Apparently this did not publish seven days ago when I wrote it. I apologize for the long silence. I’ve a few more posts ready and some projects to share as soon as photos are taken. For now, please pretend this went out last week…
It’s so quiet this morning with everyone out. It feels odd to be alone in the house after being surrounded by people for weeks. The snow blanketing all of the outside noises is so unlike the howling winds of Iceland that played the entryway, whistling so loudly I thought the kids were screaming. Jetlag is still keeping me company, but the fridge is restocked, the bags (all but one) are unpacked and the holiday decorations and travel things have all been put away. Things are back to normal, apart from the mail, which it seems they’ve decided not to deliver until they feel like it. That too is normal, on occasion.
So about Iceland…
We stayed near Reykjavik and did the tourist things as best we could with two small children about one bit activity a day. Our first stop was the Blue Lagoon. You pretty much have to go. Ours were the only children there and apart from the staff we didn’t see a single Icelander, just drunken tourists walking around permanently attached to their selfie-sticks. The hot water was relaxing for all of our cramped muscles after the cramped flight and it was nice to start the trip out with a new experience of swimming outside in the dark in January’s cold. We stayed long enough to watch the sunrise. Even slathering on conditioner and leaving it in didn’t protect our hair from the silica in the water. Our skin felt crusty after swimming too, but we headed off to our Airbnb, which was small, but perfect. I heartily recommend having a kitchen and washing machine while traveling with children. Another great tip that saved money and time, particularly with my food allergies was bringing freeze dried meals with us. Just add hot water and stir and you’ve made lunch or dinner. I actually felt like cooking again when I got home and am thinking of tackling dairy free bread making.
We tried for the Aurora, but there was near total cloud cover and rain for the duration of our stay. Once was enough. That will be staying on the bucket list for now, but I can cross off seeing a volcano, geyser and swimming in geothermal pools. The Laugardalslaug complex in Reykjavik was like a second home we went several times enjoying the many heated pools and waterslides without damaging our hair at all. If you go, be a polite tourist, the locals don’t yell and are overall more mellow while swimming than I’ve seen folks in the US or Australia.
We made it to the Alafoss factory store, where we bought most of our souvenirs. It was well worth the 13 minute trip outside the city. The store had tourist knickknacks, furs, handknit goods, yarn and in a small corner Icelandic roving in bags. You could just grab a sack and fill it with handfuls of the various colors, then have it weighed.
Roving was about $25/kg. which is quite inexpensive. Each bag above is 1 kilogram. It’s a bit scratchier than you might want up against your skin, but for outerwear or bags it’d be fine. This would also be a good option for needle felting. A quick warning: like many places in Iceland some goods had price labels, some didn’t. We found that the unlabeled goods tended to be even more ridiculously expensive than most things in Iceland.
Stay tuned for more from our trip to Iceland. Enjoy the winter.