Saturday, 01 April 2017 - Blue Lagoon n Chill
In being consistent with nicknaming our breakfast buffets, I would call this one the ‘Icelandic Love Buffet’. They really set the mood with mini heart shaped pancakes. I would rank this the 2 nd best buffet we experienced in Iceland.
After breakfast, we made the 4 ½ hour drive back to Reykjavik. There was one toll road that could be paid by credit card and involved a 6km underground tunnel. Once back in Reykjavik, we took an afternoon walk that brought us to a couple food spots. The first one was the infamous hot dog stand, Baejarins Beztu Pylsur (bbp.is). I recommend getting your dogs fully loaded with the brown sauce, white sauce, and onions. After walking around a bit more, our next food stop was right across from our hotel, Hotel Odinsve , at a place called C is for Cookie. Although I’m way too old to be watching Sesame Street, I’m still a fan of Cookie Monster, which made this a mandatory stop. The split pea soup, tea, and cheesecake hit the spot.
We relaxed for a little bit and then made our way to the Blue Lagoon (bluelagoon.com) for our 7pm reservation. It is located towards Keflavic Airport approximately 40 minutes’ drive from downtown Reykjavik. We only booked this a week in advance, which made it a little more expensive and limited our entry time. So, book this AT LEAST two weeks ahead of time to save some money and add flexibility. We took our rental car, but there are buses that head to the Blue Lagoon as well. Deb and I stayed for 2 – 3 hours and one of us took full advantage of our 4 drink maximum at the outdoor bar. Deb indulged in one of the skin treatment options that they have at the lagoon as well. Although we didn’t find out until after, they have small, clear, waterproof bags you can rent if you want to bring your phone out to the lagoon. Overall, there were a good amount of people there, but you can wander around and find your own spot to get away from the crowds.
Deb and I got back to our hotel a little exhausted from 2 hours in a hot tub, but were still committed to dabble in the Reykjavik nightlife. I wandered down to Snaps Restaurant for a Reyka Vodka martini while Deb was finishing up getting ready. After that, we walked to a popular Icelandic spot called Kaffibarinn, which filled up quick after we got there. Apparently the nightlife in Reykjavik starts late, around midnight or so and runs late. We didn’t last too long at Kaffibarinn, so I’m not too sure how late it runs. Next time.
Sunday, 02 April 2017
Sunday was a day of emotional extremes. I was sad that we had to leave the magical place of Iceland and go back to the real world. I was ecstatic that we once again had the opportunity to indulge upon the ‘Buffet of Dreams!’ In route to the airport, we had time to stop at the History Museum of Iceland (visitreykjavik.is/national-museum- iceland). This was one of the best historical museums I have been to. It provides what I felt was a legitimate summation about the history of the country that I wish I would have known more about prior to our exploration. I would recommend checking this out early in your trip as it will add a much better perspective.
We filled up the rental car with gas right at the airport with the price actually being cheaper than other spots we saw around the country. Deb received her tax rebate right in the airport for the hiking boots she purchased. The Wow Airlines check-in process was just as easy as our arrival flight.
There are a handful of things I would have entertained doing had I known about them ahead of time. In talking to some locals, the skiing / snowboarding scene there seems legit. There are a handful of ski resorts with the larger ones appearing to be in the north by Akureyri. In my initial glance into pricing, it seemed to be one of the most reasonably priced activities in Iceland. There’s also some great backcountry skiing / snowboarding to do. The Adventure Vikings take people surfing there, which seems chilly, but manageable. I would love to go horseback riding around Iceland as well.
The Lokely Experience…
The more I spoke with locals, the more I found out about some of the gems of Iceland that were off the beaten path that I did not get to experience. I would have loved to connect with a local ahead of time and go backcountry snowboarding for a day. I would have been all about checking out some of the road less traveled hot springs to be able to have them to myself. It would have been nice to know that we should have booked a few things further in advance for better pricing, flexibility, and possibly some cooler things to check out. I would bet that Lokely could have solved the debate of which hotdog stand in downtown Reykjavik was the best quicker than Deb and I could. I look forward to the Lokely Experience in the future.
Please contact me on Lokely if you have any questions about my Iceland experience. You can find me by searching ‘John Aspinall, San Diego, CA.’