Maybe it’s because there’s 17 hours of sunlight, but the days just seem so long here in Iceland. On our first full day here, my friends and I saw and did so much that the activities from the morning felt like they happened days ago. After sleeping in a bit to catch up on sleep after our 2am arrival, we ventured out into Reykjavik to find a grocery store – my first time shopping for groceries in a different country!
On our way back from grocery shopping, we stopped at Hallgrimskirkja, the church and major landmark in the center of Reykjavik which is the highest structure in all of Iceland. We knew we’d have time to stop back and explore inside on Friday so we admired it from the outside.
Our walk back to our Airbnb also took us past amazing street art and buildings with grass growing on the roof, which is fairly typical in Iceland.
After eating breakfast and almost missing our bus (pro tip: always check your tour instructions for the time when pickup starts, not the time when the tour starts!), we arrived at Blue Lagoon, a natural hot spring of geothermal seawater that is the most vivid, beautiful shade of blue. The blue tint comes from the sun reflecting off of the silica in the natural hot spring water. Rich with silica and natural minerals, the Blue Lagoon is 9 million liters of 100° F water that is said to have amazing healing powers for skin and conditions like psoriasis. The natural silica mudmasks are free with entry to the lagoon and make your skin feel noticeably softer after a 10 minute treatment.
The Blue Lagoon, although extremely touristy, is a must-see attraction in Iceland with how beautiful and relaxing the whole experience is.
Back in Reykjavik, my friends and I had dinner at Vegamót, a quaint local restaurant located off of Laugavegur, the main shopping street downtown. Not quite Icelandic, not quite American, the cuisine was essentially food we had all tried before, like chicken breast and penne pasta, but with a local twist with fresh ingredients and vegetables we hadn’t tried before.
After dinner, we took a stroll down to the waterfront and snapped some amazing photos at the magic hour right before sunset.
Continuing to walk down the waterfront path, we built some stone piles for good luck and got to watch the sunset over the harbor.
Back on the main shopping street, we stopped at a Liége street cart for some incredible warm waffles topped with sugar and continued to browse stores along Laugavegur for an hour or so before turning in early in preparation for our early morning pickup for tomorrow’s tour.
With all the breathtaking scenery, amazing food, and time spent making unforgettable memories with my best friends, I seriously couldn’t be happier in Iceland.