Travel Goal #3: Non-Europe, Non-America Travel
Iceland was incredible. I’m not even sure where to start so i think i will do a quick 3 day recap. 4 of us went to Iceland for a friends Bachelorette because it is different, awesome, and only a 5 hour flight from JFK. Also their economy collapsed a few years ago, so most stuff is relatively cheap or reasonable.
Day 1: Arrival, Church, Spa, Northern Lights
We arrived at the Keflavik airport around 7AM friday morning. Rented our little car and hit the road. In a 2 wheel drive, in a snowstorm, armed with just a map… but all was good. During the ride from Keflavik to Reykjavik we passed all kinds of lava flow fields (lava that has hardened and broken up), a few signs of civilization, and the sign for the Blue Lagoon which will be in Day 3 🙂
After reaching Reykjavik we checked into our hotel, the awesome Hotel Holt, had some breakfast and geared up to explore downtown Reyk.
First stop was the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the tallest building in Reyk (i think) so we scampered up to the clock tower to check out the awesome view.
After this we stopped to refuel with coffee and chocolate croissants, walked around a little more, then headed to our spa appointment at the Blue Lagoon Spa in Reykajavik (not to be confused with the Blue Lagoon on day 3). lemme tell you, no pictures (cause that would be creepy in a spa) so take my word for it: best spa ever. we got there 2 hours early to take full advantage of their 3 jacuzzi (2 outside, 1 salt water) and hot and dry steam room. perfect way to rejuvenate after a long night of flying and day of exploring. after two hours of that kind of bliss we each had a 90 minute treatment. this is what i had:
ENERGIZING AND STRENGTHENING SILICA TREATMENT True pampering while skin is provided with pure Icelandic energy. The white geothermal silica mud is the Blue Lagoon’s signature ingredient. It is energizing and relieves stress and fatigue. It naturally deep cleanses and exfoliates and strengthens the skin leaving it with a healthy, youthful glow. The treatment begins with a salt glow where the skin is polished with a unique combination of Blue Lagoon minerals and oils. The body is then wrapped in a firming silica wrap which is left to work while feet are massaged. followed by a scalp massage. A face mask selected for each skin type is applied. This is an extraordinary treatment that cleanses firms and strengthens the skin. The treatment ends with a full body relaxation massage. 90 min 16.200 Krona
Best treatment EVER. the part where they put the mud on you, then wrapped you in plastic then in a heating pad like a burrito was amazing. i wanted to live there forever. and btw 16,200 krona is about $130. and that includes tip. crazy. also an example of how the currency was like monopoly money. 1,000 krona was like $8, so it was basically impossible to do quick math in your head . if you heard about an economic boom in Iceland over St. Particks day you can thank us.
After that amazingness we changed again and headed out on our Northern Lights Tour! A van picked us up (and like 10 others) and drove out 30 minutes to nowheresville, Iceland and we stood in a field of snow and stared at the sky for like 2 hours. never have i been so happy to own Uggs. 20* and standing in snow and my feet were toasty. Eventually we started seeing striations in the sky then they slowly turned light green and one part went over our heads across the sky and the other part looked more like a picket fence going east to west. it was very pretty but fairly faint on the night we went. but i can still say we saw them 🙂 can i prove it? not really, tiny cameras are not powerful enough to pick up Northern Lights. this is what i got: i assure you it was cooler in person. and had actual green and blue colors.
yeah. Then when we tried to leave the van wouldn’t start cause the brake lines froze. Yikes! It was the beginning of a great horror movie, but then they fixed it and we returned to Reyk. Where we had a glass of wine and then fell into our beds after being up for the better part of 45 hours. Day 1: Complete.