We woke up on our penultimate day to torrential rain, hail and gale force winds. From what I understand this was nothing by Icelandic standards but it was the worst we had experienced. I like to think that Iceland was unhappy that we were going to be leaving and started to cry. Obviously not the case but it is nice to dream.
Jumping in the car we headed back on the road we had originally followed from the airport to Reykjavik to get to the famous Blue Lagoon. As we got out of the car the rain seemed to be turned up a level and even in the short run to the main entrance I felt like I had already taken a dip in the lagoon.
There are a number of different packages that are available for your enjoyment and we went for the Comfort package. This meant we got a towel and the first drink of our choice, along with face masks, but didn’t get a robe or slippers that come with the the more expensive packages. Everything was very high tech with wrist bands that you used to access your locker and buy any food or drink you require inside from the water bar. The lockers seemed to confuse everyone inside and the attendants seemed to take enjoyment in watching the struggle.
The next step in the process seemed equally confusing for many of the people visiting. If you have read anywhere about bathing or swimming in Iceland, you will no doubt be aware that you are required to shower naked before entering any of the pools. Even with the helpful sign of a male figure with red circles in all the intimate places some people still didn’t realise you needed to get naked and actually wash before you enter. Luckily at this point the attendants were a lot more helpful in explaining this. It was also essential to use lots of conditioner and leave it in to prevent your hair from completely drying out in the lagoon.
After waiting an excessively long time for my fiancée to find her way out of the labyrinth that is the female changing room, we could finally venture out in the milk blue waters. There are two entrances to the lagoon. A shallow pool with a small door to avoid the elements and the main door with a long slope. In this situation, with the storm raging, the logical choice is to use the shallow pool entrance. So obviously, we opted for the short sharp run in the freezing cold rain and hail. Fun and very refreshing.
The water was nice and warm and if you could find the correct spot it was very toasty. Although you had to keep the water neck high or the strong winds would quickly make you shiver. The strong wind also meant we had to hold on our beers tightly or it would have been blown away. Not something that I was accustomed to when drinking; a new challenge to conquer.
Alongside the main pools there was also a steam room and sauna. We tried both of these out and I can say that I won’t be rushing to the next available sauna any time soon. Getting hot and sweaty is not something I have ever struggled to do, as I am a natural storage heater, so going in to a room that is directly intended to cause perspiration isn’t my idea of fun. But I am always willing to try new things so really can’t complain.
We spent a very relaxing 5 hours there and made a pact that on the last day of every holiday we would always find something very relaxing and calm to do as it was the perfect end to a very busy and fun trip. I never thought I would be someone that would enjoy just lounging around in a spa, as my past experiences of lounging on a beach or by a pool are some of the most boring I’ve ever had, but this was actually really enjoyable.
After a day of relaxation, and a visit to the supermarket to get some drinks that don’t taste like egg (sulphuric taste that the hotel water had), it was time to go for our final meal of the trip. I had found a place called Von mathús, just down the road from the hotel, that looked pretty good so we decided to head down to give it a try. Luckily, there was a table free for a couple of hours so we were quickly sat down and I decided to try the festive Icelandic beer which was delicious. For food we went for the three course meal and choose both options so we could try everything; as we usually do. We started with cured salmon, pickled vegetables and a sweet pearly pesto, which was delicious. I haven’t had a pearl barley pesto with cured fish before but it was something I would love to try again.
My fiancée had braised ox cheek with roasted vegetables, parsnip puree and a red wine sauce for main and I had Atlantic cod and roasted vegetables with a pickled fennel dressing. Again both were amazing!
Dessert was the same for us both and consisted of a crème brûlée with a nut gratin and a citrus sorbet. At this point I am running out of words to describe how much I enjoyed all the food that we ate, throughout the whole trip, so I will just say that it was probably one of the best desserts I have ever eaten.
And so we come to the end of our first Icelandic adventure. The following day was a short drive to the airport and collapsing from exhaustion when we got home.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our trip as much I enjoyed recounting it. Here’s to the next adventure… Germany here we come!
Ciao for now!