Out of the Fridge and into the Freezer
So the big day finally arrived. I woke up this morning with a raw throat, raw sinuses and wet laundry; not exactly the dream start I’d been hoping for. A couple of painkillers and some overkill pampering from mum, my sister and my girlfriend certainly made things easier. A couple of hours later and I was at Heathrow, ready for the final goodbye. By this point I’ve built up a fairly good system of hiding my emotions to make the whole process easier. Unfortunately the system fails catastrophically when the person I’m saying goodbye to shows the faintest sign of breaking down as I found out when confronted by my teary little sister at one of my many leaving dos. Luckily, my farewell party had strength in numbers and the whole process went rather smoothly. However, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel slightly off having gone through departures and as a result, I wasn’t in the mood to write on the flight.
Having spent the plane journey watching a film and doing some back up reading on Iceland and enjoying their in-flight marketing material, the time soon came to make our descent I was really looking forward to getting to Reykjavik. Little did I know that my dad awaited me in the arrivals lounge ready to surprise me! It was fantastic to see him and he seemed particularly pleased that he’d managed to keep his visit a secret from me despite telling half of Essex.
As we set off for the Blue Lagoon to wash the flight off, we pulled over for a moment to take in the scenery. It felt like I was on a different planet. The landscape is absolutely breathtaking! Volcanic rocks as far as the eye can see, and yet this particular part of Iceland is absolutely flat. Having taken a moment to catch my breath and take a few photos, we continued on to the spa.
Unfortunately the gentleman we asked to take our photo was obviously not born to be the next Ansel Adams, and somehow managed to cut off the Blue Lagoon logo. Still, the sun was shining and we rounded the corner to the entrance.
I have seen so many photos of the Blue Lagoon but none really do it justice. The colour of the water is so much more vivid in reality and the way it contrasts with the harsh grey of the rest of the landscape is spectacular. However we weren’t there only to enjoy the scenery and quickly made our way inside, changed and headed back out into the pools. This period of transition can only have lasted about 15 minutes so you can understand how surprised I was to walk out the door into a zero visibility blizzard. Apparently this sudden change in weather is absolutely normal in Iceland but as a tourist it’s taking me quite a while to adjust. No harm done though as it works both ways, and the weather soon reverted to its previous state.
The pool itself is great and I’d highly recommend it. We certainly left feeling refreshed and ready for some dinner. There’s only one place that I’d heard of that was fairly cheap and this was Baejarins Beztu Pylsur (or The Best Hot Dog in Town). I’m not sure how a tiny vendor has become one of the most famous places to eat in Reykjavic but their hot dogs certainly are amazing. Afterwards we happened to see the bar next door was showing Arsenal vs West Ham. It had been a long day and I’d barely slept the night before so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a beer and watch the footy, especially considering I’m an avid arsenal fan and Dad is a West Ham man. It was a good relaxing evening (we won 3-1).
Afterwards I headed back to the hostel for the night. I had to be up early in the morning for an activity you wouldn’t expect to find in Iceland. But more on that in the next post.