Tuesday 6th May, I woke up in Akureyri, the most northern town I have ever stayed in. The closest I have ever been to the north pole, and the further away I ever been from home/Australia. It was such a weird feeling because I feel good while so isolated on earth, yet tomorrow, I will be reunited with my family in France and overwhelmed, a weird mix of feeling. I woke up around eight, went to the local bakery to get some breakfast and then parked nearby the port to have a morning walk around the fjord. It was so quiet and enjoyable, I didn’t think about much other than how gorgeous the view was. In the background, a fisherman’s boat was going out at sea while the low grey clouds and snowcapped mountains reflected in the water. I saw only two ladies during that peaceful walk then headed back to the hostel, packed my bag and hit the road. This is the last leg of my journey, going through the West coast back to Reykjavik, where I would be taking the plane to Paris early tomorrow morning.
A quick stop by the petrol station and off I was. The expected ride was less than I initially expected as it was only four hours away and I was not expecting to stop much along the way. However I did stop a few times right out of Akuryeri to look at some Islandic horses and touch the less shy of them, for one last time. Then I drove for while, with great music in the car, already thinking on how excited I am to see my family in France but at the same time how wonderful Iceland turned out to be. The West coast doesn’t offer that many stop opportunity or impressive landscape as I have seen on the South or East coast so I kept on driving, making my day not so drive heavy like yesterday. I did stop over for a quick bite at the petrol station in Blönduós, in the north West of Iceland, before heading back South. Then I must have stopped only a couple of times before reaching my final destination, once for a photo op and another time to stretch my legs.
As I got closer to Reykjavika and I realised it was not too late, I decided to do a detour in Akranes, expecting a nice view of the ocean with Reykjavik in the background. Unfortunately there was no such a view plus the weather was more than threatening as it looked like the capital city was under heavy rain and I was going straight in that direction! I got back in the car, went through the Hvalfjarðargöng tunnel and finally made it to Reykjavik. By then it must have been around five o’clock or so and I started wondering what I would do for the rest of the day. The only thing I knew was that I had a very early flight tomorroz morning and needed to return the car by five am; so I already thought of not bothering with getting a night at the hostel and pass out for few hours in the car while waiting. However it was only early evening and I had plenty of time in front of me. After a bit of reflection and a pit stop at ‘Bonus’ (the local supermarket) to grab some food for tomorrow morning, I decided to go to the Blue Lagoon which is the number one thing to do if you go to Reykjavik; quite pricey but recommended by all. So I put the location on my GPS and headed south towards Keflavik.
Only fourty minutes later, I was reaching the blue lagoon. Chucking a leftie on road 43 as I got closer to Keflavik, entered Grindavík and I quickly saw a big could of steam in the air, indicating the location. I must have got to Bláa Lónið (Blue lagoon) by five thirty. It wasn’t long before my eyes popped-out. The lagoon water was also surrounding the geothermal spa outside the main building. So even before getting in, you got a big slap in the face by the unreal blue/turquoise colour. I have many, many shades of blue in my life, especially in Tahiti and Bora Bora but I have never seen anything like that. The shade is so hard to describe, only photos can reveal how it looks so enjoy those shots below. After enjoying the view from the outside and taking a good look, I went inside and payed the 35€ fee to get in, which is not cheap but quite worth it for such a unique experience. I got changed, took a shower and went outside. The wind was freezing! Especially when you have nothing on but a pair of swimwear. I got inside the water and it was so nice. The temperature is average 38-40°C which is perfect; not too hot so you can stay for a long time and not too cold either; plus the outside cold wind was making it feel even warmer inside the turquoise blue water. At first, I just went around the pool/spa to discover the place, quickly noticed a bar nearby the entrance that was inside the pool itself so no need to get out to get a drink: brilliant idea! Then I went further down close to a hotter spot where I relaxed for a while. As I got close I saw many people with white mud all over their faces, some also had it on their upper body. That is when I remember what Lena told me the day before: the spa offer free white mud that you put on your skin and make it really smooth. After a while I was like ‘hey, you’re already there, so why not have a mud mask too?’ So like my peers I started to put the silica mud all over my face and let it dry in the sun. I felt really relax and realised at that point, this was just the perfect way of ending my trip. I did stay there for three hours, enjoying the hot spa and silica mud until pretty much closing time. By eight o’clock I left, took a shower and headed back to the car; I was one of the only car left in the parking.
On my way back to Reykjavik, as I left Bláa Lónið, I had a fantastic sunset, as if Iceland wanted to show me how beautiful it is until the end of my trip. Stopped over for one last petrol refill, had my last hotdogs for dinner (so I went ‘crazy’ and took the snags wrapped in bacon) and got back to the city. There I executed the plan I have thinking of during the evening: I got to Hlemmur square backpacker, pretended I was staying there so I could use the bathroom and the wi-fi and stayed in the lobby on internet until midnight. I then went back to my car, packed my big bag, drove to a quiet parking nearby and ‘slept’. Well that sleeping part didn’t turn out as I expected: the back seats were too small to fit my whole body lying down so it wasn’t that comfy, but also the cold got into the car quickly and I was shivering for a while. In the end I woke up around three thirty and couldn’t sleep anymore. I brought the car back to the car rental parking and got on the five am bus; arriving at the airport half an hour later. Checked-in, dropped my bag and waited an hour before the plane took off.
I am now heading to a new part of my trip, three months or so all around Europe, including one full month in France to see my family and friends. I have only one flight ticket left in my round the world trip which is Turkey to Japan (currently planned mid-July but already planning to postpone it by a month or so). This is going to be good, very different from my trip so far but very exciting too. I can no longer wait to see my family, Paris here I come!