Blue Lagoon 1
A nice relaxing destination after the flight. Shuttle bus runs directly from airport and then into Reykjavik.
Because of the air traffic controllers strike, we had to circle the Reykjavik airport for 20 minutes before landing. It was a long walk from the plane to customs. I was surprised at the size of airport given the size of the city but it is a hub for Europe after all. A good occasion to stretch my legs. Customs was a breeze. The agent matched my face to the passport photo and stamped it. Somewhat like Calgary and WalMart, there were lots of greeters ready to answer questions and direct people out of the airport.
Since my flight had been delayed thrice, I was worried I would miss my connections to my hotel and hot springs. Not to worry as the bus company changed my tickets to take me to Blue Lagoon and then on to Reykjavik. The ride was surreal. We traversed a lunar landscape of jagged rocks. It reminded me also of a coral reef with all the pits and crannies between the volcanic rocks. Once in a while there would be a few plants growing along the side of the road where soil had accumulated. There were even a few lupins. Surprisingly, they are in full
Blue Lagoon 2
Huge. Lots of room to float in private.
bloom, unlike the ones at home that only have a few leaves.
Blue Lagoon is a great set-up. It has a reception centre with showers, sauna, relaxation room and restaurant. A luxury hotel is being built beside the lagoon. The lagoon itself is about the size of a small lake. The water is a robin's egg blue and milky due to the silica and other healthful minerals in the water. Steam rises from the surface, giving everything a somewhat eerie tone. This is enhances by the white mud masks on many bathers faces. The water is about 100 degrees F, rising from a depth of two kilometres below the surface. The volcanic rock edges of the lagoon are stained white from the calcified minerals. There is even a swim up bar and a sauna. The later was too hot for me. The heat coming through the floorboards burned my toes. Much more pleasurable was the waterfall. Standing under it was a great massage for my back and shoulders after the flight. In all, I spent about two hours paddling around searching out the hot spots. Then back on the bus to head into the capitol.
I thought I
Blue Lagoon 3
View of instalations and construction of new spa and luxury hotel
heard the driver announce my hotel so off I got. I slipped on the wet bottom step and twisted my knee. I will wait till tomorrow to see if I have sprained it. I hope not as I have many miles to put on my shoes as I explore the city. The driver got me as close as he could to my hotel but it was still a fifteen minute walk. I walked through a variety of neighbourhoods, ranging from Cold War type cinder block apartment blocks to traditional Islandic cottages to artsy-fartsy modern public buildings.
The Oddsson Hotel (oddsson.is) sits on the corner of two busy streets at the edge of the harbour with a view of mountains on the other side of the bay. Most of them are hidden by low clouds for the moment. Runnells of snow weave their way down the flank. The hostel is brand spanking new, having only opened a few months ago. It still smells of wood and paint. To save money so I have more to feast on fresh fish, I booked a bed in a six bunk room. I got upgraded to a four bunk room. For tonight my room
Blue Lagoon 4
This manmade waterfall also acts as a massage for those crampted mussels after a long flight.
mates are two middle-aged Italian men and a young silent blond woman. Unlike the youth hostel I stayed in many years ago in Quebec City, the washrooms here are not co-ed. The bed is comfortable with a puffy duvet and an electrical outlet by the pillow to recharge the electronic devises and not have to worry about it getting ripped off during the night.
The staff are all smiles and helpful. They seem to be multi-functional, sharing many of the duties around the establishment. There is a huge reception/lobby area with lots of comfy chairs and sofas for relaxing and socialising. There is also a bar, a restaurant and tonight features live jazz. Many locals in attendance. My second blunder of the day occurred when I leaned over to get my backpack and the chair skidded away on the slippery cement floor. A number of people jumped to my aid but nothing was hurt except for my pride. There are advantages to having a grey beard. People are quite solicitous.
I arrived before my bed was ready so decided to start hitting the museums since it was still drizzling and the breeze had picked up.The first museum I
Blue Lagoon 5
A wade up bar.
found, after exploring the oldest cemetery was one chronicling the early settlers homes and some of the early sagas which give an idea of people and events of the first century of European colonisation (Reykjavik 871+/-2). An excellent recreation of archaeological digs and description of lifestyles.
I had planned to go to the Maritime museum but by the time I found it, it was late in the day. I hope my half price pass is good for a few more days. A bit of hungry was coming on as I hadn't had a decent meal in the last 24 hours. I chose one of the many fish and chip joints around the downtown core. Bad choice. Even if the sign said fresh daily, the fish was mush. The tempura batter was excellent though. The fries were straight of the freezer. I continued walking about for a bit before heading back to the hotel to check in.
I headed back out again after having a beer in the hotel lounge. As I was looking for something to eat, I passed a restaurant window and saw a guy take a big bite from a burger. By the expression on his
Blue Lagoon 6
Slilica encrusted rocks. Silica is the main mineral in these waters bubbling up from more than a mile underground.
face, it looked good. I entered and ordered one myself. I had become discouraged by the menus posted outside the restaurants that piqued my interest. Most would set me back $50 for a meal. As it was, the burger and tea was around $20. I think from now on I will make use of the common kitchen at the hostel and the grocery store across the street like a lot of the budget conscious guests here.
It was still daylight so I went in search of an adapter to recharge my batteries. It took me a while but was eventually successful. It didn't click that the sun didn't set until midnight so I kept wandering around, taking pictures of architectural features. To be posted when I get home as I forgot the cable. I guess I should learn how to take pictures with this tablet. It would be much simpler. Maybe I will check the manual on the flight home. I got back to the hostel foot weary and thirsty. A beer and laid-back jazz was in order. I was sleepy but not quite ready for bed. I looked in the mirror. Not only did I have bags under
Blue Lagoon 7
Not sure where this leads, inland or out to sea.
my eyes but also on the side of my eyes. I tossed and turned for a while but eventually fell asleep.
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