EuroVirgo Travel Diary: A Romp Through Reykjavik!
The Blue Lagoon!
Way back at the end of 2010, when Nubby & I were discussing going away for a holiday in February, we ran through a lot of potential options. The one we were most keen on was a return to Las Vegas, almost our original stomping ground in a way! (It’s the first place we ever went away to together, & our memories of that fateful trip in 2008 remain very vivid & colourful!)
But one day I was doing some researching online, as I am wont to do, when I stumbled upon this amazing deal. I quickly emailed Nubby.
OH MY GOD. Just found out that if you fly IcelandAir to Europe — like Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, etc. — you get up to a week’s layover in Reykjavik FREE! We have to do it. I just checked prices & it’s only $550 return each!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
She almost immediately replied, laughing at the ridiculousness of it all but agreeing that it was something we should definitely do. When I suggested that we visit Paris, she was all for it. Nubby had never been to Europe before & I was so excited to be her date!
After an incredible four days in Paris, we arrived in Reykjavik to grey, overcast skies & pelting rain. After a long, costly taxi ride from the airport ($130US, thank you very much) through a “volcanic moonscape” (I am not making this up), we arrived at our hotel in the middle of the downtown area.
We stayed at the 101 Hotel & were delighted to discover that they had upgraded us! They put us in a Suite Balcony room, which was phenomenal & very big. As much as I would like to think that they upgraded us because of our winsome smiles & charming demeanour, I actually think it was more because I have a Tablet Plus membership! I was fortune enough to acquire one recently: a very nice person from Tablet HQ emailed & asked if I would like one. Of course I said yes! Our French hotel wasn’t part of Tablet, so the 101 was the first place I got to test it out. Our upgrade also included a free breakfast every morning, of incredible fresh fruit, & anything else you could imagine. Colour me impressed! I would say that if you do your fair share of travelling — & prefer to stay in boutique hotels than run-of-the-mill chain hotels — it is totally worth it. Everyone loves an upgrade, & free breakfast is a fantastic thing when you’re travelling!
We set down our suitcases, walked around the hotel room & decided it was time to examine Reykjavik! Nubby & I shimmied into our cutest outfits, slung our purses over our shoulders & set off like deranged explorers, on a mission to check out the main drag!
…Five minutes later we raced back to the room for coats, hats & scarves! (Pro tip: Iceland in February is COLD!)
Fine Icelandic journalism!
We had absolutely no idea what to expect of Reykjavik, & I think we were pretty surprised by what we found! I had heard that Iceland was insanely picturesque, very beautiful, with a raging nightlife & a small town feel. All of these things were true, but at the same time, I was quite amazed by the intensity of the small town feel! If you removed the Scandinavian design sensibilities (& the huge number of natural blondes!), you could almost mistake Reykjavik for a little town in New Zealand. It was extremely quiet & understated.
But at night! Oh, at night! At night, the locals come out by the carload, boozed to the gills, wearing next-to-nothing. Did I mention it was freezing? Snowing, even? No matter. Icelandic girls are TOUGH! They were out in the droves, wearing fashion blogger favourites (Jeffrey Campbell Litas, check! Tiny leather jackets, check!), flirting with boys & chain-smoking outside pizza parlours. Somewhere, Mary J. Blige floated from a pumping stereo system.
They party until 9 or 10 in the morning in Reykjavik. It sure is something!
Two of my favourite parts of Reykjavik were Barbara, a bright pink gay bar, & this little cafe (whose name I forget) which served the most amazing hot chocolate!
Barbara, of course!
These signs are too good!
After four days in Paris, Nubby & I were exhausted! Reykjavik turned out to be a fantastic place to chill out & relax before we headed back to the madness of the U.S.A.
Our big white bed was perfect for impromptu daytime naps, I used the big white tub (I’m sensing a theme here!) to soak my bones while watching Paris Hilton’s My New BFF on my laptop, & the 101 Hotel happily delivered the very best miso soup I’ve ever had to our room when we felt too lazy to move an inch.
Gala “Always Online” Darling. Wearing my Tory Burch pyjamas! What a kind gift, no?
Nubby enjoyed the bathtub too!
Of course, the best thing about Reykjavik — in my opinion — is the Blue Lagoon.
THE BLUE LAGOON IS SPECTACULAR. I think it is worth the flight! Truly!
To get there, you take a bus to the middle of nowhere, take a shower with a bunch of other naked women, & then run outside — yes, outside, in your bikini, IN THE SNOW — & get into the lagoon as quickly as possible. It is SUBLIME.
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa created by lava formations, with the water ranging in temperature from 37 to 39 °C (98 to 102 °F). The water is rich in minerals, & is reputedly fantastic for your skin.
So basically… we splashed around in the Blue Lagoon, wearing mouse ears, in a blizzard. I’m not going to lie, it was effing GLORIOUS!
As we were driving there, I was telling Nubby that I thought maybe the Blue Lagoon would be grey that day. The sky was gloomy & overcast, & I figured the lagoon got its name from refraction of light — like how the sea is blue when the sky is, etc. I was so pleasantly surprised to see that it is BLUE all the time! It’s like fab turquoise milk. Man, it was so cool.
By the way, it’s not always snowing in Iceland! We just happened to be there in the middle of winter. (Very silly.) I’m sure that in the middle of summer, the Blue Lagoon is even better!
Colourful buildings… & snow!
Other than our adventures at the Blue Lagoon, & some quality time spent drinking hot chocolates, we used our three days in Reykjavik for rest & recuperation. In fact, we were so relaxed, we barely took any photos! We watched trashy television, we lay around in bed & of course, we talked & laughed endlessly — which is all you could ever ask for in a vacation!
It was a superb — even perfect — end to an absolutely stellar trip away with my BFF. We had the best time ever! I hope you enjoyed reading all about it… Now back to our regularly scheduled programming!