We didn’t get much sleep on our flight from Seattle. (See day two of the trip.) Pepper didn’t get any. I slept maybe an hour. We landed at Keflivak Airport at a little before 7 AM. Since were seated in the back of the plane I had anticipated being at the back of the line to go through customs. But it seemed that almost all of the passengers on our flight were making connections. And going through customs was extremely easy. Our bags were on the carousel by the time we got to them. The only drawback to a quick airport run comes when the next thing you have planned isn’t until almost 3 hours later!
You see, the main airport for Iceland is almost an hour away from the capital city Reykjavik. But conveniently located just 20 minutes from the airport is one of the country’s greatest tourist attractions – The Blue Lagoon which is a huge natural hot spring. So we had a bus arranged for from the airport but the Blue Lagoon wasn’t opening until 10. So we were able to use the restroom, exchange currency, and then sit down for a breakfast and get to chat a bit.
The company I used for the trip from the airport to the Blue Lagoon and then on to Reykjavik was Reykjavik Excursions. They dropped us off at the hot springs and provided baggage storage for our big bags. We brought our camera bags, swim suits, and other personal items to the springs. We walked around the grounds a little before renting towels and getting a neat RFID bracelet that was used for accessing a locker or buying food or drinks. Here are a whole bunch of photos to help show how incredible the place is…
Anyway… you get the point!
After a few hours of that we decided to get a bite of food and then catch a return bus to Reykjavik. The bus line transferred us to a smaller bus and then dropped us off quite close to our accommodations. We are renting apartments for most of our stays on the trip and this place is right in the middle of the city.
Although it is a small city – Iceland only has 320,000 residents (less than half of Alaska’s) and more than half live in the Reykjavik area – it seems full of things to do.
We settled in our rooms and then headed to a flea market that would only be open for a few more hours and then we wouldn’t have then chance to see it again. It was only a few blocks away and a gorgeous day for a little walk. We walked into the building and were immediately assaulted by a rank fishy smell. We browsed through the homemade woven goods, old books and records, and typical kitschy and cheap flea market stuff. Pepper and Trina found a few things to buy and I spent about $1.50 on a little cup of shark meat. The guide book that pointed us there said it was fermented shark meat or hakarl. Anthony Bourdain has apparently described this little delicacy as “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing” and now Pepper, Jordan, and I can probably say we agree.
It was really soft and tasted pretty awful. I know that none of us will ever be buying that stuff any time soon! In fact, I think Kevin and Trina gagged just about as much as we did just from the smell.
Fortunately I had something to wash it down! We ate real food along a very popular park called Austurvöllur which seemed to have drawn a huge Sunday crowd of people to enjoy the warm sunny day.
We went back to our rooms after buying some groceries. We all crashed early from the previous night of little rest, relaxing hot soak, and the rigors of our trip.
Travel: Just a little over an hour spent in a bus or van.
Highlight: The Blue Lagoon. Put it on your bucket list. Also eating fermented shark meat. But don’t put it on your bucket list.