The end of an incredible journey through the south western corner of Iceland was coming to an end and day 10 was to be our last on the island. Having stayed in the Guest House Frost and Fire for our last night we had an early morning – which was a shame as the northern lights of the night before had kept me up until the early morning… I got some great shots but couldn’t help keeping an eye on the skies outside our room every 10 minutes or so! However we made a start at 8:00am catching the gorgeous breakfast at the hotel, and making the trip back past Reykjavik for a 10:00 – 11:00am arrival slot at the Blue Lagoon… Iceland’s most visit attraction!
The road to here was very easy to follow and is between Reykjavik and the airport (although somewhat closer to the airport), and it was raining heavy during our drive. It was not until today that we got a feel for how bad some of the motorways can be! In my life I have almost crashed twice, the first was just days after passing my test when a car towing a trailer cut me up, and the second was due to a ridiculously deep puddle on the motorway on our way to the Blue Lagoon… The splash from the car next to us was so thick and dirty we drove at the speed limit for a good few seconds with zero visibility… We needed a nice relaxing dip in the pools after that!
We had hoped to miss the queues by arriving towards the end of our time slot, but I think you can’t avoid the queues here… and one thing you should not avoid under any circumstances is pre-booking your tickets… Otherwise you just won’t get in!
The entrance system is pretty simple and with our package we got towels, a little gift bag of hugely over priced dirt which you can get from the gift shop, and a complimentary drink from the lagoon bar… Everything you purchase goes on to your wrist band, which is a really nice way to pay without having to get one of those waterproof bags for all your belongings (and by the way these don’t work in hot springs – as I found out elsewhere). In this respect it was better than our trip to the Tabacon hot springs in Costa Rica, but in all other respects I must admit that our second trip to a hot spring wasn’t quite the same! Don’t get me wrong, the blue lagoon is amazing, but its just far too busy to be truly relaxing.
One thing you need to note about going swimming in Iceland is that you first need to shower – nude! You can tell that the blue lagoon is more of a tourist thing by the number of people not obeying those rules, trying to cover themselves somehow or just sticking their heads under the water like naughty kids trying to avoid a proper shower… It’s what we all have to do, and if you’re a little shy – it’s what you were born with, deal with it… no ones even going to be looking!
You then head outside where the brisk wind hits you… and that floor is freezing which means that when your feet hit that surprisingly warm water they feel like they are going to melt!
There’s plenty to do from sticking mud on you face, heading to the steam rooms (which are far too hot), getting a massage or grabbing a drink from the swim up bar – I highly recommend the slush drink… and don’t be put off by the fact that its called Krap!
I like to relax but there’s only so long I can handle turning my fingers and toes in to prunes so we were only there for around an hour or so, which is plenty – at which time it was back to another naked shower before hitting the road for our very last stop before heading back to the airport. You could go back the same way as you came to the blue lagoon, but by double the amount of time you have to spare you can take in a little known and often missed landmark – Bru Milli Heimsalfa (the bridge between continents). To find this head right out of the blue lagoon and just keep following the road around the edge of the coast until you find a sign off to you right about half way back to the main road to the airport. It is very easy to miss and also to wonder whether you have missed it because it really is in the middle of nowhere.
To be honest it is nothing overly special, especially in the wind and rain (the rain by the way made the blue lagoon feel even better as your whole body was warm, whilst gentle splashes of cool water hit your face – out of the warm water however it was no longer so nice). But there are very few places where you can so clearly see and interact with a split between continental plates, so if you’re in the area anyway you might as well take a quick peek (oh and speaking of stopping for a quick peek – when ever you see the symbol below by the side of the road, do yourself a favour and stop the car… It can be anything from a hole in the ground to a water fall or a beach to a museum, but more often than not it’s something awesome)…
… And that spelled the end of our Iceland road trip adventure! I must be honest it was a country I never wanted to visit and couldn’t understand why my wife always had this ambition to go there one day. It was actually a huge surprise to her that we ended up going as it was a surprise present for her 30th birthday, and I must admit that from the first day I enjoyed the people and found even Reykjavik a pleasure to drive around. However from the 3rd day when we first left the city and drove around some of the country side, I was completely hooked! If you come to Iceland please do yourself a favour and don’t just have a couple of day layover in Reykjavik. Iceland has some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery in the world… Every time you turn a corner and drive past the last cliff, mountain or volcano that was blocking your view, there is something else to take your breath away.
I for one cannot wait to go again… And next time we’re going to drive around he whole country!