Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Five day Iceland getaway in rainy November

Five day Iceland getaway in rainy November

Reply

Nov 29th, 2015, 05:14 AM
  #21
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Thanks, cold (if I may call you that) and Mathieu. I don't know if anyone else is still reading, but I thought it was time to finish...

Breakfast at Hali was good - buffet style, with breads, cheese, meats and pastries. We were on the road around 8:30 - it was just getting light. The sun from the previous day never showed its face, though. Overcast and drizzly throughout the day.

With the temperature hovering at the freezing mark, we made slow progress. We were a bit worried about the mountain leaving Vik. If the weather worsened, that would be the one spot that might be problematic. It turned out to be fine; the worst place with just before Reykjavik - a mountainous area where it was snowy and foggy. We arrived safely, however, this time staying at Ambassade Apartments.

Ambassade was in a great location, just a block off the one of the main streets in the city center. It had private parking (although tight for our large SUV), making it very convenient. The owner was fabulous - gave us towels for the Blue Lagoon and a cell phone to have throughout our stay (even though it was only one night).

Because of the roads, the drive from Vik was much longer than we'd anticipated, so we didn't have much time that evening. We simply strolled, stopped for dinner again at Glo and had another gelato at the shop mentioned earlier.

Next morning, we packed our bags and headed for the Blue Lagoon. It was expensive, but I'm glad we did it. What a contrast from the Secret Lagoon! The former was small, rustic, natural. The latter was the Disney World of thermal pools. We arrived late at 10:30 because we got lost getting out of Reykjavik (we had a 10:00 reserved time).

There's a short walk from the parking lot to the entrance, where you give them your ticket and get your bracelet - which can be used to charge drinks during your visit - and your locker number. The bracelet opens and closes your locker.

Showers are nice - and there are private ones if you're modest - but they do ask that everyone take a full (naked) shower. That's standard practice at all pools in Iceland, I think because they don't use chlorine in the water.

When you come out of the dressing room, you can get in a small pool inside the building that leads to the outside - so you can be in the warm water without going out into the cold.

We thought the Blue Lagoon was worthwhile. I don't know if we'd do it again or not, but for that first visit to Iceland - definitely yes. Be sure to put conditioner on your hair (they have it in the showers) and leave it in while in the Blue Lagoon. The water is supposedly really tough on your hair. We both used the conditioner and had no problems.

After that, we dried off (plenty of hair dryers in dressing rooms) and headed for the airport, vowing to return to Iceland - which is a rarity for us. Usually we want to go somewhere new, but we definitely want to come back and see more of this stunning country.

Will close later with some favorite sights/closing thoughts.
althom1122 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2015, 06:30 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Althom - half the Lounge refuses to use any name at all for me, even when they're talking to me. It's a form of passive-aggressiveness.

I got snapped at (in Icelandic) for not taking a sufficiently long shower at our pool. Where we went the shower signs were in Icelandic so I didn't get the chlorine thing. I should have invited the guy to help me along.

From my seat on the bus to and from our hike the highway looked awfully narrow. That may have been an illusion. Still, good for you for driving them in November.
colduphere is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 29th, 2015, 07:54 AM
  #23
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,498
Really great report. I did a two night stopover a few years ago (heard the stand up in the forest joke) but definitely want to go back. You've given great details, sounds like you had a great trip despite the weather. Thanks for posting it.
isabel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 6th, 2015, 07:57 AM
  #24
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Thanks, Isabel!

Cold, yes, I'd read about the (lack of) chlorine thing somewhere, so they're pretty particular about wanting people to be clean before they get in the water. LOL about the lounge - I don't get there much anymore. As a relative newlywed, I don't have as much time to myself anymore (and I'm loving every minute!). But I do miss some of the lounge discussions.

Yes, the roads are pretty narrow, at least compared to what we're used to. Tom's still saying he wants to go back, so I think another Iceland trip is in our future. Hiking the last 100 km of the Camino in Spain next year, though, so it may be 2 or 3 years...
althom1122 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 6th, 2015, 01:00 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 14,010
I was searching for something on Paris and stumbled on this report. First rate, wonderfully done. Thank you so much.
cmcfong is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2017, 05:45 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,095
Saving, with thanks.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 5th, 2017, 07:06 PM
  #27
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 581
We are heading to Iceland in August. Great info in this trip report! Many thanks for posting!
Masterphil is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 7th, 2017, 09:58 AM
  #28
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22
Loved your report. I made lots of notes for our trip in March. Your pictures are fabulous, thanks so much for sharing.
cindysroom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 10th, 2017, 03:40 PM
  #29
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,579
Thank you for the interesting trip report. We are scheduled to go this February for a short trip. I am curious about the Northern Lights, I realize it is a matter of luck, nature controlled. However, with the naked eye (not through your camera) was it spectacular? Did you see color or gray white? Was it like a shooting star? I hate to sound dumb but ...
marlib1951 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 18th, 2017, 12:24 PM
  #30
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,237
Hi marilib - just now seeing your post. Yes, the Northern Lights are visible with the naked eye. We saw green. They weren't as spectacular as I was expecting, but still very cool. The camera "sees" them better. We didn't see them "dance" exactly, as I've heard it described by others, but they don't stay in the same position for long - they are definitely moving. For us, there'd be light from one direction and it would kind of go overhead and then light from a slightly different angle/direction. Not nearly as fast as a shooting star, though. Hope you're lucky enough to see them!

And thanks, aussiedreamer, Masterphil, and cindysroom for bringing this back to the top. I enjoyed re-reading it myself!
althom1122 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 1st, 2017, 01:25 AM
  #31
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 8
Love this post!

I have a blog about Iceland called Must See in Iceland - www.mustsee.is - I would love to get in touch with you althom1122 personally because I am interested in publishing this well written and informative travel story on my blog. To help other travelers on their journey.

If that's something that you find tempting you can contact me through the blog site - my email's on the bottom
liljakatrin is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:06 PM.