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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Iceland 2016: Blue Lagoon

On June 20th, we flew from San Francisco to Iceland for a 2-week  family trip. We'd prebooked the lodging using AirBnB, and pre-booked a Citreon Grand Piccasso as the family vehicle for the duration of the stay. Because I planned to fly onto Frankfurt to start a Tour of the Alps afterwards, I'd also packed my bike for the trip.

At San Francisco Airport, I realized I'd left the train tickets at home, but fortunately, we had guests who were staying in the house while we were vacationing. A quick phone call to them found my train tickets, and we proceeded to arrange for those tickets to be mailed to our last AirBnB stay in Iceland.

We'd arranged the trip to Iceland for several reasons: first, it was a relatively cheap direct flight, at a time where direct flights anywhere to Europe were expensive. At the time when we'd booked the flights, we didn't know how poor an air traveller Boen was, but we were doubly grateful for minimizing time on a plane when we did find out on our trip to Japan.

Wow airlines is particularly picky about weight of carry-on luggage, but fortunately, they waived the EOS M3 camera bag, which would have put us over the top. Since the car did not have space for the bike (and it would be wasteful to cart it all around Iceland anyway), I tried to find a place to leave the bike. Prior to leaving for Iceland, I'd done an internet search which noted that the Iceland airport had a left luggage office. It turned out that that was for the domestic airport, not the international airport (who would have thought Iceland had both!!)! Fortunately, someone at the airport told me that the Geysir Car Rental office would accept left luggage for a daily fee which turned out to be reasonable.

The car rental offices all turned out to be walking distance from the airport, so I left my family at the waiting area, rented the car, came back to fetch the bike box, dropped it off at Geysir, then came back to pack everyone else into the car. The whole affair took an hour, after which we left for our AirBnB in Vogar.
It took a while to find it, mostly because Google Maps isn't very reliable in Iceland, a theme we would discover during the entire summer. For some reason, Google Maps seems much less reliable in Europe than it is in North America or even Japan. One of the best things about renting a place via AirBnB is that you're nearly always guaranteed to have a kitchen, washing machine, and (in Iceland) a hot tub. We took advantage of all these, cooked dinner, but left the hot tub for the next day.

On the spur of the moment, we'd booked up the famous Blue Lagoon for 8:00pm in the evening. (It was actually hard to get reservations, but we figured this would help with jet-lag)

The place was pretty full, despite the late hour, and we went in for a good long time. Bowen even partook of the facial mask! With the 24 hour sunlight in Iceland, we weren't worried about jet-lag, though it turned out that stores do keep somewhat regular hours, so we did have to plan around that for buying groceries, etc.

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