Laura's Travels - Iceland

Outside Blue Lagoon Spa

I've always wanted to visit Iceland. The whole idea of a volcanic island perched in the middle of the Atlantic has always interested me. This summer, I finally got to go.

We started our holiday at Blue Lagoon, which was such a pleasant surprise for me (for some reason, I didn't expect to enjoy it much). It was lovely after an early flight to arrive and relax in 38 degree water. You can tell that it's a total tourist trap, but it's just somewhere you have to visit. The water is warmed by the local geothermal plant and coupled with the cold weather, it's wonderfully relaxing. Just don't get the water in your mouth, it tastes horrible! We spent quite a while there; I'd definitely recommend that you try out the mud mask, it leaves your skin lovely and soft (and it's really expensive if you buy it in the gift shop instead!). There's loads of different package types so suit different budgets, as well as places to eat on site.

We went on a misty morning, you could barely see to the other side of the pool!

After spending our first day exploring Reykjavik, we spent the second day going further afield. My parents organised the trip with Reykjavik Excursions, who were also our bus shuttle to and from the airport. We went on The Golden Circle tour, which included the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfloss, Thingvellir National Park, and even a tomato farm where we learned about greenhouse cultivation in Iceland (sounds boring, but was actually pretty interesting). I'd highly recommend doing this, because our tour guide was really informative and pointed out everything when we were on the coach. It was like going on a really good school trip; I was definitely exhausted when we got back to our apartment.

Visting Geysir on our trip to The Golden Circle

The rest of the holiday was spent around Reykjavik. It really is a wonderful city; the centre is small and easy to navigate, and there's lots of stuff to see! We bought 'Reykjavik Cards' from the tourist information which meant a number of the museums, art galleries, as well as all the buses and swimming pools were free. This is so helpful, and also meant that we ended up going in places that we might not have considered (including a really really creepy installation at the Art Museum which involved hundreds of tortured teddy bears dipped in wax).

I'm not going to lie, Iceland is an expensive country. The Icelandic jumpers were beautiful, but there was no way I could afford the price tag. The below photo was taken at the Handknitting Association of Iceland and their shop was amazing - you could even pick out your favourite colours and have a jumper or cardigan made to order. Maybe one day I'll have to go back...

Iceland is definitely the place for knitwear!

On our final morning in Reykjavik we went to the Family Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens - it was a nice relaxed way to finish off the holiday. We went to Cafe Flora for coffee and a slice of cake; it's tucked away in the botanical gardens inside a greenhouse. The 'Zoo' wasn't much of a zoo, but we had a lot of fun petting the animals and watching two baby harbour seals causing havoc for their parents.

We spent the afternoon buying gifts - I got a copy of Njal's Saga for my boyfriend (after being recommended it by the Reykjavik Excursions tour guide), a pendant for myself and shot glasses (the designs were classy, I promise!) for my brothers.

Being the Brit that I am, I craved fish and chips. There are quite a few places in Reykjavik, but we went to Icelandic Fish and Chips, which is right next to The Volcano House museum. The food was gorgeous, and you could chose from a number of dips to accompany it (I had basil and garlic mayonnaise). I was pretty much hoovering up everyone else's leftovers! While we were in Reykjavik we also called in a few times at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, a hot dog stand near the Harpa Concert Hall. I don't know why this is a thing, but the hot dogs are so good. Who knew Iceland would have the best hot dogs in Europe? (according to Wikipedia, anyway).

(Cafe Flora, a hidden gem in Reykjavik Botanical Gardens)

I couldn't get enough of eating the fish! (this was at Icelandic Fish and Chips)

No comments