An Icelandic Affair #1

I do not even know where to begin.
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Reykjavik Roasters
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Harpa Concert Hall
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Blue Lagoon

I do not even know where to begin. Our 10 day trip to Iceland was so much more than a wonderful dream. I was just browsing through the photos that Mr M and I took while we were traveling and I have yet decided on a clear strategy to present them to you. I’m eager to share every single detail of Iceland’s magnificent landscape but I know that’s not even remotely possible. I guess the key is not to throw every single beautiful photo at you but rather share photos that mean something to the both of us; photos that might encourage you to head over there. Yes, put Iceland on the top of your bucket list already!

Without further ado, here’s a quick summary of how we got to Iceland from Sydney: 1st leg: Sydney—–>LA—–>NYC via Qantas 2nd leg: NYC—–>Iceland via Icelandair Fly time: 24 hours (yuk!) Luggage Weight: Approximately 20kg for a 3.5 weeks trip (So proud!)

We touched down at 6 something in the morning and immediately walked over to the car rental office to fetch our 4-wheel drive. Mr M and I had planned to do the ring road, which essentially circles the entire Iceland (read more about it here) and after plenty of research decided on a sturdier vehicle. The air was crisp, we were tired and freezing but so excited to explore. Mr M is innately adventurous and I knew that I was in for an amazing and maybe a little scary time. We opted to stay at Reykjavik for 1 night before embarking on the epic road trip and OK Hotel was our chosen base. It’s situated on a great strip in town at a super handy location. The check-in process was rather fascinating but I won’t spoil it for you here just in case.

After freshening up, our first stop was none other than Reykjavik Roasters, a cosy coffee shop recommended by the uber talented Sam of Sam is Home. Reykjavik Roasters’ hipster in a good way and that was where I got a sense of how fashionable Icelanders are. It was approximately 10am on a Monday morning and I couldn’t get my head around how empty the streets were. It could well be their tiny population of 300,000 or that Icelanders are simply late risers. Whatever the reason was, I couldn’t stop pinching myself upon repeated realisation that I was in this far flung country called Iceland. How insane.

We strolled around town after breakfast and checked out their many wonderfully curated gift shops (gift shops seemed to be the ‘thing’ there?) and headed off to the architecturally wonderful Harpa  and the very famous Baejarins Beztu Pylsur (try saying that) for a hotdog. I would definitely recommend purchasing 2 because they are tasty but very small! Kim Kardashian has had a hotdog from there too but I’m not sure why I mentioned this because it’s irrelevant.

Our last activity of the day was at one of the most-instagrammed places on earth, the Blue Lagoon. Honestly the thought of going there was a little unnerving because firstly, I wasn’t sure how I would cope with ‘bathing’ in the outdoors in icy cold conditions and secondly, the changing room situation always freaks me out. Thankfully I was able to overcome all of that due to my ‘FOMO’ and had the best experience ever. Yes some people tell you how cheesy the entire thing is but really the only cheesy thing I could think of was the silica mask that one had the option to apply while in the pool. Aside from the 3secs of sheer torture before entering the pool, the temperature of the water was beautiful and the 5 degree weather suddenly became completely irrelevant. Blue Lagoon was as magical as what was portrayed in still photos: milky blue water with ample steam escaping into the atmosphere. We could even order drinks from the bar to quench our thirst! If I could give you 2 pointers about Blue Lagoon, it would be: #1. Book your visit in advance. Blue Lagoon is a commercialised facility (no shame in that!) and they do limit the number of patrons entering the pool. #2. Use the relaxation area after your dip! I had the best ever time just lying on one of those comfy chairs to cool down. That was the time for us to unload the fatigue from travelling long haul and being jet-lagged.

As expected from wanting to do too much, we also tried to fit in a nice dinner that night at Fiskmarkadurinn and I kid you not, I had semi-fallen asleep during dinner at some stage. The food was incredible but husband and I were bleary-eyed and just unable to focus on savouring the dishes! It was a bit of a shame but I do highly recommend that restaurant as a decent dining option. Lots of Americans were there but why was that even a surprise?! They seem to be everywhere!

What do you think about this format of writing? Do you want more details or do you rather go through something that’s more concise in bullet points? Let me know because I want these posts to be useful resources to you.

Till next time and stay-tuned for more incredible landscapes!

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