Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Iceland Trip Day One

In January, we booked a short trip to Iceland for the second week of Easter. Of course, we were excited to go and looking forward to seeing the sights. However, in the run up to the holiday, I suffered a miscarriage (I posted about this here). Heartbroken, we had to decide whether to still go on the trip, whether I was physically and emotionally capable and all that it entailed. We decided to go ahead with the trip and it was the best decision we could have made. Iceland healed my soul and I fell in love with this stunning country. So here is our travel diary for the healing holiday.

We flew to Keflavik Airport which is one of the nicest airports I've ever flown to or from - so clean and well organised! We picked up a hire car (remember, hubs is travel sick boy!) using the free shuttle bus and headed off. We landed early in the morning and couldn't check into our hotel in Reykjavik until 2pm so we had bought tickets to the Blue Lagoon. However... Keflavik were so efficient with border control and baggage that we ended up with a little over 2 hours spare. Google to the rescue!!

Viking World

I found out about Viking World on Google as we were driving out of the airport. It's located in Reyksjanesbaer and could not have been better located. On the way to the Blue Lagoon, we pulled in and spent an enjoyable hour or so here. The highlight of the visit was being able to walk onto and around a huge replica Viking ship that had been built by Gunnar Marel Eggertson and sailed over to New York in 2000 as part of a celebration of Leifur Eriksson's journey to the New World.

A Viking burial ship

The Blue Lagoon

I desperately wanted to visit the Blue Lagoon and even having read thousands of blogs about how expensive it is and how it was really touristy didn't put me off. I just couldn't imagine what it was like to see, hear, feel... I'm SO glad we went.

Yes, it was expensive and yes, it was full of tourists but I had never experienced anything like it. 

The water was SO blue and SO warm that hours passed by here just exploring the enormous site. 

The Blue Lagoon is a man-made geothermal spa with mineral rich waters, silica being the one that gives it its distinctive blue appearance...and boy was it blue!

We had a mud mask, a couple of drinks, went in the steam rooms and saunas and basically walked around each section. I imagine even at its busiest, you could get away from the crowds into one of the little corners that are tucked away from the main pool.

If you don't want to pay to go into the Blue Lagoon, you can park in the car park for free and walk around the outside pools (with no people in). As far as I could see, there was no-one patrolling and chasing you away. There was a path all around the little streams and pools outside the main complex and you really did get a sense of just how blue and warm the water is. I'll definitely be writing a blog post on my tips to get the most out of the Blue Lagoon as there were so many things I wished we had known before we went.

Icelandic Fish and Chips

Finally we made it to our hotel (the Hilton Nordica - decent but noisy!) and after a nap, we headed out to find something to eat. Now, you'll probably know that Iceland is crazy expensive for food and drinks and certainly in Reykavik it definitely is. However, we decided not to compare prices back to pounds but compare prices to other places in Reykavik and Icelandic Fish and Chips was excellent food at a decent price. 

They have a chalkboard up with their special choices, fish they've bought and what they would pair it with. Of course, you can build your own meal from the menu. I went for one of their recommendations - pollock with cripsy potatoes and mango salad...and I'm SO glad I did. It was absolutely gorgeous, really filling and the freshest, tastiest fish I've eaten in a long time. For a girl who's not a fish lover...and definitely not white fish...this converted me!

We also ordered onion rings on the side and a whole pile came. These were in a really light, non-greasy, flavoured batter and accompanied the fish perfectly.

And I couldn't let you escape without a little selfie - I hadn't worn makeup in so long with everything that had been going on...and I was scared I'd forgotten how to apply it! I glammed myself up and felt so much more ready to face the world. 

There ends Day One in Iceland. Stay tuned for the rest!

(Affiliate links may have been used in this post and are marked with *, read my disclaimer here)


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