After a whirlwind of a travel day, James and I woke up at 9 am in Reykjavik (5 am for all you folks back at home). Having no time to research breakfast options, we opted for the hotel’s traditional Iceland breakfast buffet. Upon walking in, I was greeted with a massive 8-foot table filled with different types of bread. This should have been the first sign that eating here would be difficult, but fear not, the other staple in this country seems to be meat, cheese and pickled things.
Our first planned activity wasn’t until later in the afternoon, so we took the opportunity to explore the city. In the few hours we were walking around, it rained, was cloudy, was sunny, comfortable and cold.
My priority was to find a grocery store and hopefully some gluten free food options. GF bread is pretty much non existent, grocery stores are small and selection is limited. So my staples included rice cakes, very expensive peanut butter (do Icelandics eat peanut butter? something to Google later on!), marmalade, apples, bananas and yogurt. I opted to pass on the dried fish and paprika flavored potato chips. Perhaps next time…
By 1:30, James and I were waiting in our hotel lobby for our first Icelandic excursion – Blue Lagoon – a geothermal spa recommended to me by multiple folks.
Blue Lagoon was amazing. After a bit of confusion with how to use the lockers, losing James briefly (not having the ability to call one another when separated is sometimes stressful) we were both ready to enjoy the geothermal spa. The website can probably tell you much more, but essentially, this place is a naturally heated pool of water – 1/3 fresh and 2/3 salt. It smells slightly of sulfur but not too over powering. There’s fresh silica to rub on your face (although I had a brief moment of going almost blind when it clouded my contact lenses), and a bar in the middle. Yes, you swim up to the bar, order a drink and then float around in complete bliss.
After two hours, we reluctantly crawled out to make our dinner reservation at Lava. Also a place that loves its bread, bread crumbs, bread chips and crispy crackers. I survived (and had plenty of lobster to make up for this) and we left relaxed and refreshed.
We ended the evenings with a stroll through Reykjavik and some amazing ice cream. Oh and a power outage in our hotel room!