Who swims in 30 degree weather?

Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
1
5
Trip End Jan 26, 2009


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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Monday, January 26, 2009

We wake up an hour late (slept through the wake up call) and missed breakfast.  Amy and I packed up, checked out of the hotel, and walked over to 1011, which is the local grocery store.  They had quite a selection of items for breakfast.  I went with a croissant, raspberry flavored skyr, and orange juice.  We got back to the hotel to eat our breakfast and wait for Reykjavik Excursions to pick us up for our Blue Lagoon tour.  Turns out my croissant was filled with ham and cheese.  Quite the yummy surprise.

We get picked up once again by a small bus, taken to the main bus terminal, and transferred to a larger bus.  With these large bus tours, we all decide that we made good moves hiring private guides for the golden circle and the south coast.  Hitching a ride to the northern lights or blue lagoon with a large group is one thing, but going on full day tours would have been miserable.  The bus ride took 45 minutes from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon, and the views were really nice.  We had similar views on the drive from the airport to Reykjavik on the first day, but we couldn't see anything since it was dark.  

We arrived at the Blue Lagoon and walk up in between volcanic rock and geothermal baths, it was extremely windy, and lightly raining.  We get inside and they give you a bracelet with a magnetic chip in it.  Here you can hire towels, bathers, and/or robes.  Whatever you need.  We got some towels, then went through the gates using our bracelets.  Once in the locker room, you can put everything in a locker and use your bracelets to lock the doors.  Very cool device.  Once out of the locker room, you can go directly outside to the pools or to a smaller pool still indoors.  We waited in the smaller pool area until everyone was ready.  There was quite a variation of bathing suits.  Some people wearing bikinis, some wearing thongs, others wearing board shorts (and these were just the guys I am talking about).  Once our group was together, we used the door that connects the indoor pool to the outside.  At this point the rain has turned to sleet and snow, yet we are still swimming around. The water is plenty warm, but there are definitely some cold spots.  Visibility was very low as well.  We first swam to the middle where the water was extremely warm.  Then Amy wanted to try the mud masks, so we went over there and waited 10 minutes before washing off.  There was a huge waterfall and plenty of saunas.  Certainly a very relaxing atmosphere.  I bet it is even better when not snowing.  After an hour we decide that was enough and change back into our street clothes.  Leave it to the Europeans to come up with clever inventions like plastic bags in the locker rooms to store your wet bathers for the trip home. We eat lunch at the Spa cafe while watching the springs and wait for the bus to take us to the airport.

Airport check in was a breeze.  The airport, and the entire country for that matter, is the cleanest I have ever been to.  We wait in line to get our tax money back (tourists get a 24.6% refund on the items they buy) and then go duty free shopping.  Not sure how Amy hasn't bought enough to fill all of her bags by now, but there was still more to get.  I bought my first item of the trip, a bottle of Brennivin to take home.  If anyone is interested in giving it a try, you are more than welcome to come over.  The weather is still pretty miserable, but we board on time and take off without a hitch.  On the way home I watched 2 epi's of Prison Break (the first and only good season).  Then watched Fever Pitch, a cute rom-com about the crappy Boston Red Sox, starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.  Our flight lands and we take the Airtrain to Jamaica station where Amy and I say our goodbyes to Jon and Ken.  We took the LIRR to Penn Station, then hopped on the Megabus back home.  Luckily for me Amy was able to spend the full 2 hours on the phone so I could just listen to my ipod and sleep.  We got home after a fantastic trip.  Iceland is a can't miss, even in the winter.  Can't wait to go back during the summer months and see how that is.
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Where I stayed
Parc Rittenhouse

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