Ok, so I’m hanging out in England right now (working hard on the Podcast), but I want to continue my trend of updating on past trips, so I have the memories written down!
I wrote very briefly about Iceland here. Mainly, that was me telling you that it’s pretty imperative you go there. I’ve noticed recently that Iceland is a very hot destination, so you probably have a friend who’s been or seen it all over Instagram. (So what’s stopping you already?!)
When we decided to head to Iceland over Christmas 2013, we got a lot of weird looks. Why would you go there when it’s going to be dark and freezing?! Um, WHY NOT?!
Turns out, this was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Sure, it was cold but not as cold as I’d imagined, and of course it was dark (damn that Arctic Circle) but the low sunlight made the country gleam with a glow that was actually pretty romantic. (Plus, we got to see the Northern Lights, which you have to brave the cold to do.)
One of the best days during our trip was Christmas Day, which we spent at the Blue Lagoon. The Lagoon is set among black volcanic rock and yes, it really is that blue!
We were dropped off right up front and got our wristbands (used to charge any food, drink, or spa services back to our card) and changed in the locker rooms. (A quick note, Europeans don’t care about being naked. I am not at all a conservative person, but it took me a second to get used to so many naked women just strolling around!)
Once you put on our swimsuit, it’s time to get in the Lagoon. If you’re like us and go in the winter, get ready to run. Throw your towel on the rack and go!
The Lagoon is so nice and warm. You instantly feel relaxed.
There were wooden boxes around the edges and you could scoop out the silica mud the Lagoon is famous for. Rub it over your face and body and it’s supposed to help your skin stay soft and glowing.
We stayed the entire day, just exploring the steam rooms, side pools, and had lunch (and several smoothies!) in the restaurant. I must have covered myself in mud 8 or 9 times.
We’d run into the steam room, get hot and sweaty, run out just long enough for the water on our eyelashes to freeze, and then jump back into the Lagoon.
My favorite part was laying by the back edge of the Lagoon, where you could see stretches of volcanic rock against the hills.
After several hours of smoothie-powered fun, we changed back into our winter clothes and went off to explore the paths around the Lagoon, including the super cool view from the observation deck.
Iceland was a dream, and the Blue Lagoon was off the charts. It truly was the most wonderful destination we ever could have chosen. This was one Christmas Day we’ll never forget!
The Blue Lagoon is about 50 minutes south of Reykjavik. I bought our transporation (on a coach – with free wifi!) and tickets to the Lagoon beforehand, which I would HIGHLY recommend.
There is a rack to hang towels, but I also brought a plastic grocery bag to hang my phone in, behind my towel on the rack. This way, I didn’t have to run back inside the locker room to get my phone for photos. Speaking of pictures, I also used that bag to wrap up my phone and take it out into the water. If you want pics out in the water (which you probably will, it’s surreal), take a waterproof case/camera or GoPro so you won’t feel the stress of nearly dropping your phone into the water a dozen times.
There are TONS of areas and pools to explore. Spas, steam rooms, side pools, caves, it’s enough to spend all day exploring. There is also a lookout deck, restaurants, a swim up bar, and a shop. Obviously I didn’t get to see this, but in January 2016, they completed a massive expansion, so the Lagoon is twice the size it used to be.
That renovation also included the addition of a Silica Mud Bar, whereas we used wooden boxes on the side of the Lagoon. They were filled with mud to scoop out and spread it on your face and body. In 2017, a luxury hotel is going to open on the property, and I’m really looking forward to going back and staying on site.