TRAVELOGUE
Iceland

Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon

It's Wednesday 13.06.2001, and at 14:15 our plane to Keflavik was supposed to depart from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Keflavik is a city and an international airport on Iceland. The weather didn't help us much; a black cloud appeared above the airport, bringing a thunderstorm with it. During next 45 minutes all traffic was brought to a halt. Then our plane departed. As the plane was full we were upgraded to business class. We spent 3.5 hours of flight in our comfortable chairs. When we approached Iceland we were stunned by the scenery seen from the air: the rocky terrain reminded of Hiroshima in 1945. We landed. Our rental car was waiting for us.

Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

We drove to Blaa Lonid (Blue Lagoon). *The Icelandic names are written here using the English alphabet, which makes them even harder to read.* Blaa Lonid is an artificial lagoon of azure color in a former lava field, created by providing hot water from the nearby thermal plant. We paid the entrance and it took me some time to understand how to use the lockers with the magnetic bracelets we were given. The day was sunny and the air temperature around 15 °C. The temperature of the water was between 40 °C and very hot, depending of the part of the lagoon. We could even sunbath near the lagoon. The water smelled like rotten eggs but we fully enjoyed the 3 hours we spent here.

We went to Reykjavik, the capital of this beautiful country, 50 km away from Keflavik. On our way to Reykjavik we booked a room by phone in a hotel. There is plenty of free rooms in the hotels because it's still not the main tourist season (it lasts from 01.07. to 15.08.). It was, however, necessary to choose the least expensive available hotel in Reykjavik, since it's more or less twice more expensive than France!

Iceland - Reykjavik
Iceland - Reykjavik

We've left out luggage in the hotel room and went to the center of Reykjavik (40% of the total population of 280.000 people on Iceland lives in Reykjavik). Well, there's no city center in the way we know in continental Europe. Despite the high standard of living in Iceland, there's no exterior "shine" on the buildings and one can walk near a restaurant without even noticing it. Željka had to indicate me three times the local McDonalds before I actually spotted it. But we didn't eat there - we rather found a food shop, bought some food and went to Tjornin, a small lake in the center of Reykjavik, where we've had dinner on the open air. Soon the sun set and it became pretty cold. It was a long day (there is a 2 hour time shift due to changing the time-zone), so we fell asleep easily.

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Iceland: Thingvellir, Gullfoss
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