Reykjavík was the perfect destination for a quick visit over Memorial Day weekend. It’s not too long a flight from New York (approximately 5 hours), and it was very do-able within the short time frame we had. The landscape, culture, unique geothermal activity, and history found there made Iceland one of the most otherworldly places I have ever traveled. I can certainly understand what all the buzz is about and why it is such a hot destination right now (despite the fact that it is freezing cold there).
Upon arriving Friday morning, Alec and I headed out to explore the city and ate almost everything that came across our path. We started off with hot dogs at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, an absolute must when you’re in town. I recommend getting one with all the toppings they have to offer! Hot dogs weren’t enough to satiate our appetites, so we went for fish and chips next at Kaffivagninn, the oldest restaurant in Reykjavík. Each meal was truly better than the last throughout our entire visit. Later in the afternoon, we visited a church called Hallgrimskirkja. It was worth braving the crazy winds at the top of the tower to get the incredible views looking out over the entire city. After warming up over cappuccinos at Reykjavík Roasters, we went back to our hotel to rest up before heading back out again that night. We hit up both Húrra and American Bar that evening and danced the night away.
The following day, we set out early to catch a bus to the middle of nowhere. We spent the next few hours ATVing over mountain roads to a lava beach called Selatangar. I can only compare the landscape we traversed as being similar to the moon or Mars. It is rocky and desolate, but the horizon stretches on for miles, and it is absolutely magnificent.
Alec and I took turns driving, and we had a GoPro with us so I had a good time capturing some footage along the way. Below is a shot Alec got of me speeding down a clear stretch. The road was pretty rugged and bumpy the rest of the way, and I was flying out of my seat half the ride.
I’d highly recommend the ATV tour not only because the ride was so exciting but also because the destination was such a treasure. The lava beach, much like the rest of this strange, beautiful country, was unlike any place I have ever seen. The sand was black and the shore was strewn with slick dark stones. The beach was completely deserted save for us few loan riders. It made for some great photo ops!
Isn’t this #OOTD too fab for words?
After the ATV excursion, we were dropped off by the tour group at the Blue Lagoon. I didn’t think the scenery could get any more foreign and bizarre than what I had just seen, but the Blue Lagoon was mystifying. Named one of the wonders of the world by National Geographic, the Blue Lagoon is a geothermal pool in a lava field that remains heated at 98-104°F year-round. The steam rising off the water created a hazy fog over the lagoon. It was an eerie and surreal sight.
The water is rich with minerals, making it great for your skin, and the spa there offers different face masks for visitors to apply while they bathe in the water. It was so relaxing, and my skin felt silky smooth afterwards.
We had dinner that night at Saemundur, the pub located within Kex Hotel. Kex is a hostel nearly hidden from the main road, but once inside, the place is buzzing with young people from all corners of the world. It has a pretty grungy and eclectic look and feel inside, and the food was outstanding. I thought it was a really cool spot. We ate to our hearts’ content and had to roll all the way home after licking every last ounce of this bone marrow clean.
More to come on the last few days of our trip in my next post!