Sunday, October 14, 2012

Iceland: Day 5

As with all good adventures, they must come to an end. I won't say that I was glad to see the last day arrive, but it had been an exhausting couple of days, with more walking, climbing, and bracing against wind than I was used to. So as my heart and head were not ready to say goodbye, my body could use some sleep. 

The morning of Day 5 we packed up our bags, had one more hotel breakfast of random Scandinavian delights, and piled on to the bus (which I'll admit is an overused turn of phrase, but it could not be more apt for how our wobbly legs propelled us up the bus stairs).

This was the day I can safely say we'd all been looking forward to. Not because we were leaving (never!) but because we were going to the Blue Lagoon. A little bit about the Blue Lagoon, it's a geothermal pool and spa located on a lava field that also operates as a research facility to help find cures for skin ailments. The warm waters are rich with minerals, such as silica and sulphur, which give the pool its blue-ish white color. 

It was easy to tell when we were approaching the complex. Traveling down roads that looked like the surface of a far off planet, we turned a corner and could see steam rising in the distance. Unknown to us at the time, the water in the pool averages around 98-102 degrees, in blissful contrast to the cold, wet 40 degrees the previous few days had delivered. There probably was a tour for those who wanted to go on one, but for Emily and me, we headed straight to the locker rooms and spent the next 2 hours bouncing from the pool to the steam room to the sauna, then back to the pool for a silica face mask and sunshine, perfect for unknotting each tight, spent muscle. 

It was there, floating around in a milky pool (it wasn't really milk though, ew), that Emily met some of the crew of Thor: The Dark World. No, none of the actors, but still. How cool is that? I still to this day have no idea where I was when all of this transpired, but great life lesson right there; you never know who you're going to meet and what singularly unique insight they posses. 

The two hours flew by entirely too fast and so, with fingers and toes insufficiently pruned, we ran back to the bus (last ones on...again) and headed for KeflavĂ­k International Airport. Those of us that had a few hours till our flights boarded hung around on the far side of customs/security. Even more Icelandic souvenirs were found and one last odd cafeteria meal was had. I was saving my krona though. During our bus rides together Argnr made it a point of introducing all of us to as many pieces of Iceland that she could. Shot of Brennivin, pieces of sheeps' head (cut off the actual head with a box cutter!), putrefied shark (I passed on that one), were all set to the music of an eclectic Iceland soundtrack. From Of Monsters and Men to random names I could not pronounce, I was determined to pickup on of her CD suggestions. With my seatbelt securely fastened, complimentary hot beverage in hand, I picked up an Icelandair compilation mix that is now frequently found in my car's CD player.

I'll end this set of posts by saying, if you ever have the chance to go to Iceland, do it. It is really one of the most beautiful, exciting, and welcoming countries. Skal!

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