Reykjavik, Iceland - Updated 9/12 and photos included!
About This Page: This is a discussion on Reykjavik, Iceland - Updated 9/12 and photos included! within the Globetrotting: General Trip Reports, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; Originally Posted by chezp
What a great trip! I can't wait to read all about it, as Reykavik is on ...
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I will try diligently to write a more detailed trip report (including a few photos, if I can get my act together and figure out how to post photos). But, in the meantime, I wanted to report back that the vacation was really great , even after it looked like the trip might fall apart for some of our party just hours before departure .
I was most impressed with my DD's (8 1/2 and 6 yrs of age). They traveled so well and there were no meltdowns or issues. I was prepared for some crises from their point of view but it never happened ... not during or after our "red eye" flight to Reykjavik, not during our two individual day long road trips around Iceland.
Days 1 -2 (July 3-4) This morning we woke up in NYC at my MIL and FIL’s. We took the girls to Central Park, and had really a very regular kind of morning. Excitement for the trip was rising. There was an issue that arose for BIL and SIL that sort of put their travel plans in jeopardy. They had lost a beloved pet. I don’t want to go into too much because it’s not my story to share, and as such I feel awkward telling it. In the end, they made the trip, but for a portion of the day here it was unclear as to if they’d really go or not.
I promise the TR gets better/happier from here.
The flight from JFK was uneventful. Icelandair is a great airline. Upon boarding we were each given a bottle of water. This was in addition to beverage service during the flight. Each seat had its own entertainment screen with TV shows, movies, etc. My DD’s had fun watching some Lazy Town episodes before catching some sleep. The airline also gave each DD a free meal. Very nice touch.
We landed at about 6:20 a.m. and were scheduled to depart by bus for Blue Lagoon at 8:30 via Reykjavik Excursions (the first shuttle available; Blue Lagoon opens at 9). So, after claiming luggage, and checking in with RE, we exchanged a small amount of money, and sort of sat around and relaxed at some airport coffee/snack area.
Getting to the Blue Lagoon was otherworldly. I mean – not the bus itself, it was just a bus – but the scenery around us was like nothing we had seen before. The recently released alien movie Prometheus was filmed in Iceland. And it’s been splashed all over the papers recently that Tom Cruise was in Iceland filming a movie (with the setting being a “distant planet” and a future uninhabited Earth from what I understand). This made complete sense to me when seeing this landscape. You could have told me we were on the moon and it would have been believable (aside from the one paved road we were on). As far as the eye could see was covered in black volcanic rock covered in what looked like moss. The moss wasn’t green, more beige or sand like. There were high mountains in the distance, yes, but you could see for miles … and it was all this alien looking rock formation. Nothing.Else.Anywhere.
About twenty minutes from the airport is the Blue Lagoon, situated near the power plant that uses this warm geothermal water to create power.
The road leads up to a parking lot like any other on this planet, and past that is where the bus can pull up to essentially a large cabin. It is here that we are allowed to leave our luggage. The bus drivers have the only keys. Once we leave our luggage, they lock it. When we come back to the bus stop (located here), the next driver can open the door and we can claim our luggage. This is the part that gets me: it is all on the honor system! No tags, no lockers, no tickets, no claim checks. I was suspicious, but it all worked out.
We headed up the wooden boardwalk-like walkway laid down between giant volcanic rocks to the Blue Lagoon. Upon admission you are given a bracelet with some sort of computer chip in it. It serves as your locker key for the dressing/locker rooms and as a credit card of sorts. You can charge refreshments on this bracelet and pay when you leave thereby not having to worry about cash as you lounge in the lagoon. Nice.
After showering well (it is customary to shower, without your suit, with soap – not just a rinse, in Iceland as the pools are not chlorinated), we made our way to the lagoon. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. This was so nice and relaxing. The water was warm, even hot tub-like. We floated around a long while, applied the mineral silt to our faces (it is supposed to have rejuvenating effects), and took it all in. It was quite wonderful.
Our contingent of the travel group left on the 11:15 shuttle back into Reykjavik. Why so early? Well, we were anticipating a meltdown from either one of the girls (that actually never happened). Plus, we were pruny! LOL. But seriously, we couldn’t really wrap our heads around how to get out of the pool and yet stay warm (outside temp was about 50-55 degrees). It didn’t make sense to us to wrap up in a towel and go sit inside just to wait to come back in again. We could have eaten at the Blue Lagoon, yes, but we made our way to Reykjavik instead.
We could “check-in” to our apartment with no problem (which as awesome as check in is usually 3 or 4 o’clock). We settled in, and walked to the town square just down the street for some lunch … we were starving! We chose some place that looked casual and quick: Kebabhusid. Yes, kebabs were on the menu, but so was almost anything else you could imagine.
I guess you could say this was a middle eastern restaurant with an Icelandic flair? I dunno really what type of food it was. But I can tell you DH and I shared a Lobster pizza, which was very tasty! The girls split a cheeseburger and fries. The burger could have been made with beef, but definitely was more ground lamb than anything else, and was spiced differently than a burger in the U.S. Both DH and I took a bite and kept our mouths shut about it because the girls were eating it without complaint, much to our surprise. I think they were just hungry. LOL. The above sign says, "Probably the best fish and chips in the world" ... that's quite a claim! Unfortunately, I can't give any validity to that as we didn't taste the fish n chips.
We kicked around in and out of shops for a little, bought some postcards and some groceries (bread, peanut butter, cereal, milk, etc.) and then headed back to the apartment to see if anyone else was back … plus DH and I were kind of dragging at this point …
Up next: Will we get a nap? Who needs dinner? Can fresh water really smell this bad?
Visions of WDW dancing in my head ...
Last edited by TinkRocks; 09-16-2012 at 06:34 PM..
So amazing to land at the airport and go right to Blue Lagoon-- with that scenery you definitely know you're in another place! Did the water or steam have an aroma? I've seen footage on TV of this area and they said that the entire country gets free power from the geothermal plants. Do you know if this is still true? Amazing, even if only partly true. Great start!
What a great start. From your description, the scenery sounds amazing - I'd love to see some photos of it. If you need any help with inserting photos, just let us know. I think a trip to Iceland is going to have to go on the ever increasing "must do" pile!
Did the water or steam have an aroma? I've seen footage on TV of this area and they said that the entire country gets free power from the geothermal plants. Do you know if this is still true? Amazing, even if only partly true. Great start!
The water was steamy, and it did have a slight sulfuric aroma to it, but because we were outside it wasn't highly noticable or offensive. I don't now about the free power, but geothermal plants do produce a lot of the nation's energy, as does hydro power.
Visions of WDW dancing in my head ...
Last edited by TinkRocks; 09-18-2012 at 03:02 PM..