So far, the best thing about Iceland is my AirBNB—that and the fact that the 24 hour shop on the corner stocks McVitties Dark Chocolate Digestives (which are, as the name implies, practically a health food). If they stocked McVities ginger snaps too I’d really be in heaven but considering that PIC and I are nearing the two-month mark in our wedding countdown, the less McVities the better.
Biscuits aside (when you’re this close to mainland Europe, you have to call them biscuits instead of cookies), I feel like I’ve been plopped into a very rainy, very windy Lego version of Ikea.
The houses are all box-shaped. Cement and corrugated metal seem to be the building materials of choice here and the scarcity of trees is disconcerting. (You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, right?) I read somewhere the Iceland isn’t so much foreign as it is extraterrestrial, and given the views from the airport FlyBus to the Blue Lagoon, I’d have to agree: black lava rocks, green and white lichens, and an unyielding undertone of red that makes you think you’re somewhere on Mars instead of on an island in the north Atlantic.
I began the day with a ginger latte at the airport, where I had a few hours to kill thanks to my 5am arrival. By 9 o’clock, I was ready to hit the Blue Lagoon—me and the seven million other tourists who had the same idea.
Fortunately I booked my ticket ahead of time (which is a must, even if you’re going midweek) and mornings are “light” when it comes to Blue Lagoon traffic.
My parents are obsessed with the Blue Lagoon. They spent the majority of their trip to Iceland last year taking wine glass selfies in the fluorescent blue water (which gets its color and its bathwater temperature from the nearby geothermal plant).
I was really hoping to fall in the love with the place but when you’ve got lifeguards dressed in rain gear from head to toe and lagoon-goers like myself huddling beneath the bridges that crisscross the spa to escape the rain (which turned into a nasty diagonal downpour over the course of the morning), it’s less “relaxing spa day” and more “where the heck can I get a dry towel???”
There were some cool parts (the sauna, for one, which has a huge glass window overlooking the lagoon, and the reclining chairs in the “Relaxation Area,” plus there’s a lifeguard lookout in the center of the building that looks kind of like a DJ booth and has a huge automated windshield wiper that swishes back and forth every few seconds—I found this rather entertaining). But I felt like a bit of weirdo paddling around by myself, even with my complimentary silica mask and pink champagne.
I might go back again on Sunday, when it shouldn’t be so cold and wet and windy but if not, I’d say the Blue Lagoon is more of a honeymoon thing than a stop-missing-your-fiancé thing. (I will still be publishing a longer and less-depressed piece about it in the one of the magazines I write for).
But today should be better. I’m touring the Omnom Chocolate factory this afternoon (which is named for Cookie Monster, so you know it’s going to be awesome) and if the weather cooperates, catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights with Gray Line Iceland.