Iceland - the land of fire and ice! This has been on our bucket list for a long time and was one of three countries on our arctic adventure. Our goal was to see the elusive, majestic Northern Lights and see some of the beauty of the arctic.
After WOW canceled our flight 3 weeks before we were supposed to leave, we got a great deal on Norwegian Air (thank god!). After our layover in London, we had a quick 3 hour flight to Iceland. We got our bags and decided to brave the icy roads with our rental car. As soon as the airport doors opened, a gush of freezing air hit smacked us in the face. As Californians, we were not prepared but we needed to man up! This was the first day of our 2 week trip! Luckily, after an uneventful drive into the capitol of Reykjaví, we checked into our hotel and began walking around downtown to look for some grub.
We stumbled upon a perfect little restaurant near our hotel with multiple tasting menus, Lekjarbrekka Restaurant. I went with the traditional Icelandic tasting menu that was 5 courses and Nate went for the meat tasting menu #notsurprised. What better way to start our trip in Iceland?! Both were delicious but very filling! Definitely recommend splitting between 2 people; I thought the portion sizes would be smaller. Always same room for dessert though! Those icelandic donuts were delish! #kleinur
My first course consisted of fish. One of them was the infamous fermented shark. I had heard horrible things but wanted to try for myself. My first few chews was not bad. Bland and the texture wasn't bad, but as I began to chew more an ammonia type flavor started to come down into my nostrils. Not pleasant. Not pleasant at all. (And a sidenote, this flavor remained through morning even when I blew my nose....#thegiftthatkeepsongiving).
Pics of our tasting menus below:
The next morning, we headed to the famous, touristy blue lagoon. Even though this place was touristy, it still was at the top of my list of things to do in Iceland.
One thing to note about the winter months in Iceland, even though it was 8:00am, it was still pitch black. Our reservation at the blue lagoon was at 9am, so we got to watch the sunrise while enjoying the warm, healing, turquoise waters #nottooshabby
We quickly changed, showered, and then hurried outside so we could start this! After trying not to freeze from where we hung up our robes and towels to walking into the water, we were immersed in an other worldly experience.
The Blue Lagoon lived up to it's reputation. The water is very warm (102 degrees!) and an eerie bright blue. Steam rises from the water as you look out into the ragged landscape around you. It has been named one of the top 25 Wonders of the World and one of the top 10 spas in the world.
To my surprise, I learned that the Blue Lagoon is not natural but was man made in 1976. It's actually waste-waterfrom a nearby power plant that's drilling for steam and water #yuck? BUT the water is clean and actually is renewed every 48 hours. The water actually doesn't contain any chemicals and only natural minerals, like silica, that have been proven to be beneficial to people's skin.
After exploring the lagoon, we went to the mask station to start our first masks. The masks are fun but turn very cold if there's a strong breeze in the winter!
We saw people drinking some beer and our pass came with a free beverage, so we hit up the bar located in the lagoon for breakfast of champions, beer :) While enjoying our beverage, we got to watch the beautiful sunrise. #pinchme
Next up was our 2nd mask. Nate went with Lava Scrub and I went with the Algae Mask. Again, we had to battle the breeze and deal with a "head freeze" with the cold wind blowing against the wet masks on our face. #bestrong
Views around the lagoon:
After an hour and a half soaking in the healing waters, we got out so we could shower and get ready for our lunch reservations.
Since we were in the mode of "treat yo self" - we ate lunch at the decadent Lava Restaurant on site. It's built around a lava cliff that is one of the walls in the restaurant and has huge windows, giving uninterrupted views into the lagoon and it's mesmerizing waters. Lunch is a bit pricey but consists of traditional Icelandic ingredients and is quite delicious.
Our reservation included a free glass of sparkling wine to get us started. #livingourbestlife We then split a few appetizers like the Langoustine soup, and beer mussels, and finished off with a tasty strawberry dessert.
After our relaxing morning, we drove the 45 minutes back to Reykjavik to spend the rest of our afternoon exploring the capital. Tune in for the next blog.
- The Bonds
Some things to note about the blue lagoon:
1. It is a top tourist spot, so be prepared for it to be crowded
2. Make a reservation beforehand
3. Be prepared to shower before you go into the blue lagoon. Ladies, I recommend using LOTS of their conditioner (leave it in your hair) and then putting your hair up. I read horror stories about what the water does to your hair. So if you're cool having it dry and brittle for 3-7 days - go for it! #doitforthegram
4. Bring clothes to change into after. You have a locker room and showers - use'em!
5. They have a nice restaurant there. Make a reservation with your blue lagoon entrance and enjoy a relaxing lunch after your time in the water. There's also a cheaper cafe if you don't feel like shelling out some cash for the Lava Restaurant.
Follow in Our Footsteps:
Home Luxury Apartments, Reykjavik (Apartment K)
Þingholtsstræti 2, Þingholtsstræti, Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 578 9850
Bankastræti 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 551 4430
Hours: 11:30am - 10pm
Norðurljósavegur 9, 240 Grindavík
+354 420 8800
Hours: 9am - 10pm (varies during seasons)
Cost: $57 - $320 (depending on package)
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!