The next day we packed up and headed back toward Reykjavik. We stayed at BGB Guesthouse again for one night. Our first stop was Reykjadalur Valley (hot spring valley). What a hike!! It felt like 10+km all up hill and winding but the final destination was well worth it as long as you can handle the smell of soft-boiled eggs due to the sulphur. It is a long river that is naturally heated by the surrounding volcanos. The temperature varies depending how far up the river you go. The further up the river the hotter it gets.
I don’t have many regrets from this trip, I never really do but ugh…Blue Lagoon. It’s one of those things where you see it everywhere on social media and you think “am I going to regret this if I don’t go?” It’s extremely over-priced and extremely over-rated. Especially when you can pay nothing (except your time and energy) to hike to a completely natural hot spring like Reykjadalur. If I could re-do it I would go to Blue Lagoon but only just to check it out. You can park there for free and near the main entrance they have a trail where you can walk around a section of the Blue Lagoon that is at the front of the building where no one can swim in. I think if anything it’s really interesting and neat to see but it really wasn’t all that hot and there were way too many people…which I expected. Sidenote! If you do decide to go when they say to put conditioner in your hair before you go in…do it. I decided to be a dumbass and not do it and it literally destroys your hair. Let’s say you are a dumbass like me…I did a little bit of research and found out that Tresemme shampoo/conditioner has a chemical in it that somehow fixes your hair? Luckily that was the shampoo I had brought with me and it did just that. THANK GOD. The best way to describe your hair after the exposure to sulphur is horse hair/bale of hay.
After Blue Lagoon we went back to the hotel, got changed and went out to a really nice restaurant called Kaffi Duus. We had suuuuch a good meal there. Jake tried Iceland’s famous shark dish. Basically there is a shark called Greenland Shark and the only way to safely eat it is to bury it underground for 2-3 months. Then you air dry it for approx. 1 week and theeen it is “edible”. I didn’t try this but traditionally you have a little square of it paired with brennivin (type of schnapps) afterwards… that’s how potent it is. Jake doesn’t really cringe when he eats anything but his face after this was like he was going to instantly vomit but of course he kept eating it because he didn’t want to be rude by not eating everything on his plate. It smelt like cat shit + litter and apparently tasted similar. The appetizer we got was a dish with all different kinds of seafood. I got a seafood pasta which was delicious and Jake got minke whale and it was also delicious. Believe it or not the meat was red. Ya I know…it’s not fishy!? But after thinking about it… whale is a mammal so it makes sense.
The next day we headed up north to Olafsvik. There wasn’t anything specific we wanted to see or do there but we researched a few landmarks we wanted to check out. We stayed at North Star Guesthouse in Olafsvik. There were 3 towns that we drove through; Olfasvik, Arnarstapi & Hellnar. I don’t have much to say about this part of the trip. That’s definitely not a bad thing though. I think the pictures definitely speak for themselves. Scroll down to see some of my favourite stops we took throughout the north/west area of Iceland.
Below are some of my favourite images taken. They were all taken in the north/west side.
I began this series stating that the biggest reason I wanted to travel to Iceland was to see the Aurora Borealis. It kind of pains me to say this but we really didn’t get to see them at their prime. The last night we were there the prediction was extremely high for seeing them but unfortunately the area we were in was very cloudy. I’m still so happy I got to see a glimpse of them when we were in Vik. It’s okay though…it just means we’ll have to plan a trip to Norway sooner rather than later 😉
I hope this series was enjoyable and encouraged you or inspired you to travel (especially to Iceland). Iceland is such a special and unique place. Overall the trip was absolutely amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat. While we were there I created a short-film of Iceland and would love for you to check it out. It’s nothing special but was so fun to make. See link below.