Fun fact-a flight from New York to Iceland is shorter than flying from New York to California!
I spent about two hours in the airport at Joe and the Juice just waking up with the help of a latte and tasty muffin. I met up with a fellow traveler whom I met on a women’s travel Facebook group. We arranged to spend a majority of the trip together–travel with buddies for maximum fun!
Once we rendezvoused, we got on our Reykjavik Excursions shuttle that drove us straight to the Blue Lagoon. Not sure how long the drive took, we were both passed out immediately. It was rainy all morning, so there wasn’t much to see out the window.
Once we arrived at the Blue Lagoon and checked in, we went to find a locker to store our stuff. That was the most confusing part about Iceland, I think. We couldn’t figure out how to open them. None of the lockers were unlocked; mind you, we arrived when the place opened and ended up sharing a tiny locker. After showering and loading our hair with conditioner, we ventured to the actual lagoon. It was freezing outside, but the water was so warm and soothing. It was pretty packed at opening, but there was plenty of room to soak up some geothermal rays.
We bought the entrance package that included a free drink, algae mask, and towel. Honestly, I recommend just purchasing the standard entrance, the algae mask was nothing special and the drinks were just light beer and wine. We somehow scored an extra free drink, however I spilled mine…twice. Whoops!
After spending a few hours floating around and heavily applying face masks, we showered and got ready for the rest of our day. We ended up missing the bus back in to town (I swear the guy at the desk told us it would come in 20 minutes, but clearly there was some miscommunication) and waited around for an hour until the next one came. It was actually a lot of fun waiting; we met two young guys who worked at the luggage drop off and they entertained us by teaching some Icelandic phrases. I don’t know how anyone can learn this language, it’s so pretty but so difficult to actually pronounce !!
After finally boarding the bus, we fell asleep yet again until we ended up in Downtown Reykjavik. We parted ways and found ourselves at our respective hostel/Airbnb locations so we could shower and relax for a bit. My hair was gross and stiff from the silica at the Blue Lagoon; it took me three shampoo attempts to rinse it all off completely. Once we finished, we met up and walked around a bit. We took some time snapping pictures of the famous Hallgrímskirkja church.
We spent nearly the whole day without a full meal and we were famished!! We ended up dining at the first restaurant we saw, Kol, I believe was the name. It was a pretty fancy place, the food was definitely interesting and we ended up paying a pretty penny for a so-so meal. Lesson learned: shop around a bit for something tasty! I really wanted to try Icelandic fish and I ordered something with salmon. The fish itself was tasty, but I didn’t enjoy the other ingredients.
After dinner we walked for about 20 minutes to meet up with some other women travelers. There were about 11 of us inside a swanky, dimly lit restaurant and we all swapped travel stories over beer and wine. I received some great travel advice and we compared experiences from various parts of the world.
The night was still young, so six of us headed to a local bar (or was it a club?) for more drinks. Alcohol is very expensive in Iceland, so I bought a light beer and sipped on it. I wasn’t about to spend all my money solely on drinks.
After an hour or so, the jet lag was kicking in and I bowed out from the fun. My walk back alone was very safe, I haven’t ever felt nervous being a solo female in this country…I love that!! I stopped at a food cart for an Icelandic burger and donut to soak up the three beers I had throughout the night and made my way back to the apartment I’m staying at. I was probably only awake for fifteen minutes before I was out cold. Man, that was a long, first day!!
Day 2 will be action packed full of waterfalls and glacier hikes. Stay tuned!!!
Here’s some random photos I took on the first day: