After a quick breakfast downstairs in the lobby, a re-pack of our bags, and ensuring that we had everything we needed for our flight later that evening, we were off to the lagoon. Thankfully, the downpour stopped as we loaded up the car for the short 5 minute drive. However, the wind was insane as we walked from the parking lot to the entrance of the lagoon.
Due to its location near the airport, it's really popular for tourists to either start or end their trips at the lagoon. We decided it would be the perfect way to wrap up our Iceland trip.
When reading blogs/trip reviews, most people recommended the "premium package," which included our admission, towels, drinks, slippers, robe, mud masks, and a reservation at the lagoon restaurant. The other big recommendation was to go early in the day, as it tends to get more and more crowded as the day goes on. We had a 9am reservation and the lobby was empty when we arrived. When we departed around 1:30pm, the line was out the door and the facility was packed.
The walk to/from the lagoon is amazing. You walk thru a path cut right into a lava field.
After checking in, we were given electronic wristbands that acted as our locker key, our credit card to charge drinks, etc. It reminded me of the bracelet you get at Disney. Nick and I each went to our respective locker rooms, put away our stuff, and showered (yes, you have to shower naked, but there are privacy stalls) before meeting up down in the lagoon lobby. We were surprised by how modern everything is at the lagoon - from the wristbands to the design. Everything looks brand new!
It's hard to even describe the state of the wind on this particular day. Our phone apps said that the morning had 30-40 mph gusts and I fully believe it. Due to the steam and low cloud deck, we could barely even see the lagoon and it was right in front of us!
We left our robes/slippers in the lobby and sprinted into the water, which felt amazing. It's definitely not hot tub temperature, but more like a warm bath.
Because of the lack of sunshine on this particular day, the water looked much more green vs blue.
While we were there, we learned that the lagoon is actually a man-made "mistake." It formed in 1976 when a nearby geothermal power plant was under construction. In 1981, the first person who decided to try to bathe in the waters suffered from psoriasis and realized that the water did wonders for his skin due to the algae and mineral content. It quickly became a popular place for people with all sorts of skin ailments to visit. It's now one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. National Geographic has named it one of the 25 wonders of the world. Like everywhere else we visited while in Iceland, it's under construction and expanding due to the tourism explosion in the country.
Our first stop in the lagoon was the bar since our entrance fee allocated us one free drink. We enjoyed our beverages while we wandered around exploring the lagoon and all the little separate areas and coves.
Nick also enjoyed some of the fresh Icelandic water available in the lagoon. Yes, I call my husband a "moron" in the video below! LOL.
We did our best to improve upon our wrinkles while we there too and tried out the mud bar!
We also tried out the steam caves and the saunas. There's lots of different nooks and crannies to explore. The temperature also varies around the lagoon. We would find warmer spots and then accidentally wander into a colder spot. The widest part of the lagoon was more exposed to the crazy wind and there were actual white cap waves hitting us from every angle. We tried to hug the sides to protect ourselves from the gusts. The lifeguards were dressed from head to toe in wet weather gear and looked more like fishermen than lifeguards.
Even with the crazy weather, it was the perfect place to celebrate Nick turning 40!
After a few hours in the lagoon, we got out to enjoy our lunch reservation at Lava. Since we were departing for the airport right after lunch, we went back to the locker rooms to shower and change. I kept my hair in a bun the entire time that we were in the water since there are lots of warnings about getting your hair wet in the lagoon (many people complain about it turning their hair to straw). You can apply conditioner before you go in, but I was fine with just keeping my hair on top of my head. It got damp mostly from the wind blowing the water around, but nothing crazy. I was able to blow it dry in the locker room after getting dressed.
One mistake that Nick and I both made was not thinking ahead to bring in our toiletry bags. I didn't even think about make-up, since I had given up on wearing any days earlier due to the rain/wind. I was using my fingers to comb my hair and was quite jealous of all the women around me who seemed much more prepared with the toiletries and products. I had to wait until we got back to the car to even apply deodorant!
|Au naturale yet again|
Nick and I both decided to go with the 3 course lunch tasting menus. I went with seafood and he went with meat. Of course, we also needed to have some drinks with our fancy lunch.
The food was AMAZING. By far, the best meal we had in Iceland. Earlier in the week during our snowmobile tour, one lady commented that her partner was a chef and claimed it was the best meal she'd ever eaten! It was definitely up there for us.
|My appetizer - langoustine soup|
|The best cod that I've ever eaten!!|
|Nick's lamb dish|
It was nice to get pampered and eat a delicious meal before we headed off to the airport.
I'm not sure what else to say about Iceland. It was incredible. It's beautiful. It's wild. It's definitely unlike anywhere else that we've traveled. It's also unlocked in me a desire to travel more and explore new places. Thank goodness for Mimi!!!!
We returned our rental car and grabbed the shuttle back to the airport terminal. Checking in one of our bags was super simple. We scanned our ticket and put the bag on the belt, which immediately recognized it as our bag and rolled it away for us. Unfortunately, our other bag was overweight, so we still needed to wait in the super long line to get that checked in. Little did we know that all US bound flights depart Iceland at the same time, so we waited for quite awhile to check in that one bag. There was also some sort of crazy going on with a flight that had arrived from Ireland. Apparently the Dublin computer systems were down and everyone's tickets got deleted, so they were all in line trying to re-book their connecting flights. The lines were so crazy that they didn't even charge us the overweight fee once we made it to the counter.
Security was quick and we made it through with no problems. Immigration/customs was a little nuts. Thanks to 10+ departing US flights, there were lines everywhere, but they moved fairly quick. Of course, Nick and I both got flagged for an extra security check, which was slightly bizarre, but we were joined by dozens of other tourists also getting a "random screening." We were literally given a ticket like you would receive from the deli counter (looked identical) and waited until our numbers were called. They went through my carry-on, scrubbed down my hands and then I was on my way again just minutes later.
The most interesting thing about the airport was the lack of seating. Everyone just lines up under their flight's signage. To our left was a flight leaving for Dulles. Our flight was departing for BWI. The flight to our right was heading to Boston. The lines continued all the way down the hallway with flights heading to NYC, Chicago, Seattle, Orlando, Toronto, and so on with all the flights departing between 5-6pm. Just long lines of people standing around waiting for their flight to start boarding.
Upon arriving home, Nick immediately got to work on our Iceland video. Enjoy!