Day 14 in Europe: Reykjanes and the Blue Lagoon

Apologies for this late update on yesterday!  I was very tired when I got home last night.  Well, not home.  To the hostel.  So I put it off for these few minutes.

Let’s just say that yesterday was AWESOME.  Best day yet (of Iceland).  I did the “Wonders of Reykjanes” tour, where we toured the Reykjanes peninsula.  It was only about 12 people on the tour, which was nice.  Our guide, “Hershey,” was the best one yet; he was funny and informative, and much friendlier.  10/10!

The first stop was Fakasel, the horse stables where they do nightly shows and raise Icelandic horses.  The manager who was talking to us had a bag of bread that the horses were all very interested in!  The horse next to me kept nudging me, asking for a piece even though I didn’t have any.  But I fed him when I got a chance.  There was also a cute little calico kitty.

I have a hypothesis about Icelandic cats: there isn’t a specific breed of Icelandic cat, but over the years, they have naturally selected for individuals that have smaller bodies and much thicker, more “floofy” fur.  There’s not much point to importing cats once you get a population started, so there you have it.  I think.

After Fakasel, we stopped in a small town to observe a big sea wall and learn about the “unknown sailors” of Iceland – the fishermen who have died while at sea and never been found.

We also stopped at a couple different hot springs, the order and names of which are currently slipping my mind.  As cool as Geysir was, I think I liked these sets of hot springs better because there was better hiking around.  It doesn’t hurt that the weather was much more favorable yesterday!!  But really, though, hiking is where it’s at.

We stopped for lunch in Grindavik, a town on an unkind shore that has seen many boats stranded, sunk, and washed up on the shore in separate pieces.  The little cafe provided delicious food, and the owner was very eager to share a bit of the history of his town and the area.  I ate yummy, warm asparagus soup (apparently a big thing here) with bread, and a huge fluffy piece of meringue cake.

We went to the tip of the Reykjanes peninsula and I climbed a beautiful bluff!!  The wind was strong, but not as strong at the very tip as on the path up.  The sea was so beautiful, even more than in Oregon.  It swelled and crashed and almost glowed a rich teal color.  Sea birds nested in the cliffs and circled overhead.  Sea foam swirled all around.  It was cold, but not freezing or wet.  All around the cliffs were crumbly, barren-looking lava flows and a lighthouse on a hill.  Mountains surrounded the distance.

There were many stops intermittent throughout the trip, but our last official stop before Blue Lagoon was the “Bridge Between the Continents.”  As our guide explained, the bridge is really just symbolic.  That’s okay, though, because it was a neat way to symbolize it.  I loved jumping in the soft basaltic sand under the bridge.

Blue Lagoon was expensive, yes, but oh it was beautiful.  The water is very turbid, almost white and opaque.  It smells a little like earth, and is salty (because it’s fed by salt water).  In the pool, there are many points where you can feel the hotter water bubbling up.  As I swam around, it was snowing and windy, but I was warm in the pool.  There’s also a bar in the water, but I only purchased a skyr smoothie.

The only bad thing about Blue Lagoon is that it ruins your hair if you have long hair.  Mine’s not that long, but it’s pretty gross right now, even though I washed it out afterwards.  Oh well, I guess I’ll wash it later.  Having your hair all yucky for the right reasons is absolutely worth it.

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Thoughts on Iceland:
-It’s too beautiful!  I can’t even believe this!
-I’m still scared to try the fish dishes, but I’ll try some veggie soup
-I’m gonna miss real Skyr and mjolk! 😦
-Even if I take a little lava rock, the land will make more…right?
-What would happen if I fell off this cliff?  Better to not find out…
-Cold, cold, cold, warm, warm, waaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrmmmmmm, hot, hot!, HOT!!!
-Eh, showering nude in front of other women isn’t such big deal.
-I’m gonna become a troll or an elf or something, and never ever go home.
-Well, not really.  I would miss people and my cat.
-“I’m good.  I can understand the people” (what my Swiss roommate said when he came back late that night, all drunk)…I lost it laughing at that.
-The people here are very nice, too!


About MurasakiOkapi

Work has taken over a huge portion of my life in recent years, but I am trying hard to get back in the habit of being at least marginally creative on a semi-regular basis. Other than that, I'm a nature enthusiast and love all animals. I try to see things from many perspectives, and live on the sustainable side. I wouldn't say I'm a positive person, but at the same time I don't tend to get too down about things.
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