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Shades of Reyjkavik

What a day! I’ll probably say that more than once as this journey progresses, but that’s OK. The A10 Deluxe B&B was perfect. I got a few hours sleep, and the guy who lives there gave me a ride to the airport in his personal car so that I could catch the Reykjavik Excursions bus to the Blue Lagoon. On the drive there, he pointed out “the glacier,” which looks like a white mountain in the distance. He said I should go there tomorrow. I said I’d consider it, but I’m thinking I’ll really just spend the day in Reykjavik. One needs more than 2 days here! I ended up being very early to the airport to catch the bus, so I just sat around and waited for about 30 minutes. The bus came, we boarded, and we were at the Blue Lagoon before we knew it (“we” being the other people on the bus and me). The drive there was not too exciting–a lot of rocks and grass–kind of like a rugged desert.

The Blue Lagoon is in the middle of the rocky landscape and only about 15 minutes from the airport. I checked my suitcase and proceeded down the walkway to the actual entrance. It’s a very nice facility, and when you check in, you have the option of upgrading to 3 better packages. I got the one that includes a towel, a beverage of my choice, and an algae mask–all necessities, of course. I made my way to the changing room, changed, put my things in my locker, and went out to the lagoon. It was around 34 degrees, I think, but once you get in the water, it doesn’t matter. The water is so warm and relaxing. It’s basically the color of skim milk, which I believe is from the silica. While in the water, there are three places where you can get free silica masks to cleanse your face. It definitely feels like it exfoliates! There is also the Lagoon Bar, where both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are sold. My beverage of choice was something like prosecco–quite nice! There is also a sauna and a steam room, as well as a waterfall that feels amazing beating down on your shoulders. There is a small cafe right there too, and I had an interesting salad of smoked salmon and shaved cauliflower with some sort of caesar-like dressing. It was actually very good–something I might like to do at home!

I stayed for about 2 hours, which is enough time for me in pretty much any pool. With 2 silica masks and the algae mask, my skin felt amazing! I cleaned up and headed out to the bus via the gift shop. I considered making a purchase there, but the products were very expensive. I think the silica masks that were freely given away while in the lagoon cost over $20 for a bottle. It will be a nice memory…. The bus ride to Reykjavik was about 45 minutes and dropped everyone off near their hotel. As we made our way through the streets of Reykjavik (I was the next-to-last stop), I could tell I was going to like exploring this city! I arrived at Ragnhildur’s “perfectly located historic house,” found my key in the box, as promised, and got into my small, but adequate room for the next 2 nights. I rested on the bed for about 10 minutes and set off to explore the city!

First stop was BONUS, the grocery store, to buy something for breakfast the next 2 mornings. The walk there was through the main busy area of Reykjavik, so I was able to scope out places I might like to visit on the way back. I bought some skyr, pickled fish, and strawberries. BONUS was not my favorite grocery store from my travels, but it did the trick. (It had the atmosphere of the old Piggly Wiggly in LaGrange)

Next stop would be a record store called Lucky Records, which I heard about in a YouTube video. It’s quite a nice store, and I spent about an hour there trying to find something that I would want to take home. The salesperson was very helpful in offering some suggestions of Icelandic jazz musicians, but sampling the records, I didn’t feel moved to make a purchase. I need to do some research before I go next time.

It was getting close to time for my dinner reservation at Tapas Barinn, which had been recommended to me by someone I met on my cruise in March. I wasn’t sure when Icelandic people eat, so I made a reservation for 6:30. As I suspected, that was early, and the place was not at all busy when I arrived. I chose the 6-course Icelandic Gourmet Feast. Without going into too many details, everything really was delicious. Enjoy the pictures!

Smoked Puffin is delicous!

Amazing lobster tails!

Wonderful lamb!

This is the whale. It actually kind of tastes like beef!

Skyr mousse. YUM!!

Dinner took about 2 hours. That was a lot of food to eat! At 8:30 PM, it looked like it was about 3:30 in the afternoon, so I roamed around a bit more and went inside the Hallgrimskirkja, which is kind of like their Empire State Building. You can see it from everywhere. The inside is very simple with light streaming in, and the organ is beautiful and shiny.

I went to Harpa, which is Reykjavik’s shiny, beautiful concert hall. They had some jazz going on tonight, but I just didn’t feel like committing to a concert. The building is quite a space, and I would love to see a performance there some day!

I needed one more stop before going back to my room, so I stopped in the Laundromat Cafe. While I was trying one of their local beverages, an American girl and an Icelandic guy sat next to me. After a while, we started talking. I found out that she is from Connecticut and just moved to Iceland to live, and the guy is an Icelandic hip-hop artist. He looks more like an Abercrombie model than a hip-hop artist. Check out Shades of Reykjavik. He’s the one with the skeleton face. They were both very nice and fun to talk to, and we talked about how crazy the language is. It’s SO foreign from English. Occasionally, I pick up on something that sounds somewhat German, but it’s tough to get a grasp on how to say anything but “hæ,” which is pronounced “hi” and means “hi.” When I arrived back at Ragnhildur’s house at around 11:30pm, the sun was finally about to set, and so was I!

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