Highlight: The Blue Lagoon – Martian landscape, relaxing hot water, regenerating silica mud masks, and women in bikinis. What more could you want on a cool day?
Lowlight: Whale watching – the most amusing sight was the old man with the pipe.
Fun Fact: Icelanders only drink two nights of the week, Fridays and Saturdays. Probably something to due with the prohibitive price of alcohol. Most pre-drink, then head out to the bars and party into the wee hours of the morning. The Icelandic pub crawl is sometimes called the rúntur, although I read in a few places that a rúntur is when young kids drive around the bar area in circles either because the bars are still dead or because they’re too young to get in.
Money spent: 16165 ISK ($209 CAD)
Ben Frustration Index(BFI): 0.
I think the reason Iceland is so expensive to visit is that everything worth seeing involves an organized tour (or at least a ride on a bus outside of Reykjavik). Today’s activities included whale watching and a trip to the Blue Lagoon.
Whale watching was a bit of a let down. We saw puffins and we saw minke whales, as the trip advertised. However, the puffins never came close enough to get a good look and the pod of whales we chased around the bay would only breach the surface quickly to get air. Maybe I’m spoiled from the humpback whales we saw in Mexico, but these whales were boring – they wouldn’t jump in the air, spin around, or even slap their tail fins. After a few minutes of watching them breach the surface I was bored. At some point I realized that people watching was more amusing the whale watching. I managed to get a few decent pictures of people on board the boat.
After the chill of the boat ride, Ben and I were boat eager to warm up with a dip in the geothermal pools at the Blue Lagoon.
Now, most of the Icelandic landscape looks it’s from another world, but the Blue Lagoon looks distinctly Martian. It’s in the middle of a barren rocky lava field, with steam vents spewing sulphuric gases and pools of milky blue water for people to bathe in. If that wasn’t enough, the spa guests take the white silica from the bottom of the pool and rub it over their bodies completing the alien look. There was also a steam cave that was like a natural sauna – it was really dark inside and every few minutes steaming water was released to crank up the temperature. The Blue Lagoon was a relaxing, other-worldly experience.
Friday night is the big, over-hyped party night that draws frat boys and party girls from the United States and the rest of Europe. We didn’t partake, mostly because we’re not big party goers – although the official excuse was our 4 am wakeup for our early flight to Copenhagen.