Our last day in Iceland started with our hotel’s breakfast buffet, a pricey affair that we’d been holding out on all week and decided to finally gorge on. Sadly, it wasn’t the culinary masterpiece we’d hoped for, but it wasn’t terrible either. We might have been heard to utter the following:
“Is this a chopped liver of some kind? I think this is a chopped liver of some kind.”
“Quick, steal all of the Smjor. All of it.”
“Oh, bangers and mash. You’ll never stop being hilarious.”
“Where are the pancakes? YESTERDAY THEY HAD PANCAKES.”
“If I see one more tub of yogurt, I’m going to hurl all over this buffet.”
“Mini chocolate muffins? I’ll take 53, please.”
And so on.
After breakfast we packed up our stuff, said goodbye to our hotel room, (which, I don’t think I have yet mentioned, consisted of two twin beds shoved together, complete with TWO skinny little comforters! What the what?), and marveled at the elevator one last time.
Downstairs, we checked out and boarded a bus to set forth on the pilgrimage that it seems every single tourist who comes to Iceland must undergo: the traditional visiting of the Blue Lagoon on the way to or from the airport.
The Blue Lagoon is a very, very, very BLUE body of water in the middle of nowhere that is heated geothermically and enjoyed by lumpy tourists of all ages and nations. I’m pretty sure border control won’t stamp your passport unless you’ve been. So we piled off the bus, stored our luggage in an adorable little cabin that I’m going to call the Baggage Barn, and headed inside.
Accustomed to the Icelandic spa drill by now, we stripped naked and hit the showers. (That’s how they do it there – WITHOUT bathing suits, the signs all scream at you. Do not even ask how awkward this was or how many saggy old lady boobs I saw.) Then we ran into the lagoon, literally, because it was freezing out and the lagoon was oh so warm and delicious.
The water was fantastic, and really was very blue. It was rich in silica and other minerals, and unlike that terrifyingly deep crack I went snorkeling in, visibility here went only an inch or so deep before disappearing into yet more blue. I should also mention that the place was gigantic (photo once again courtesy of RJ):
And perhaps most amusing of all, they had this silt that you could put on your face to make a mud mask, because supposedly it had restorative qualities and smoothed your skin and all that. But I think it was all an evil scheme by the Icelandic government to make tourists look like weird, goopy aliens.
I could make several jokes about everyone swimming around with a white, sticky substance globbed on to their faces, but instead I will take the classy route and show this picture of me in the gift shop, making a Portlandia joke:
Happy, exfoliated, and with hair more fried than a bale of hay, we piled back on to the bus and headed for the airport. When we’d arrived in Iceland it had been dark, so along the drive we saw a couple more cool things, like Iceland’s version of the Hollywood sign:
And these cool stone figures looking out toward the water:
At the airport I made sure to have one last tender moment with my favorite Icelandic snack:
And with that, we said goodbye to the land of fire and ice. The flight was uneventful, except for when I got up to go to the bathroom while the ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign was lit, and the flight attendants gave me the scolding of a lifetime. Icelandair: they don’t take your shit.
If you squint real hard, you can see me being tossed from the cargo hold.
So that’s it! I have to say, despite all the poking of fun I’ve been doing in these blog posts (which, thank you for reading, by the way), Iceland was really a very lovely country, with even lovelier people and horses. I would jump at the chance to go back – maybe in the summer next time – and check out even more of the country, as we barely scratched the surface in the time that we were there. But if you ever get the opportunity to go, I highly recommend. And if not, do yourself a favor: head to your nearest Whole Foods and pick up a brick of Smjor. SMJOOOOR!