So, I’ve arrived in Iceland. My flight arrived around 7am, and it was VERY cool watching the sun rise as my plane made the descent. Red and orange skies. Beautiful.
I’ll start with the “Ahhh!” After landing, I took a shuttle to the Blue Lagoon. And, it sucked. Totally. No one should ever go there. Ever. Especially if you like to relax and enjoy yourself. In all seriousness, I can’t think of a more perfect way to start the trip. When I got off the shuttle bus, I took in a deep breath, and it just…smelled. Like farts. I could feel my nostrils flaring until I got used to it, which really didn’t take too long. Despite the pungent aromatics of sulphur, I bravely foraged ahead and took on the ever-so-difficult task of rest and relaxation. The water there is literally blue, an icy, cloudy blue. And it’s so perfectly, delightfully, wonderfully, fantastically warm. Once in the lagoon, you can dig into these literal vats of silica mud that you can put on your face and body. I also took sand from the bottom of the lagoon and used it as an exfoliator. Surprising, the sand was black, even though the water was a milky blue. The minerals and natural salts in the water make you incredibly buoyant, so you literally just float around all day. There are also steam baths, sauna, bars, etc. The only bad thing is it did some weird stuff to my hair. Regardless, it was everything I needed. I’ll put it this way, I’m glad I’m starting AND ending my vacation at the Blue Lagoon. I scheduled a massage for when I stop by again on my way home. I asked for the strongest hands they have on staff. So I was scheduled with some dude. If it’s the one I saw in the Lagoon earlier today, I’m thinking it’ll be an even better way to end the trip … (Annie, think Drogo. I shit you not!)
I also met two Aussie gals, Julie and Branka, who were at the Blue Lagoon and at the end of their travels in Iceland. They gave me some good ideas of places to hit up. Julie is a massage therapist who’s been living in London for the past year and a half and loves it so much, she has no idea when she’ll head back to Sydney. Branka turned what was supposed to be a 6-week holiday into a year of traveling the world. Pretty awesome. They were a lot of fun to talk to, and it was in a shame, in a way, that it was the end of their time in Iceland.
Now, on to the “Ooooh!” It. Is. COLD. Maybe it’s because my body is in shock, coming from 70s and sunny to mid-40s, windy, and cloudy. I’ll have to do some major layering while I’m here. It’s kind of humiliating in a way; I thought I was this tough Minnesotan chick who can deal with the cold. Um…I have NOTHING on Icelandic people. Chicks in shorts with tights, others with just minis and gladiator sandals; guys in jeans in t-shirts. However, the women who actually dress sensibly look really chic. They do some interesting (good) things with layers.
YUM … yum, indeed. Noshed on some of the BEST fish and chips I’ve ever had. My plan was to hit up this vegetarian place that Julie and Branka recommended, but I kept getting turned around, and in my aimless wandering, I walked by Harry’s, which I remembered reading about. I hadn’t eaten in almost 24 hours, and I was so hungry I was basically no longer hungry. But I was so light-headed, I knew I needed to eat something. So I completely enjoyed the fish. I think it was haddock? Whatever it was, it hit the spot. I had a beer with dinner, Viking Ale, so I’m now in a content, carb-induced food coma.
I think I’m going to skip the bar crawl tonight. I can barely keep my eyes open. And I’m feeling oddly weak — like my arms feel like I’ve been lifting weights all day, and my legs are really sore. I did do a lot of walking around today, but nothing that should be affecting me this way. I’ve had maybe 8 hours of sleep in the past 2 days. I almost feel like a narcoleptic — if I can lean up against something, I instantaneously want to pass out. So sleep will be good. Plus, I really want to get to this flea market tomorrow morning. It’s only on the weekends until about 3pm, and I head out for the Icelandic horseback riding tour tomorrow around noon. From what I heard from a gal I was chatting up at the airport, the flea market is THE place to shop for the deals, so I don’t want to miss it. Things are expensive here. Hope to find some jewelry. And a hat of some sort. Did I say how friggin cold it is here? And it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Thank goodness I brought rain gear.