Friday, 4 June 2010

Back from holiday

I've just returned from a nice short break. Many wonder where did I go. Oh well, I went to Iceland. To me, Iceland never ceases to amaze- with it's massive lava field, rugged terrain, hot springs, volcanoes, glaciers, geyser, amazing waterfalls ...............all things nature.
Iceland environment is so clean and unpolluted-the two main ingredients of longevity - air and water is totally fresh.
Some of our friends think we're crazy to go to Iceland when the famed Eyjafyallajokull ( still not able to pronounce the name properly) is still having some activities, plus to leave the nice warm summer Cambridge to cold "Ice-land", etc etc....
How wrong they were : Few days before we travel, Icelandic met office has issue a statement that the volcano has stop erupting. After we arrived, we realized that summer weather in Iceland is as nice as one could expect, a cool 17deg C and we're gifted with almost sunny weather throughout our stay. And not forgetting the midnight sun-almost 22 hours of daylight, even then the sky didn't really turn pitch dark. Amazing really to experience the almost "Midnight Sun"
I will share with you all on our trip to Iceland over the next few days.
We arrived Reyjkavik on Friday night and were transfered to Hotel Klopp. This will be our accomodation for the next 5 days. Being located right in the city centre and on a Friday nite, you might be better off joining pub crawl with Icelandic party revellers than having a disturbed sleep due to the noise from nite clubbing crowds. But then nightlife in Reykjavik isn't known for it's subtleties, well much on the wild side.
We decided to go a bit slow on Saturday for the itenary, so we picked Blue Lagoon, a mere 45 minutes drive from Reyjavik. Along the way to Blue Lagoon, one is confronted with view of lava field miles after miles. This place is well known globally as "the must visit" outdoor bathing spot if you're in Reykjavik. The colour of the water is milky blue, it contains silica and algae deem good for skin disorder. Having said that, we plastered our face and body with the healing mud. Really fantastic. I even bought a tube of silica mud mask, too good to be missed.

Icelandic practice religiously clean hygiene when going into pools all around the country. One has to shower naked before putting on bathing suit. It's inconsiderate if one didn't clean yourself before proceeding to the pool as water in Iceland is so pure and no traces of chlorine treatment at all in the pool.
Truth to be told, Blue Lagoon is actually artificial, set in the middle of a flat expense of black lava rocks and filled by water outflow from the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station. What is geothermal? We spent almost half a day soaking in the nicely heated outdoor lagoon. Everyone got out totally relaxed.
As the sun never really sets, we proceeded to explore Reykjavik at our own slow pace. View of Reykjavik from Perlan is fantastic on a clear day. We anticipated a full 2 days excursion out of Reykjavik.

After that we headed to the harbour to try out the famous seafood buffet. I've researched on internet and it gives good review about this little establishment. As seafood-particularly fish is the main export of Iceland. Fish produce are deem cheaper than meat for example. So we have high expectation of this place and expected to pay around GBP20 per person. Only to find ourself totally disappointed with the food here as the taste doesn't totally agree with us. After dinner we went to checkout another establishment deem to be "the must visit" seafood joint by many travel guides. One expect to pay GBP10 for a stick of grilled seafood. Over-priced!
Having said that, we decided to explore the best burger joint in Reykjavik for tommorow's dinner as prices is affordable [ still slightly more expensive than what you get at home ]. I guessed I have to lower down my expectation of the food vs price. If I anted to go to a real good restaurant expect to pay at least GBP40 per person/meal. Therefore nothing to really rave about food in Reykjavik. After all I'm here for the nature stuff :-) .
We went to sleep when the sun is just about to go beyond the horizon only to realize it will appear again 2 hours after..... land of the Midnight Sun ...... lovely.


fen said... nice...

Christine Toh said...

Hi Fen,

Yes enjoyed it very much.