Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One last day

I was ready to head out early, but breakfast came first. My favorite breakfast taste on this trip was the Icelandic pancakes at Skjaldarvik guesthouse. The hostel in Selfoss jumps in right behind Skjaldarvik with wonderful bread. Breakfasts here were pretty standard - cold cereal, yogurt tubs and / or some kind of thick liquid yogurt (I had to learn which carton contained milk, and which the thick stuff!). There was always bread, sliced meats and cheese, and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. The bread was usually a run-of-the-mill sliced bread. Not at the hostel in Selfoss; here there was an interesting home-baked bread, thick with whole grains and seeds, very nice. Both of these good breakfast spots had fruit too - banana slices, chunks of melon, and kiwi.

With food on board, I headed out for my last wander of this trip. Þingvellir was to the north and east, heading inland. Now I understand why the tour of Þingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss is referred to as the Golden Circle (or sometimes as the golden triangle). I thought that I would reverse direction when I finished up at Þingvellir, heading south to pick up the Ring Road towards Reykjavik. Luckily I looked at the map; it was much shorter to complete only the last leg of the triangle, heading directly towards Reyjavik.

It was cloudy to start with today, with occasional sprinkles. It started to clear while I was at Þingvellir, enough to see reflections of blue in the water, surrounded by bright green vegetation.

I had to pass Reykjavik on my way to the airport at Keflavik. The road led me into the city and back out again, leaving me to think that a detailed map of Reykjavik would have been a good thing to have. I have a walking map, and that might have helped - but of course it was in the back of the car. I followed route 41, and then I glanced at the big map of Iceland. Yikes - that road goes to Keflavik, but it also seemed to head out to the tip of a peninsula, not where I was hoping to go. Signs led me onto a different road then back to route 41. Phew! Still heading to the airport, still heading to my planned stop to soak in warm waters.

Ah, finally, I arrived at Bláa Lónið (or Blue Lagoon for those of us who have problems understanding Icelandic). I was shocked to see buses and buses and more buses as I pulled into the parking area. When I last enjoyed the water here it was a Thursday morning - not Saturday at noon. The puzzle was solved when I went inside to find that most of the people were from a cruise ship that docked here yesterday. A cruise has never been on my list of things to do. If you compare it with my usual mode of travel, I suppose I would need to look at it as a vacation on a ship as opposed to an opportunity to really visit a place, This particular ship started in England, visited France, stopped in Ireland and Iceland, and is now on its way to North America, which stops in St. John's, Newfoundland, Sydney, Nova Scotia, and an end point in Boston, Massachusetts. That's a lot of water to cover - with rather short on-land stops.

I quickly skipped the more popular first floor locker room and headed upstairs. Ah, that's better, very few people. My reaction at entering the water was that there were too many people in the water. Luckily that didn't last long; all I needed to do was move to the far side of the lagoon. It was practically empty, a very good place to relax.

Time quickly slipped by. Dressed to travel, I returned the car and checked in for my flight. A warning sign in the departure lounge led me to head for the gate just a little earlier than usual. It was estimated to take 15 minutes to walk to my gate. It didn't take that long, but I was glad to be at the gate early when I realized the flight was going to be boarded en masse. I can't remember the last time that I was on a flight that wasn't boarded by rows or by groups; event Southwest's boarding by groups makes more sense than Icelandair's non-systematic boarding process!