Journal of a 23-day Icelandic road trip

Tuesday August 25

Last day! It’s always a special feeling.

We didn’t break our habits, but got up at 8 am. I should say that Emilie wouldn’t have missed Monique’s breakfast for anything in the world.

This is the giant model of Iceland that is housed in the town hall, opposite the guesthouse.

Our program for the day comprised a walk around Reykjavik and its port, to capture a few final images, before going to the Blue Lagoon in the afternoon.

Above: Fish Market!

Above: delicious Icelandic characters in the Helvetica font.

Below: Icelandic gothic script – the name of a daily newspaper I suppose.

I’ll have to come back another time to appreciate the cathedral’s exterior architecture.

However, we were able to take a look inside this time.

Seeing that we could take the elevator to the top of the cathedral’s belfry, I bought two tickets (800 ISK / €5) for the pleasure. But once we got up there, everything was closed off for the restoration work, and we couldn’t see anything at all!

I went back to the ticket desk to ask if I’d made a mistake, if I’d gone to the right place, and the young woman told me: “Yes, that’s right, it’s closed off for restoration work.” She was really embarrassed and offered to reimburse me. But I didn’t want my money back, just to tell her of my disappointment. Our 800 ISK would go toward the restoration work! We’ll have to come back when it’s done.

In Reykjavik, the ships seem to be part of the town.

It was 12.30 pm and we were hungry! Guess where we headed?

That’s right! Seabaron. It didn’t take us long to choose between a burger and fries and a grilled fish kebab.

It was 3 pm, and time to load up the car and say goodbye to Monique. The Hummer’s trunk had never been so tidy!

We spent an hour cleaning the Hummer at a gas station to thank our friends at Geysir car rental, who’d supported our project with this exceptional vehicle. Interior and exterior were clean as a whistle!

If you’re wondering about the screens in the headrests, they’re for watching DVDs. It goes without saying that we didn’t use them.

We drive out of town, tasting the last few kilometers of silvery Icelandic road in silence.

BLUE LAGOON

We had one more place to go before leaving, the obligatory visit to the Blue Lagoon.

As touristy as it may be, even the Icelanders love meeting here. It starts with an endless path cut through the lava.

Finally you reach the divine blue lagoon.

Following the usual ablutions in the rather luxurious showers, you’re ready to leap into the warm blue waters. I say warm, but only in certain places (where everyone gathers); the rest I’d simply call lukewarm. Don’t forget that the outside temperature is just 10 °C (50 °F).

We slathered ourselves with moisturizing cream (supplied in large buckets). A few men in fluorescent jackets stood here and there, discreetly watching over us. In this phantasmagoric world, we were able to share some very special tender moments in the completely opaque blue water.

Kids frolicked about.

We tried the various saunas, Turkish baths, and artificial waterfalls.

It was 7 pm. End of the trip. We had to return the car at 8 pm, leaving it in the airport car park.

We picked up two young Germans who were starting a three-week trip, the lucky guys!

KEFLAVIK AIRPORT

This rainbow serves as Keflavik’s very own lighthouse. It’s a marvelous symbol of the Icelandic light, celebrating your arrival and saluting your departure.

Icelandair flights always take off at 1 am, for some reason.

I suppose it must be a parting gift from the Icelanders.

It gave us the time to put an extra bit of sun in our luggage, a few final magnetic rays, those last few colors that will never leave us.

Foreword          Day 23            Epilogue           Index