Since we love traveling so much, on Tuesdays we are going to share different travels and adventures we have been on. Hopefully it sparks some Wanderlust in you as well!
On our last trip to Sweden we decided to do a layover in Iceland. Iceland air now offers for free, layovers in most European cities for days even, without it changing the price of your ticket.
My only complaint I have is that we didn't do a longer stay in Iceland. That will be on the agenda next time for sure.
We had a 5 PM flight from Denver and landed in Reykjavik at about 7 AM. (Which was midnight Denver time.)
When traveling with kids I highly recommend traveling at night time if possible (at least for long flights!) Even if they don't get amazing sleep, just a few hours to break up an 8 hour flight of having to keep them occupied is a big life saver.
After a couple of hours into the flight I told the kids as soon as it got dark it was time to sleep. And then Drew reminded me we were flying so far North that it wasn't going to get dark. That certainly made it a bit harder to get them to sleep, but they did dim the lights on the plane, and we made a little 'tent' for Tindra and got her some milk and told her it was bed time. It took longer than normal to get them asleep (naturally) but they did sleep for about 3 hours of the flight. Better than nothing! Some sleep was crucial since we were going to be arriving in the morning and had some exciting things planned that they would obviously need to be awake for!
Since we were only doing a one day layover in Iceland (and heading on to Stockholm in the evening) we either had time to head into Reyjkavik and explore there or go to the Blue Lagoon. I really wanted to go into the city, but I knew we were all going to be tired from traveling (and still not done traveling) so we decided the Blue Lagoon was the best option for us. And it did Not disappoint.
Right inside the airport (and its a small airport so super easy to find) theres little desks with information about booking a trip to the Blue Lagoon. Everyone spoke English and were really helpful. We booked our trip right there (bus fair to the Blue Lagoon and back to the airport is included in the price) and grabbed a snack, and 30 minutes later we were on a bus on our way.
The bus ride there was only about 25 minutes and it takes you right to the lagoon. Right as you get off the bus there is a building where you can store luggage/strollers if you are traveling, for a small price. All of our checked luggage went on to Stockholm so we didn't have to deal with that thankfully, but we still had several carry on bags plus a stroller and carseat that we checked. I had packed all of our swimsuits in one small bag so we brought that in with us and left the rest.
Once you get inside, the magic begins. You get a wrist band that is connected to your 'account' so you don't have to bring anything else into the pools. The wrist band opens up your locker and can even be used to buy drinks at the 'swim up bar' in the lagoon. Amazing right?
The locker rooms at the Blue Lagoon are amazing, so modern and with really nice showers. Theres actually something standing there making sure you get in the shower before you get in the pools. And you are recommended to wash your hair with their special shampoo before hand..heres where I made the mistake and didn't follow that recommendation. It apparently coats your hair or something before getting in, and since Tindra and I didn't we dealt with some gross hair for a few days after. Hashtag worth it.
Guys, I can't even think remember our time at the Blue Lagoon without getting a serious serious case of wanderlust to go back. It was one of those once in a life time opportunities that we just Have to experience again.
We were in the pool for a few hours. It's Huge! We drank amazing smoothies from the swim up bar, hid under the bridges when it would randomly start raining for 5-10 minutes at a time, took turns sitting in the sauna sans kids, sat at the edge in the shallow part and just let the kids play, truly an incredibly experience. They even have these big wooden buckets in different parts of the pool where you can slather some sort of volcanic mud clay thats supposed to be amazing for your skin. My skin really did feel soft and moisturized for days after so I'm thinking it worked!
Before going we were worried about whether or not it would be child friendly as we were traveling with a just turned 2 year old and almost 7 year old. There weren't many kids when we went, but it was still definitely family friendly (though I probably wouldn't take them at night, I heard it can get a little rowdy then) and there were arm floaties for all the children. Actually it was required for them, which Jasper wasn't thrilled about.
We didn't get many pictures as our phones/cameras were in the lockers, so just a few cell phone pictures. But now that I have a waterproof go pro I think I need to go back. Wouldn't that make the best video?
After a few yours of swimming we went and showered and got ready for lunch. After soaking a few hours in the pool and having been awake for about 24 hours I was really grateful for the nice showers and real shampoo and conditioner to clean off with.
They have a 'real' restaurant at the Blue Lagoon and also a little deli, which is what we ate. We tried a few different sandwiches and Icelandic donuts. The donuts were Amazing. They also had them on the flight over, I made have had like 4..
The bus back to the airport came every 30 minutes and we thought we needed at least 2 hours at the airport like here in the US so we gave ourselves plenty of time to get back, but it really wasn't needed and we made it through security in less than 15 minutes and had a couple of hours to kill there. Luckily the airport is so family friendly with great kids areas to play at.
Another thing that impressed me with Iceland is just how friendly everyone was. I feel like airports don't usually have the friendliest employees, definitely not the case for Iceland. Tindra fell asleep while waiting for the bus and was still sleeping in her car seat (strapped to the stroller) and I started unbuckling her thinking of course we would need to take her out to get through security, but they said it was fine, not to wake a sleeping baby (smart men) and just waived their wand over her to scan her and let us go through. So nice right?
If you are planning a trip to Europe, definitely consider stopping in Rejyyavik, even only for a day! But next time we are absolutely going to have to stay a few days, it's such a magical country and I can't wait to explore more of it.
Have you been to Iceland? Have any must sees?