Sunday, Feb. 12
We slept in soundly. For most of us, it was our first full night of sleep (I probably slept the most on the plane ride out of the 7 of us, and at most I got 3 or so hours of decent sleep). We had hit the gas pretty hard on our first night out, as evidenced later when we finally began checking our online banking accounts and saw those rounds of beer add up ($70 per round, wheee!). In a stroke of perfect planning, we had booked our day at Blue Lagoon for Sunday afternoon, so we had nothing but relaxation on the agenda.
Blue Lagoon is located back by the airport, but it’s easy to set up shuttle service to and from most hotels. Our Airbnb was a 10-meter walk from a boutique hotel that became our pickup/drop-off spot for the duration of the trip, with the bonus of having an easily pronounceable name, Hotel Holt (in comparison, our street’s name consisted of 17 characters). A friend and I managed to wake up relatively early, and we ran out for coffees and yogurt (I fell in love with Skyr on this trip). Most of the group, hit by the double whammy of jet lag and hangovers, stayed in bed right up until it was almost time to go for our 3 p.m. reservation. Finally, everyone got up, shoved their bathing suits and flip flops into bags, and made their way out the door.
Blue Lagoon is pretty famous for being a tourist spot, but it’s worth a visit at least once in your life. There are geothermal pools all over the country (even the tiniest towns consisting of a gas station, grocery store, and cluster of houses had a pool), but Blue Lagoon is notable for its milky blue water, rich in minerals including silica and sulfur. If you plan to visit, make a reservation in advance (time slots fill up quickly) and be sure to check the fine print on your shuttle reservation, as your ride may show up as much as 45 minutes early depending on where your hotel is located. We opted for the middle tier option, Comfort, which included silica and algae masks, a free drink, and a towel.
It was drizzling cold rain when we arrived. Our group consisted of two women and five men, so we split up into our locker rooms. I lost my friend at some point near the showers, so I entered the Lagoon area on my own. I walked onto the deck in my swimsuit in 40 degrees and light rain, and beelined into the warm water. It was heaven.
Within a few minutes, our group reassembled and waded over to the bar. Upon check-in, you are given a wrist band that keeps track of any food or drinks you purchase during your stay. I opted for the prosecco for my free drink (you are limited to 3 drinks per wristband for safety reasons). One of our friends struck up a conversation with a lifeguard, who shared some stories about recent celebrity visitors (Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Justin Bieber have all been to Blue Lagoon recently). The lifeguard tower overlooking the pool had a giant windshield wiper that would periodically clear the glass window.
After soaking for hours, checking out the sauna, and applying our silica and algae masks, we were ready to board a shuttle bus back to Reykjavík. To save some money, most of the group walked to a grocery story to get food we could prepare at the Airbnb. Sunday night was a much calmer affair, as we rested up for our next adventure. The next morning, Kurt and I would begin our Iceland road trip and leave the city behind.