it took to construct this layer by layer!

At this point, we have our bearings back and are just wanting to get back to our hotel because it is raining, and when I say raining, I mean it’s misting but in a very heavy way! We make it back to our hotel about 1215 and decide that we don’t want to wait to check-in anymore – we want to use our afternoon wisely and go to the Blue Lagoon, a natural spa whose main attraction is geothermal hot springs. We look up tickets online and see that a bus is leaving in 30 minutes from the terminal that is 15 minutes away. So Sharon and I look at each other, take about five minutes to grab our bags and hightail it to the Reykjavik Excursions bus terminal!

The Blue Lagoon Spa was amazing! We spent many hours there soaking in the hot springs, lathering silica mud onto our faces, and popping into the sauna and steam baths. The spa offered massages and various body treatments, but just soaking in the water was treatment enough for us!

After the spa, we spent a good deal of time deciding where to eat for dinner. We settled on  Kaffe Solon on Ingólfsstræti, and we were not disappointed! The ambience was great and the food was amazing! I believe Sharon ordered a tagliatelle pasta, and I order the Catch of the Day (Thorskur, I think it was called) – Tempura Villisvepparisotto m/ tomatpesto og parmaskinku – and paired it with an Egils Gull beer! Mmmmmmmm!

 

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