Iceland Road Trip Part 1: Blue Lagoon & Grundarfjörður

Suzy WimbourneComment

This series of posts follows our recent visit to Iceland. Over the course of a week we road-tripped the entire south side of Iceland, from Grundarfjörður in the West to Jökulsárlón in the East, witnessing the northern lights, lava fields and glaciers. With a perfectly curated playlist, warm layers and an eagerness for adventure we forged some pretty lasting memories from this rugged and magical island.

DAY 1:

What better way to arrive in Iceland than to head straight for the blue lagoon and a morning bathe in its milky blue waters. The ambient temperature outside was in single digits but as soon as I stepped into the enormous hot tub lagoon my body relaxed and that early morning flight grogginess disappeared. We bathed until it made us nauseous, making use of the free mud masks by the bucket load only after discovering (not I first hand) that the raw, stinky and gloopy mud from pockets in the lagoon's natural banks was the wrong stuff. They also don't warn you about the unpleasant eggy smell in the air around the lagoon site due to the abundance of sulphur in the water but it is something you get used to, eventually. None of this however should put you off from a visit to the blue lagoon as it is a must-do on any trip itinerary to Iceland and the perfect introduction to what Iceland has to offer. 

The first drive after our visit to the Blue Lagoon was to Grundarfjörður in the North West of Iceland. There stood the lonely mountain, Kirkjufell, and our accommodation for the following two nights was within eyesight of it. The three hour journey there gave us vista after vista of volcanoes and lava fields, the likes of which we had never seen before. We were overloaded with feasts for the eyes and many times we pulled over to take in the view and get some snaps.

We decided to take a nap before attempting to witness the northern lights and had set our alarms for 9pm with the aim of going out at 10pm. Shortly after we awoke Becky came hurriedly into our bedroom and told us to look out of the window. It was as though we had stumbled upon an exclusive screening as the aurora borealis danced within the window frame. It was unbelievable and unlike anything any of us had ever seen before. It was more obvious and vibrant than we could have ever imagined and we immediately got dressed and headed out in search of more aurora activity. We first returned to the lonely mountain and witnessed the lights dancing in all directions and overhead. It was a one-off experience and more than we could have ever hoped for on our first day in Iceland. We continued to chase the aurora despite rain coming in from the west. We drove to a lay by we knew had little or no light pollution and spent at least another hour standing in awe of the light show and capturing what we saw. 

If this was the shape of things to come for our first visit sto Iceland, we were definitely in for visual treats.