My 60th country! I am so proud of my accomplishments. While I’ve just put a dink in my journey to see the world, Iceland was the furthest north I would have been, and a place I knew would be very different from anywhere else I’ve been.
We had an overnight flight from JFK, and I didn’t manage to sleep more than 20 minutes. But I was okay with it. We touched ground in Reykjavik around 7 am and grabbed a taxi to the Blue Lagoon. It was about a 20 minute drive and cost $80 USD. Iceland is not cheap. The views on the drive were something that Tony and I had never seen before. The terrain was rough and black, almost like giant black rocks. It was, in fact, lava. So much dried lava for as far as the eye could see. And right there in the middle of it all, was the Blue Lagoon.
We were lucky to get a private changing room, just Tony and me together, that had a shower and sink. Once we changed into our bathing suits, we headed out into the cold. It was about 55 degrees, so not horrible, and once we were in the silica thermal water, we were perfect. It was about the temperature of a hot tub, and as cloudy as dirty dishwater. We walked around the hot baths, which came up to my neck, for about an hour. There was a bar where we had champagne, and a facial bar where we covered our faces in silica. I guess it’s supposed to be good for your skin, but I must be honest, I don’t feel any different.
After we both showered, we booked a bus into the city, about a 45 minute drive. Here we would pick up our campervan. Yes, we were staying in a campervan for the next 5 days! You might be wondering what exactly a campervan is. Well, it’s quite simple. It’s a van with a bed in the back. It’s actually very common in Iceland since much of the country is spread out. You start driving, and when you’re ready to stop, you find a nearby campground and crawl into the back of the van to sleep. Also, our campervan came with a WiFi hotspot for just an extra 5 euros per day, a justifiable and reasonable expense for us.
Keeping in mind that we had not slept the night before, and it was nearly 2 pm by the time we got our campervan and found a parking spot in Reykejavik, you can probably guess what happened. Yep, we ‘camped’ all night long in a parking ramp. I’ll be honest, it was not a great night’s sleep. We couldn’t lock the doors from the inside, and I was in the back with very little clothing on. The van itself was running so we had air flow, and I had this horrible nightmare that someone would hop in the front seat and just drive away with us, finally waking us up on some glacier in the middle of Iceland, cold and hungry. Turns out that didn’t happen, but tonight we’ve committed to finding a campground with a bathroom. (We had been sneaking into the Radisson Hotel across the street to use the bathroom and brush our teeth).
We did manage to find a very authentic restaurant – The Icelandic Bar – in Reykjavik where Tony had a meat plate that consisted of lamb bacon, lamb jerky, two types of whale fin, pork patae, and reindeer meat balls. He ate every bit of it and is looking forward to going back for the horse burger.
All-in-all, our first day in Iceland has been great. We’re looking forward to getting out of the city and seeing what nature sights Iceland really has to offer, and what the Icelandic campgrounds really are like.
PS – There is a Phallological Museum in Iceland. I highly recommend this. It’s a quick stop, only 30 minutes or so, and is a collection of various species penial organs. A teenager started collecting them about 50 years ago and has turned the over 60 organs into a museum. There really are all kinds of people on this planet, and humans will never cease to amaze me.