Today we are in Akureyri, Iceland. I decided to use a day of my Rainforest Pass, so after breakfast at Lumiere’s I headed to Senses Spa, and the boys went off to walk around the town and shopping area. I had the Rainforest completely to myself, which was fabulous! I mostly relaxed on a lounger and read.
We met up for a quick lunch in Lumiere’s and then boarded our bus for our excursion to Godafoss Falls. Our guide had a little bit of trouble finding her words in English but told a lot of stories about local life. Once at Godafoss, we exited the bus and took photos. We had a short walk to a shop to meet the bus at the end. Once again, I was amazed at the fact that you could walk right up to the edge of the falls. They did warn that the cliff edges could be weak and encouraged everyone to stay back. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the falls were gorgeous.
On the way back, we had a short tour and history of the town and a 30-minute stop at the botanical gardens, which are free and within walking distance of the ship.
After dinner, we participated in Majority Rules and watched a second Match your Mate. We moved forward another hour tonight (oh the time changes!). Tomorrow is another relaxing sea day!
Once again, I had an early morning excursion, this time to the Blue Lagoon. Keith left shortly after me on the Reykjavik Highlights tour, while the boys wandered around town.
The Blue Lagoon is a large, very clean facility, somewhat in the middle of nowhere, or so it seemed. In the lagoon, I was able to do a silica mud mask. It wasn’t as warm as the one yesterday, and it was also much colder outside with cloud cover. Disney brought four motor coaches here (240 guests), and there was another bus and a few cars when we arrived. The trip was about 45 minutes from the port. We had about 1.5 hours here too. The water is supposed to have healing powers with many minerals in the water. The water is a milky blue color, and you cannot see anything in the water. I enjoyed the lagoon but preferred the temperature and lack of crowds at the secret lagoon yesterday more. We were asked to remove jewelry as the minerals could damage it. They also suggested you put conditioner in your hair before going in too, as the water can make your hair very dry. Most of us just tried to keep it from getting in the water. They are building a new luxury hotel and expanding the size of the lagoon. If I were guessing, I would say there were close to 500 people here by 10:00 a.m. As we left at 10:15 the buses and cars were filling the parking lot – if you go, go early! I understand many people book layovers in Iceland when flying to Europe. They do offer day tours here directly from the airport. It was cold today, but tolerable when getting in and out of the building. When we arrived back to the ship, crew members were in the lobby handing out hot chocolate – a very nice touch.
Reykjavik is one of the largest cities in Iceland and the Highlights tour covered much of the area via bus. One of the stops was at the home where Gorbachev and Reagan met to discuss the fall of the Berlin wall. A portion of the wall is on site to commemorate the contribution of Iceland to this historic event.
The next stop was at a Lutheran Church. In front was a statue of Leif Erikson sent by America to Iceland.
One of the stops was at a museum with a recreation of the helmet and armor of a Viking. It weighs 12 kg (26.4 pounds).
Also at the museum was a statue uncovered in Iceland that may represent Thor (or Jesus).
Iceland has an abundance of geothermal energy and several water towers hold hot water for the city. On top of these towers, they have built an observation platform providing commanding views of the city.
The final stop was at an outdoor museum holding many of the original structures from early days in Iceland. These included a church and original homestead.
We were scheduled to leave port at 11:45 a.m. today, however, tours were still arriving back. The gangway was full with people getting back on the ship. We went down to Lumiere’s for lunch and found a long line. Our head server told us they typically serve 200-300 there for lunch – today may have been their biggest day ever at 600+. They were filling every seat (putting together people who didn’t come in together) to try to accommodate everyone.
This afternoon, I did laundry, played trivia, and went to the evening adult shows with the boys. We saw Finding Dory in the Walt Disney Theater tonight too (a perk of Disney owning movies!). Tonight was another time change, moving forward one hour. Tomorrow we stop at our last port in Iceland, Akureyri.
Today’s tour, Hot Golden Circle, was booked with Gateway to Iceland. We met our driver just after 10:30 a.m. and were the last ones on the mini-bus. The mini-bus wasn’t as comfortable as it could have been, and he didn’t want to turn on the air (it was hot in the back) – we had to ask multiple times. However, the driver was informative and did a good job of getting us everywhere and staying on track.
The first stop was Thingvellir National Park. You could stand on both the North American and Euro-Asian sides. We had about 45 minutes this site.
Next, we were off to Geysir. Geysir erupts every few minutes, shooting boiling water. We were able to get a couple of photos and then run to grab lunch. We had a little time in the shops too. Lunch (4 hamburgers, three drinks, and two fries were about $64).
Gullfoss Waterfall was our next stop. You could walk right up to the edge of the waterfall, which was beautiful – that would never be allowed in the USA! However, it was quite the climb to the lookout and then back up the stairs to parking. I earned the Ferris Wheel badge on my Fitbit today for 75 floors! It was then that I thought I might die and not make it back to the minibus. I did take a couple of breaks on my journey.
After the waterfall, we were taken to a “secret lagoon”. We had 1.5 hours here to relax. There were clean dressing rooms and lockers. Pool noodles were available for use, but only as a comfort item, the lagoon was not that deep (approximately five foot), and you could see all the way to the bottom. I made a floaty and got a little bit of a sunburn as we had a gorgeous sunny day. Ice cream, drinks, and food were also available here. The lagoon had very few visitors – maybe 30, and 20 of those were from our tour. This tour was 9 hours total, but most of it was in the van.
After dinner, we went to Fathoms for a Pop Culture Quiz and 80’s music trivia contest, where my husband and Josh lost their minds and were having a great time. Will and I were almost doubled-over laughing the whole time. I am sorry I didn’t think to video tape it, but I was laughing too hard even to think about it. That really would have been excellent blackmail material! The crowd was pretty small as we were overnighting in Reykjavik and many were out enjoying the evening.
We had a long, but very enjoyable day. Tomorrow we will see more sites of Reykjavik!