We landed in Iceland at 6:30 Saturday morning. Not surprisingly, our first stop was at a cafe in a sleepy (literally, sleeping) neighborhood in Reykjavik. At Cafe Paris, the food was so-so, but the drinks were hot and caffeinated, so we left in good spirits. Knowing we’d be knackered upon arrival, I rented an apartment for Friday night and Saturday, so we’d have access to it right away and be able to shower and nap. I found the apartment on VRBO, and it was everything you’d expect from a Scandinavian apartment, except that it was quite spacious. I could have spent several days there.
After resting for a short while we went down to Laugavegur Street for lunch, then it was straight to the Blue Lagoon. None of us really knew what to expect from the Blue Lagoon, other than it would be touristy. Usually that doesn’t bode well, but this was an exception. The Blue Lagoon was incredible and unlike anything else I’ve experienced. It might have had something to do with watching Alistair have the time of his life splashing around for two hours (jetlag? What jetlag?) and the swim-up bar, but even still – it was beyond incredible. When we all finally emerged from the mineral-rich water, we were beyond pruned, but so very happy.
A few things to note about the Blue Lagoon, if you go: Scandinavians are very serious about their pre-pool showering; the locker room at the Blue Lagoon is an experience in itself; the food at the snack bar is legit, especially the chocolate cake; kids under 2 or so aren’t typically allowed in the water, but no one stops them (since there were so many kids coming for the wedding, Emily secured special permission for the little ones to go in. There was nothing dangerous about it, the water was perfect in temperature and the minerals aren’t bad for you); you should make reservations; it is not super close to Reykjavik (about 45 minutes by car), but it’s not too far from the airport (25 minutes); don’t dunk your head, you won’t be able to comb your hair for a very long time (I didn’t risk it).
That night all three of us had our best night of sleep in months (maybe 15 months, to be exact). It was nothing short of a miracle. The rain beat down on the roof above, lulling us all into a deep sleep that we didn’t wake from until 10:30 the following morning. If you know us and our sleep struggles, this was a really big deal.
We spent a few hours bumming around downtown Reykjavik, visiting as many coffee shops as possible. I ate the best waffle of my life at Kaffi Mokka, then got a quick cup of chai in a cafe with a Star Wars themed bathroom. We also visited the really famous church just down the street — popping in just to snap a few pics, admire the massive organ, and then wander back out into the rain.
Maybe it was sleeping so well the night before, or the waffles, or the copious amounts of delicious caffeine, but we were all so happy meandering aimlessly around town; even Alistair, sitting up on Jordan’s shoulders taking in the scenes of a brand new place, impervious to the cold and wet. We could have spent hours upon hours ambling about, but eventually we had to hit the road and head up to Budir.
In this post:
- the really sweet apartment we rented off of VRBO. No complaints, I highly recommend. There is a crazy staircase that you’ll have to watch the wee ones on. (Update 4/2017: sadly, the apartment doesn’t seem to be available any longer.)
- Cafe Paris (meh, you can skip it)
- Kaffi Mokka (go here! eat the waffle!)
- Blue Lagoon (definitely go here!)
- that really famous church is actually Hallgrimskirkja and is worth at least walking by.