Reykjavik Travel Blog

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What I knew about my birthday surprise before the 18th I could have written on the back of a postage stamp, but I was about to get a lesson in jumping to conclusions. I knew I had 3 days off work, and that we were using the car, so I assumed we were off to explore Scotland’s unchartered territory; so when I was advised to pack warm I was not surprised. On Wednesday we got a bit of a sleep in before packing in to the car and heading west. We had to pass the airport Hilton, which has become a bit of a running joke since last year and I was almost convinced that was where we were headed.

We had just passed Glasgow when Cam asked me to pull out the directions from behind my seat, so I read them to him without really thinking about it. The directions lay on my lap for a few minutes before I realised we were headed for one of the airport car parks. Very confused I asked if we were going to the airport, but Cam was playing coy. When we had found our spot and parked, Cam said so do you want to know what were doing, I could only nod and he told me we were headed to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Needless to say I needed to do a quick repack and dump some of my ‘romantic weekend’ gear in the car. We had a bit of a wait at the airport, but we got to check-in our bags which was a nice change after our string of budget airlines – we even got in-flight entertainment.

On the plane I brushed up on my knowledge of Iceland. The island of Iceland lies in the North Atlantic and exists because of a volcanic hotspot between the North American and European tectonic plates. The island is about 100,000 km2 and is home to about 300,000 Viking ancestors, most of who live in the capital.

When we got to Reykjavik a tour bus took us straight to the Blue Lagoon (silly me had forgotten to pack my swimmers despite being informed there were ‘facilities’ but luckily was wearing appropriate underwear). The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most famous attraction, the geothermal pool holds 6 million litres of water which is a combination of Sea water (70%) and fresh water (30%) which are heated through porous lava beneath the surface, during this process a mineral exchange occurs making the waters have a cleansing (and ‘healing’) quality. The water is about 39◦C, so in comparison to the 3◦C it was outside; the water was definitely the place to be. The visitor centre hosts a bar, relaxing areas, saunas and a restaurant all on the lagoons edge. It was a fantastic start to the trip to sit back with a silica mask and enjoy the natural goodness. It was quite a surreal experience though, because of the algae and silica in the water it glows a whitish blue, and all the steam coming off the surface makes it feel like a dream sequence – the complete opposite to the geothermal pool we visited in Turkey in the height of summer! After the dip we got a coach to our hotel which was situated right in the centre of town in front of the Hallgrimskirkja. We checked in then headed out for food (it was past 8pm and we were only sustained by sandwiches since we left Edinburgh at 10), we found an Italian restaurant called Roma Pomodoro and ate our fill, before turning in for the night.
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photo by: MadeleineGL