Thursday, November 20, 2014

Iceland - Day 1

No wifi where I am staying tonight, so short version. (Ha, yeah, right. I always say that and it never happens...) Here are the highlights:

Flight was long. Longer than I anticipated. Two hour delay and then couldn't sleep. Too excited for Iceland! Maybe slept two of the seven hour flight.

Landed at 8am in Keflavik and it was still pitch black. Wasn't expecting that.

No line at immigration. Pretty small but very nice airport. Exited, followed Mundi's directions (turn left at 10/11 store) and there he was. Sitting there sipping a coffee and waiting on me just like he said he would be. :)

I shook his hand, exchanged my USD for Icelandic Krona, and then followed this guy I didn't know out in to a dark parking lot and got in his car, haha. I hesitated for all of .5 seconds, like, is this really a good idea? But he already seemed so sweet, so of course I didn't really think twice about anything. :)

Leaving the airport in Mundi's car

First stop was ... the grocery store!  My favorite!  I don't know how he knew it, but he must have, haha.  For some odd reason I love to visit foreign grocery stores... Weird, I know.   I got some musli (like granola kind of), some apples, bananas, and the "fat milk" after a slight mis-communication between Mundi and I.  (He told me it was the "fat milk" I guess, but I either didn't hear him or didn't understand what he was saying...)

At the little local market!

Went to Mundi's cozy apartment, dragged all my bags upstairs, and had some breakfast.  We were trying to communicate different words via google, haha.  His English is very good but there are still some weird words that required google.  He ate a tomato, a carrot and some fish for breakfast.  So weird.  And he thought it was weird that I had granola with milk on it!  So funny...we had some good laughs.

Breakfast at Mundi's

I laid down in bed to take a quick power nap while Mundi went for a jog.  Once he was back and showered, we set off for the first adventure of the day:  The Blue Lagoon!  (So I drug all my bags right back down the stairs!)

(Long story short:  I originally contacted Mundi just to sleep on his couch for a few hours after I landed.  But that turned in to him picking me up from the airport, then taking me to the Blue Lagoon, and then taking me to his parents summer house for the night, taking me on the Golden Circle tour...and all over Icealnd.  I'm going to be with him the whole time I'm here!!)

Back to Blue Lagoon...  Somehow Mundi's dad scored some free passes to the place, which is like 80 Euros to get in or something absurd like that.  Huge savings!!  Not only is Mundi cute and fun, but he's saving me money hand over fist! :)


It wasn't a very long drive, but it was raining the whole way.  Mundi kept assuring me it would clear up for us...and sure enough, he was right!  The rain stopped when we got there!  I was so, so excited for this!  And it didn't disappoint!

I went in to the fancy changing room (it better be fancy for that price), got my swim suit on, and went out to meet Mundi.  The rain my have stopped, but it was still pretty dang cold.  Didn't stop me from snapping a few pictures though!  What a beautiful thing to see!

The water was warm, and we waded around in it from one side to the other.  It was just SO COOL!

The guy working at the front desk told me to put conditioner in my hair before I went in to the water because the sulfur or whatever it is would really dry it out.  Of course I didn't listen to him because I wasn't planning on getting my hair wet.  And of course that lasted all of 5 seconds when  wave came and hit me and got my hair wet!  Oops!

We found a big container of some face mask thing that was supposed to be exfoliating and cleansing for your skin.  Had to put that on!  Might be regretting it later (I tend to have sensitive skin) but I had to do it!  

After wading around for awhile, Mundi wanted to sit in the sauna.  They were very nice, but so dang hot.  I mean like I was choking and coughing because I couldn't even breathe in there!  I think Mundi enjoyed it, but I eventually said I had to step outside and get some air before I passed out!!

With so much on the agenda for the day, and not much daylight, we decided to shower and head on to Thingvellir National Park - the first stop on the Golden Circle Tour.

The showers were nice, and they had shampoo and conditioner in there.  Had to wash my hair (which I hate doing) to get the sulfur our and I think it's fine.  It doesn't feel any drier than it normally does.  And really, I am not one to care much about my hair anywys, so it's all good.

As we were leaving, we took the longer route back to the parking lot to walk closer to the natural hot springs.  It was just breathtaking!!  So gorgeous!  I couldn't stop taking pictures.  Mundi probably thinks I'm crazy... ;)

I gave him my phone and said I needed a picture and took off running before he could say anything.  He was kind of looking around like I was going to get in trouble, but he said I was too quick to catch, haha.  Apparently you have to stay on the path there.  I should have listened because as he was trying to take the picture, a giant gust of wind came up (have I mentioned how windy it is here!?) and blew me right off the moss covered lava rocks!  

From Blue Lagoon, we drove towards Reykjavic.  We talked along the way and it finally hit me:  Mundi looks like the younger, cuter version of Ben Stiller!  Or maybe it's the fact that his movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was filmed there, but I still think he kind of looks like him.  (And maybe a little Hugh Grant mixed in...)

We decided to skip a tour of Reykjavic and stopped for lunch at a Subway.  I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted and changed my order a couple of times.  The poor girl working probably would have spit in my sandwich if I hadn't been standing right there!  Mundi asking, "ham or turkey or what!?" and then trying to translate for me, haha.  I'm a mess. :)

We stopped at not one, but two more grocery stores in the area (SO FUN!) to get stuff for dinner that night.  Salad and some sort of special sauce that Mundi just had to have.  (We never found it.)  He also showed me some gross looking lamb or sheep head and they actually just cook it and peel the skin off and eat it!  I about gagged!! 

A short drive later and we were pulling up to Thingvellier National Park.  On top of having a lot of historical and cultural importance in Iceland (I won't list it all here), it is the spot of the rift valley where the tectonic plates are actually pulling apart visibly!

We walked around and saw some pools where people were drown (those barbaric vikings!), and found a spectacular waterfall!  Mundi walked right off the path and out in to the water to taste it.  And just as I was taking a picture of him out there, my phone shut up!  No battery left!  Ugh!

This was the last picture I got there!

We went on another walk(off the path!) to a beautiful stream of water that was so clear you could see the bottom.  It was all just so beautiful.  I think I love Iceland already. :)

We continued the drive on to his parents summer house, near Gulfoss and Geysir.  We weren't going to make those stops today, as it was already getting dark.  But at least we would be close to them for tomorrow morning!

On the drive, I saw my first glimpse of the northern lights.  Or lights from a greenhouse.  Whatever. ;)

We drove on for an hour or so, pulled off the road in the middle of noewhere, and drove up a bumpy dirt path to the cutest little cabin I've ever seen.  I loved being out in the country side - nothing around us.

Well, it was cute until I walked in the door and CHUCK NORRIS greeted me!!

What the...?  I mean seriously.  Just, why?  Hahaha - I died laughing.  It's just too funny and certainly the last thing I expected to see in that house in Iceland!!

The house was just perfect.  One bedroom, one bathroom, a loft with more sleeping space, kitchen, eating area, family room, wrap-around deck built by his dad, a hot tub, PLUS a small "guest house" with another bed and bathroom!  Such a cool set-up, especially since it was out in nature.  Love love loved it.

I made the salad while Mundi did everything else for dinner.  I was exhausted and took a quick nap on the couch...until Mundi - who was trying to be very quiet - dropped some loud something or the otehr right in front of my face and scared the crap out of me!  It was pretty funny.  He was trying so hard but of course whatever it was he dropped was when he was right by my head, haha.

He woke me up when he was done grilling the meat and we had a wonderful dinner:  pork and sweet potatoes and salad!  Oh and that special sauce that we looked everywhere for?  His parents had some at the house. :)

A couple of those pieces of meat weren't quite done enough
for me and went back on the grill...

After we cleaned up (and avoided the many mouse traps!) we sat in the hot tub on the deck for awhile.  Once the scalding hot water cooled down enough for me to get in.  ;)  We listened to some music on Spotify - I'm really enjoying some of the Icelandic bands now!  Oh - random side note:  Mundi is friends with the guitar player from the band of Monsters and Men!  Crazy!

And I leave you with this fro the night:  Me and Chuck Norris in bed!

He didn't actually stay there all night, but Mundi thought the picture would be funny.  (He was right -- this one cracks me up every time I look at it!)

Tomororw is Geysir and Gulfoss (to complete the Golden Circle) and then off to the southern coast to the town of Vik tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. omg so totally dying over you and chuck norris in bed. hysterical terri!!!