Welcome to Iceland!
I touched down in Reykjavik, Iceland at 6-something on the morning of January 23rd. My red-eye from Toronto was short and since it was dark when I took off and when I landed, it was hard to tell I was even in another country.
My first Icelandic adventure was a gruelling and athletic….trip to the Blue Lagoon! A geothermal pool set against some gorgeous snow-covered mountains, the Blue Lagoon was a perfectly relaxing introduction to Iceland. The water is super hot and is a fun contrast to the chilly winds and snow happening on land. Watching the mist off the water, hanging out under the lagoon waterfalls and applying a therapeutic mud cream was all pretty heavenly. Basically, I spent my first day in Iceland in an oversized luxury hot tub 🙂
I arrived at my hostel, half-awake but fully relaxed, later in the afternoon. Bus Hostel is a bit outside of the city centre but makes up for its sub-par location with awesome facilities, cute decor and helpful staff. I was nervous about booking another hostel after some less than pleasant experiences in Europe, but Bus Hostel has been amazing so far! I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the area and checking out the mall. Surprisingly, the mall was pretty big and home to some familiar stores (The Body Shop, Pandora, etc.). I also did some grocery shopping and managed to pick up quite a few things (including famous Icelandic Skyr!) for pretty cheap!
My second day in Iceland started pretty late. I hadn’t slept since the night of the 21st so I enjoyed a wonderful 15 hour sleep on the 23rd. I ate breakfast with some fellow travellers from US & Denmark; the guy from Denmark is 39 countries in to travelling the entire world without taking any planes! He entertained us with his stories and upcoming plans.
After “breakfast” (it was past noon), I walked into the city centre of Reykjavik, getting lost and soaked by the rain en route. I walked the main shopping strip, picked up some souvenirs and stopped for lunch at Iceland’s oldest cafe (or so they say). After lunch, I did some more exploring, enjoyed a cup of herbal Icelandic tea and got lost and soaked all over again on the way home. I was supposed to see the Northern Lights tonight but due to the crappy weather, I’ll have to rebook. Fingers crossed things clear up before I leave Tuesday morning!
Tomorrow I’m off to see more of Iceland’s natural beauty on a tour of the Golden Circle. Hopefully the rain lets up a bit!