Because the sun sets so late at this time of year we had been finding it hard to go to sleep before midnight - though with our eye masks we were able to accomplish this maybe once or twice. Even though the sun does set in the summer (when we were there it set at 11:50pm and rose at 2:45am) it never fully gets dark. If you woke up at 1:30am it would look like dusk outside... it really messes with you if you're not used to it!
|Around 11:15 at night|
We stayed outside for the sunset one night and I have to say it was the most spectacular sunset I've ever seen. One thing about the sunset is that it takes FOREVER to set. It looks like it's hovering over the horizon for over an hour. The colors were striking, especially after the sun dipped below the horizon and stayed just under it for another hour. The sun, coupled with the beautiful scenery from the house made this a really special moment for us to share.
|Hanging out at the small dock|
We dubbed our last day in Iceland our "free day". We had accomplished everything we had wanted to do the week before and we had it open to do whatever we chose. We chose to go Hveragerði, which is a town about 40 minutes outside of Reykjavik. The town is known for its intense thermal activity - they have a ton of greenhouses growing vegetables there that are heated from the ground. We had read about a hike just north of the town that leads you to a natural river bath heated from the thermal activity in the ground, but cooled off enough from glacial runoff so people were able to relax in it.
|The beginning - looks legit|
The climb was almost entirely uphill, but you are rewarded with wonderful views, waterfalls, and geothermal pools. It took us about an hour and 15 minutes and our legs were ready to quit... but we knew that just around the bend was the river!
|Up in the mountains looking at some small waterfalls|
|Along the hike with geothermal activity behind us|
|We made it!|
|Leaving the river, walking through sulfur steam|
The locker room was a little crazy... at least on the women's side. It took me a while to find a locker and even then I had to ask a woman if she was leaving and wait while she changed. The set of lockers that I ended up using had a mechanical issue so we couldn't shut or open them. The poor girl next to me who barely spoke English had just finished a shower and couldn't get into her locker to get dressed for maybe 30 minutes. One more thing.. leave your modesty at the door! They always say that they can tell who the Americans are because we cover ourselves up as we get dressed and undressed. So there were naked people everywhere in that locker room! But I have to say it was pretty liberating and I wish that we weren't so uptight in our own locker rooms... it's hard getting dressed while trying to hold a towel around you! Anyway, I digress...
The lagoon is so beautifully done. The hot aqua blue water was so inviting that we couldn't wait to get in. We parked ourselves in an empty area and relaxed in the water. A few glasses of Prosecco for me and a few beers for Jon later and we were very very happy!
We put some silica mud on our skin making it ever so soft and took in a few more of the sun's rays. We probably stayed in the water for about two hours before we were done.
After a shower and getting dressed we met each other at LAVA restaurant for our 9pm reservation (though we arrived early at 8:30). Even though we arrived early and said it wasn't a problem that our table wasn't ready they comped us for our drinks while we waited! We had one of the best seats in the restaurant looking right onto an empty area of the Blue Lagoon. The meal was spectacular and nicely presented.
|Our view from our table!|
|On our way out - around 10:30pm|