Monday, February 28, 2011
Land of Fire and Ice | Hot and Cold Thoughts from Iceland
Warning: It is at this point that I get a little wordy. Perhaps it's because I wrote this blog first, these having been my most recent memories.
Iceland, the island of fire and ice. It's here where our journey ends. Nichole and I were happy to have Reykjavik as our final stop before home because, quite honestly, there isn't a ton to do (within the city at least) and it was nice to just relax and decompress in our hotel after the awesome chaos of London and Paris. Reykjavik certainly is a charming city. While over 80% of the country lives here, it feels incredibly small. All of the cafes and restaurants are so eclectic, their brightly painted walls covered in colorful posters, books, records, and knickknacks. Every one of them seems like that one funky little nook in your city that you love to retire to for a hot cup of tea and a little peace and quiet.
At this point in our trip we were basically running on fumes- mentally, physically, and monetarily- so we began having lovely little picnics of french bread, brie, pear, cucumber, Gull beer (think Icelandic Bud Light) and other odds and ends we found at Svosin, the local minimart/bakery. Although, we did have a lovely dinner in the hotel restaurant on the night we checked in. While my lobster soup was to die for, I do not recommend the wood pigeon.
Nichole's brother Morgan just relocated to Reykjavik (an odd coincidence) so we spent a bit of time with him as well, poking around the shops and sampling breakfast eateries. While I missed out on crepes in Paris, the spinach, egg, and cheese crepe I had at Babalu's was fantastic! Mmmmm.
Our final day here we grabbed donuts and paninis at Svosin before taking the 45 min shuttle to The Blue Lagoon. What a magnificent place. Words cannot describe the nature-defying opaque turquoise water nestled in pockets of ebony and brick lava rock. Here in Seattle we know that when the sky is blue, the water is blue. When the sky is grey, the water is grey. Not here. The weather was terrible- high winds, rain, hail- the skies were anything but blue. And yet, still the water stays an amazing creamy glowing aqua.
We braved the chilly exterior to soak our weary bones in the healing toasty water of the famous lagoon. While the wind whipped around us, making it near impossible to capture any photos we submerged ourselves in the warm bath of salt and silica. If you ever get a chance, please go. While the photos do a fairly good job of showing the natural beauty of this place, nothing can really prepare you for the awe you feel when you witness it first hand.
After getting back to the hotel we had one of our hodgepodge picnics (seen below) and relaxed while editing photos and listening to music. Around 10pm Nic decided that we would rally and let her brother lead us out into the Reykjavik nightlife, which by the way doesn't actually pick up until about 2am. Go figure. Let me say, I am so incredibly happy she did. We had a fabulous time taking shots with the bartenders, dancing to random music (ex: I Heard It Through The Grapevine techno mix/Jay-Z's 99 Problems) and making friends with the locals and fellow visitors. Now, for those of you who've already heard stories of exchange students, free vodka, and Arturo the Spaniard, I assure you news of our debauchery has been greatly exaggerated. Thanks to Nic for the photos of us from the bar, it's quite a talent to take those yourself with one hand and an SLR. Kudos.
It's here that I leave you. I've yapped enough so you don't get a list this time, but did you really want one? Enjoy.