Travel Series: Seeing the Northern Lights and Iceland's Blue Lagoon
For my last post about what we got up to in Iceland, I thought I'd combine two of the most spectacular parts of the trip - seeing the Northern Lights and bathing in the Blue Lagoon.
Both were natural wonders that completely took our breath away and are must sees if you're planning on visiting Iceland.
We booked our Northern Lights trip through Reykjavik Excursions as soon as we arrived in the city. The staff told us we had a 52% chance of seeing the lights, but assured us that if we didn't see them that night, we could go on the trip again each evening for free until we saw them - the lights can be very unpredictable, so this is a pretty cost effective way of maxing out your chances of seeing them.
Turns out we needn't have worried about not getting to see them - as soon as we were around half an hour out of Reykjavik we could see flashes of green light from the windows of the bus. There were squeals of delight as we pulled up and trundled out of the bus and took in the view in front of us. The lights truly are spectacular - they were constantly moving around and changing colour and form, nature putting on an incredibly show right before our eyes. Being in the middle of nowhere with a totally clear sky also meant that we could see billions of stars - I had never realised quite how many of them were up there! The whole thing really made me realise what a tiny part of the universe we are - it was quite a humbling experience.
After about half an hour of taking them in, we drove onto another spot where we could see them even more clearly. We bought hot chocolate from the nearest cafe and huddled together against the wind. It was one of the most magical things I have ever experienced and I feel so lucky that we had the opportunity to see them - the forecast didn't look likely before we left so it was definitely an unexpected bonus!
I would highly recommend using Reykjavik excursions if you're planning on trying to see the lights - they are experts in knowing where they will be most visible and our tour guide was super informative. He was also a dab hand at photographing the Northern Lights and took these ace photos for us, free of charge!
Now to tell you all about the Blue Lagoon - this was the last thing we did in Iceland (we were dropped off at the airport straight afterwards) and it was the perfect way to relax before heading on to New York.
The Blue Lagoon was one of the most incredible places I have ever been - it's hard to believe that it's totally natural! We had booked our tickets in advance which meant that we didn't have to queue for too long. You can rent everything you need there too which is handy - it meant that we didn't have to worry about keeping wet towels in our suitcase during our flight.
The walk from the changing rooms into the lagoon is absolutely FREEZING, but that just makes the warmth of the water even more lovely! We spent a few hours just swimming around and relazing - they even have a swim up bar where you can buy drinks using a wristband they give you on entry. I had a delicious sparkling strawberry wine which I drank while sitting in one of the hot tubs - it felt very luxurious!
There was also some natural silica mud that you could use as a face mask - we both indulged and our faces felt SO soft afterwards! It was such a perfect couple of hours, basking in the warm pool with this incredible view of the mountains around us. It was lovely to have some down time to reflect on our time in Iceland before moving onto the hustle and bustle of New York.
If you're planning on visiting the Blue Lagoon I would highly recommend investing in an underwater phone or camera case - I actually did buy one before we left and totally forgot to pack it, DOH! I was very jealous of everyone having underwater selfies and getting great snaps of the whole place.
Also, make sure you leave yourself a good couple of hours to enjoy it - we thought we would be bored after an hour or so, but we were very reluctant to get out and catch our bus!
I have one final post (you can read my other two here and here) about Iceland for you, which is all about how to visit on the cheap - hopefully by then you'll be thoroughly convinced to visit this beautiful country!