Sunday August 6 - Reykjavik Iceland

Sunday, August 6 - Reykjavik Iceland
IcelandAir got us to Reykjavik in under 6 hours mostly uneventfully.  We had booked bus transport directly from the airport to The Blue Lagoon as this had been recommended as a great experience to settle us into Iceland.  Problem was that my suitcase did not appear.  Much time was lost with paper work and when finally we got out front where the bus was to be it was gone and information was vague about whether another would come, where or when it would be, and whether our vouchers would be honoured.  A quick decision was made to send Larry back to rent a vehicle to get us off to the Lagoon and let the suitcase catch up.
 The Lagoon was an exhilarating experience - hundreds of folks from all around the world basking in a geothermal pool of gigantic proportions, full of the very best Icelandic minerals.  What a way to relax after a sleepless 6 hour flight and lost luggage hassle.  We enjoyed the warm waters for awhile, then found the water-side bar where we were given silica paste for our faces and lathered up ourselves.  It is silicon dioxide that is extracted from the water itself and after 5 to 10 minutes were encouraged to wash it back to the Lagoon.  For premium folks like us they had a secondary Algae paste that was green of course.  Did that too! Free photos were taken and are shown here.
Not nice looking but fun!  The young lady photographer was very friendly and shared lots of local advice as did another young employee dispensing a dark volcanic paste for necks and arms.  She had spent time in Toronto for a student exchange and was pleased to meet Canadians.  We had scheduled a massage for the ladies after lunch- it was all done right in the waters of the Lagoon.  Julia & I enjoyed this immensely, but Cathy's ears were underwater and it made her tense, then she fell asleep so it didn't matter!  Larry wandered back to the car to learn more about it and to survey the maps for some clue as to how to find our Airbnb in town.
 (File Photo - we didn't have camera in Lagoon)
I made it sound like we drove confidently from the airport to the Blue Lagoon.  Far from it - the names on the maps are in Icelandic and barely readable.  The roads are rarely marked with a number, and those numbers usually don't match anything on the map.  They said the route was simple but that was by a shuttle bus that knew the way.  We, on the other hand, had to try all the wrong roads before being helped by a young couple at one of our dead-end roads who showed us the way with their gps app.  This was not all wasted time as we got a really good appreciation of the unique Iceland countryside.  Very rough brownish volcanic rock chopped in every possible way, with bright green and light green moss trimming.  Bleak and beautiful, and it whetted our appetite for more in the coming days.
With that experience behind us, we wondered how we would find our accommodations.  Cathy and Julia spent post massage time trying to reach the proprietor with only limited success, and Julia used the local wifi to load up her iphone with route directions to get us directly to our Iceland home.  With backseat directions, including the confident voice of Google we arrived at the Airbnb.  Home at last - we couldn't make the entry door open and still nothing heard from the proprietor.  After some frustrating curb-side waiting Julia set out to explore the area and we sat contemplating options.  At last Cathy saw a man at the corner of our building who may have been our man and she called out. He hurried away but was replaced by a young boy hanging out on his bike at the door.  Cathy struck up conversation and related our predicament.  The boy was unconvinced of the door problem and demonstrated door opening; also the proprietor was his friend and someone was surely inside to look after us.  He was right, of course, and we were most heartily welcomed by both the proprietor's wife and daughter, and the daughter got us in and settled and well briefed on local routes to restaurants and hints on where to tour on Monday and Tuesday.
 (File Photo2)
   The Airbnb condo is immaculate and certainly meets all our needs - well fitted out kitchen, 2 bedrooms and seating for all.  The bathroom is small but very well appointed.  Decor is very Scandinavian - hearkens back to our Ikea days.
In Julia's exploration of the area, she'd found a Brew Pub nearby, so that's where we enjoyed and early dinner before collapsing into our beds for much-needed sleep.

Link to all Photos of the Day

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