12 Nov The Icelandic Travel Series: Black Death and Shark bites
Last week on The Icelandic Travel Series,
6 New Mexicans traveled overseas in the worlds shittiest plane to take on the bitter cold of Reykjavik Iceland.
Upon arriving and meeting Ellen, their above average talkative tour guide, amped up on zero sleep and lots of coffee they took on their first day.
With little expectations and a whole lot of carbs #TeamNOsleep went to sleep knowing they had packed bikinis among their parkas for this magical moment…
I hope ya’ll read that in a really intriguing man’s voice while picturing an actual tv show happening.
If not, go back and re-read it, I’ll wait…
And If you missed part one, I would love for you to go back and read it. (just play by the rules)
After the longest first day, which actually felt like 3 days because we didn’t sleep for 36 hours.
We woke up on the second morning with a little different packing list.
Well my dad and Jacob didn’t pack bikinis, unfortunately…
But we had the Blue Lagoon in our sights and it could not have come fast enough.
We jumped on our mini bus and headed about 40 minutes to one of 25 Wonders of the World…
(I thought there were only 7 but apparently you can claim anything these days)
In case you were wondering I am also one of the 25 wonders of the world too.
But honestly, it was absolutely breathtaking.
We arrived and from the moment we got out of the bus it was like we were in a different world.
We walked up to a big white lone wall, where the words BLUE LAGOON was simply stated.
From there we walked about 400m through volcanic rock on both sides of us.
The mixture of black and bright green moss was so incredible.
You could see the steam from the geothermic baths filling the sky.
Out of all the things I had researched about Iceland, this was the one thing I was really looking forward to.
They had a great system when you got inside the building to check in,
You got bracelets that you could use at the bar to charge your drinks or food pretty much a water credit card. You received a towel and then you were off to the locker rooms to change and prepare for the Blue Lagoon.
I say prepare because we had to wash off in the showers and if you were Cindy and Nicole and caved to peer pressure you washed your hair too.
As I walked out of the changing room and had my first glance of the Blue Lagoon it was everything and nothing like I imagined.
It was busy, and a little chaotic. In my head and in my perfect world I imagined it to be just the 6 of us haha but obviously we did not pay for a private party, a regular entry was expensive enough.
There was an iconic ramp to get into the pool that I had seen in so many Instagram pictures, that obviously I had to re-enact because I am THAT girl… and I write blogs that like 400 people read so I just pretended that it was for my “job”
Okay, yes now that I’ve embarrassed myself let’s keep this going…
The first few steps in the lagoon was so much fun, I couldn’t not laugh and smile.
It was one of those moments that I had been thinking about for months before, another check off the bucket list.
It was warm.
Not too hot, but very comfortable.
The steam was thick, and kind of intriguing.
In some parts it made you feel like you really were the only one there.
As Alanna and I wandered we unknowingly made it straight to the swim up bar where we ordered a beer and found the rest of the group.
We had 3 hours to float around and enjoy the paradise we were in.
I’m going to drop some quick knowledge on you:
The geothermal water originates 2,000 meters below the surface, where freshwater and seawater combine at extreme temperatures. It is then harnessed via drilling holes at a nearby geothermal power plant, Svartsengi, to create electricity and hot water for nearby communities.
On its way to the surface, the water picks up silica and minerals. When the water emerges, its temperature is generally between 37°C and 40°C (98-104°F). But owing to variables outside of our control – including weather and time of year – the water temperature sometimes fluctuates beyond this range.
The geothermal water has a unique composition, featuring three active ingredients – Silica, Algae & Minerals.
The blue color comes from the silica and the way it reflects sunlight.
However, and this might come as a surprise, the water is actually white. If you pour it into a transparent cup, it will always have a milky white color. The sun simply makes it look blue!
Close to the end of our 3 hours we floated over to the mask bar,
This is where we were able to put on the Silica Mud Masks. We lathered that white stuff all over our faces and upper bodies, it is meant to refresh and soften your skin and is an natural anti aging cream…
Cindy was obviously trying to go back to her 20’s… you go girl…
Right after the Silica mask we were fortunate enough to try a Lava Exfoliation as well, this one was black and grittier and is used for more of a cleansing mask.
After scrubbing our faces and feeling brand new, our time was through.
This was one of those experiences that you see on tv or in pictures and you never think that you will experience it.
It was honestly, one of my favorite things I have ever done in my life.
I had the best company, the weather was amazing, and I really felt so fortunate to be able to be in that moment at that time.
When we returned to Reykjavik, we stayed in the city center and found a traditional Icelandic Restaurant.
We were the only people in there and it was kind of apparent that this waitress/owner did not find us as funny as we thought we were.
The food in Iceland isn’t necessary anything special, it is really good. But it doesn’t have its own taste. The seafood was amazing, and the catch of the day was always my go to.
As we sat talking we decided that the big chalk board with the words, “Would you dare to try the Icelandic traditional twins?”
Well duh… why else would we come to Iceland.
Black death and shark meat….
So we ordered 3.
I have never tasted anything worse than either of those things,
and to put them together was a terrible idea.
The black death shot tasted like actual rubbing alcohol.
The shark was similar to what rotting flesh would taste like.
It was unbelievably chewy, to the point where it was squeaking in between our teeth.
So basically, what I am saying is that if you go to Iceland, try it.
After leaving and getting yelled at for accidentally stealing a fish meal, we wandered to a local pub to grab some beers.
I think i had a few too many beers because i got really invested, and creepy to the guy behind us at the pub.
Fun fact about me: i have really good eyes, i also apparently can read love emails on iphones.
Poor guy was traveling from California to Berlin to surprise his long lost love Katrin.
Anyways if you are emotionally involved like i was we can discuss it at another time….
As the sun set, the sky lit up.
Well of course i ran out of the bar to chase the sunset.
My heart couldn’t feel more at ease. It made me think, that at every night, everywhere in the entire world gets to see a blissful sunset and how incredible is it that you can experience something like that in a different country. I fell in love with that moment and Iceland a little more after that.
Due to something and a reason we didn’t really know, we had the opportunity to go on the Northern Lights Tour again the second night. Out of the original 30 some people from the night before only about 10 of us decided to go again. Alanna and I decided to take that opportunity and chase some adventure.
We loaded the bus again and headed out to a different location, this one was right on the coast where there was a lighthouse and the winds were raging.
As we got off the bus the sky was dark, no stars shining through, nothing like the night before.
There was no glimpse of the Northern Lights. The weather was terrible, it was windy, and cold.
I mean SO cold. I actually thought my nose and finger tips were about to fall off…
We hid on the bus for 30 or so minutes, thinking that this was a waste of time.
Just as we pretty much lost all hope, and I mean in an instance, the clouds flew out of the sky and were replaced with a green color.
Just like that, just simple patience, paid off.
For about an hour, I stood in complete awe.
Eyes on the sky.
The sky was literally dancing,
Blue, pink, green, purple… colors shooting and circling.
These movements were so graceful like someone was painting the sky just for us.
Just as fast as it would come, it would disappear and then you would turn around and there was a different show happening behind you.
I have never cheered at the sky, but I did.
I have never been completely speechless, but I was.
I have never been so mesmerized by something in my life, but just thinking about it right now, I continue to be.
There were times, where I was standing there, wide mouthed and actually emotional, because what I was seeing was so powerful.
At one point I had this internal conversation with myself, I asked myself if this was actually real life, if what my eyes were focused on was actually happening.
To be completely real, I have never felt that way and I don’t know if I ever will.
I have never in my entire life seen anything like it. I honestly don’t even have words to describe it.
It is HANDS DOWN the most incredible thing I have every witnessed in my entire life.
To say that we were lucky is an understatement, we were so fortunate to see what we did.
Our guide said that what we witnessed was the best show they had all year.
Can you believe that?
Because it was so windy holding a camera still long enough for the shutter and exposure to open and capture it just was really hard to take pictures.
So, the only pictures I have are in my mind, and to be honest, that’s where they belong.
But here are two off my gopro before my hands froze off…
This world we live in is an incredible place, and in that moment, I was feeling so blessed and privileged to have the opportunity to witness its magic and light. It really changes your perspective on things, how magical life is and how sacred these moments you get are.
This was another experience that changed me for the rest of my life.
Day two in Iceland ended and I will never, ever, ever forget it.
Another check off the bucket list,
And another story for the memory bank.
The next day was a big day for the guy who made this all possible, and has been my go-to dude and best friend.
Birthdays aren’t bad when you get to celebrate in Iceland…
Stay tuned to see how we partied around the Golden Circle on our last full day.
“There are people in this world that are always in love with the sky no matter the weather. One day you will find someone who will love you the exact same way…”
To know that bad things have happened in my life is sad and terribly unfortunate, but I think those things have made me so much more thankful for the good things.
I feel things so much harder now, and I wouldn’t want to live any other way.
& promise me you’ll fall in love with as many moments in your life as possible…
You inspire people who act like they don’t even see you…