For our one year anniversary (can you believe it has already been one year?!), James and I decided to go back to Iceland to celebrate. This seems extravagant until I tell you that we flew there for $300 roundtrip each, thanks to Wow Air (which I’ll get to in a moment). I am all for experience over material gifts, and because we enjoyed Iceland so much the first time we came, it felt only fitting to come back.
Let’s start with the airline. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Wow Air is one of those “discount” airline companies. The no frills, you literally are paying for your body to be on the plane. I had limited expectations but was extremely pleased with my experience overall. The airline is punctual and clean. The staff was very kind. And with the help of a handy luggage weight, James and I were each able to pack 4.75 kg of the allowed 5 kg on our carry on (as to not pay extra – because as I mentioned, this is a no frills flight!).
We took a red eye flight to Iceland – which meant arriving at 4 a.m. local time. OOmph. Instead of a crying baby, like we experienced in Spain, I was seated next to snorer. I would take the crying baby over snoring, so needless to say, I didn’t get much shut eye on the plane. When we arrived in Iceland, it was raining, windy and cold. We made it through the airport and settled on Reykjavik Excursions, the bus that takes you to and from the airport. This bus is a godsend. Seriously. It means you don’t need to rent a car and navigate crazy roads. It drops you off at a large terminal and passengers board smaller buses to take them to their hotels.
The bus was packed (despite it being super early). The bus driver arrived at the main station around 6:00 a.m. and realized that the woman who took our tickets and our hotel information never gave him the list. So he proceeded to write down where everyone was staying on a piece of cardboard. But rather than communicate any of this to the staff, he simply handed James the cardboard, told him he had to go and left. We stood there for about five minutes, completely out of it due to the lack of sleep, before realizing no small bus was coming to take us to our hotel since no one was notified! We eventually found someone who could make this happen. We arrived at our hotel by 7:00 a.m., and promptly fell asleep for a few hours.
We planned an easy day, given that we would have limited sleep. Around 11 a.m., we were picked up and our way to Blue Lagoon – the famed geothermal spa. We made reservations at their restaurant, Lava, before we headed into the water. Lava once again, did not disappoint. Though the wait staff was thoroughly confused when I ordered a coffee for the start of my meal.
Afterwards, we spent a few hours in the hot spring. We even had someone take our picture together. It was shocking.
On our way back, James and I got off the bus before our stop so that we could walk through the city center. Reykjavik is filled with colorful buildings, graffiti and interesting people. A walk through is a must. We stopped a Kaffitir for a chai tea latte before making it back to our hotel.
For dinner, we made reservations at Dill, which is supposedly one of the “best restaurants in Reykjavik.” Set up as a tasting menu, it did not disappoint. They were even accommodating of my diet, and made everything for me gluten free. Which really just meant, didn’t include cake with dessert, but gave me more ice cream to make up for it. I’m good with that.
James was really set on eating a hotdog in Iceland. It’s a specialty. So after his seven courses, we proceeded to the hotdog stand he has been dreaming about for one year.
We ended our evening at our hotel’s bar, which was surprisingly vibrant and funky – and great for people watching.