Iceland: Day 3

The Blue Lagoon

we had late breakfast and were picked up at 10:30 to transfer to buses headed for the blue lagoon. the blue lagoon buses leaves several times a day from the BSI bus terminal run by reykjavik excursions. get the blue lagoon tour which includes entrance fee and bus fares.

saw a really bad multi-car accident in the highways.

The blue lagoon is half way through keflavik airport and many would do stopovers here before heading to the airport.

essentially, the blue lagoon waters are part sea water, part fresh water. full of minerals and it’s silica is highly prized for it’s healing qualities. silica mud can be found in wooden boxes around the pools to be slathered on your skin. wish we had pictures of ourselves in white mud packs. but it really was too much to ask to get out of the warm waters and into the freezing air.

the waters are very relaxing. there is a waterfall area that massages the back. saunas can be found near the waterfall. we walked around the pools, some areas are very shallow so you can sit or lie down, some up to my neck. some areas have rocky bottoms, some smooth, and some muddy. water temperature also varies, and it’s warmer near the waterfalls, coldest on the farthest ends.

volcanic landscape on the way to blue lagoon

they have a bar where we had lunch before heading out into the pools. you don blue plastic bracelets to operate the lockers and to get in. you can rent towels and bathrobes. changing rooms are clean and equipped with lockers, some private changing areas, shower stalls with blue lagoon shower gel and conditioners, mirrored dressing tables with face towels and hairdryers.

if you don’t want to freeze too much, enter the waters in the small pool inside the building as you exit from the changing rooms. there is a door at the end that leads you to the outdoor pools.

we were stressed a bit on the way out as i told the al the wrong time that we had to catch the bus back to the city. he took a bit too long changing and i was almost jumping up and down at the exits. we ran for the doors and the husband was waving at the bus to stop just as it was pulling out. driver saw us and did stop. it was 3:15pm and the next bus was at 6. thank goodness for kind drivers.

Reykjavik's oldest coffee house, Tiu Dropar

we had a coffee and waffles at reykjavik’s oldest coffeehouse, Tiu Dropar,  in the shopping area of Laugavegur. kitschy interiors filled with vintage lamps and kettles. good coffee, huge waffles served with syrup or nuttella and cream.

Lutheran church, Hallgrims

we’ve trawled the shops and ended up at the other side of Laugavegur with the Lutheran church of Hallgrims. bad photos as it was already dark, but the architecture is amazing.

Fish soup at Saegrafinn

For dinner, we walked to the other side of town at this fish shop near the harbour – Saegrefinn or Sea Baron (not sure why they had 2 names). they have long tables inside with barrels as seats.

Saegrafinn

walls were littered with old pictures, paintings and news clippings. it was very ‘carinderia’ type. and don’t expect good service, though the cashier was friendly enough. it was empty, maybe a little bit early for a Friday night. ordered creamy fish soup and pointed at 3 grilled fish skewers – scallops, monkfish and one we’ve never heard of before and can’t remember. realised we were a bit too full and ended up taking the grilled fish back to the hotel. started eating again quite late into the night. the fish soup was creamy and quite salty. the scallops were ok. huge, but i’ve ate better tasting scallops from the UK. the monkfish was ok. We ended up throwing away the last fish skewer though as we cannot bite into it – really tough meat (i think it was the whale, the husband seems to have a habit of not remembering what the label says)! we consciously tried to avoid eating whale meat as I considered hunting the already endangered whales unethical. bill came in at ISK7400 for soup+3 skewers+2 beers. still not cheap for a turo-turo place.

we were watching the news and i was already half asleep when al says we should head outside and try to see if we can catch the northern lights. no tours this time, just up on the hill a few blocks away. i think it was a -3C than night with the winds blowing really hard that i had to lean on a small light post to steady myself.  we had a good view of the well-lit harbour into the northern sky. a few stars were visible, it was still a very clear night. The city lights did a great job of obscuring the dark skies, and still no northern lights.

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