Recently, my husband and I went back to the USA for Thanksgiving. I know what you’re saying – that was two weeks ago. Well, I’ve been studying for the Norwegian language test and it has completely consumed my free time. Now that the test is completed, I am very excited to share more about my recent trip and the food that I experienced 🙂
We had a lovely trip to the USA and an amazing 10 hour layover in Reykjavik on our return flight. We optioned for a 10 hour layover so we could see a little bit of Iceland and spend a few hours at the Blue Lagoon. We flew in around 6:30am and grabbed a car to drive into Reykjavik to see the city. It was around 20 degrees outside (-6 Celsius) with a few inches of snow and ice everywhere. Needless to say, the city expedition was brief. It took about a hour to get into Reykjavik and none of the cafes opened before 9am. However, we were lucky to visit the lovely Hotel Borg. The hotel staff was so friendly and let us sneak into their breakfast area for some hot tea and coffee.
At 9am, we quickly ran to our car – but carefully due to the previously mentioned ice. We needed to get ourselves to the Blue Lagoon for our spa relaxation appointment.
The Blue Lagoon is a manmade lagoon and was created following the development of geothermal power plant in the 1970s. The water is heated by the geothermal power plant and rich with silica and sulfur. The water is renewed every 48 hours. However, this does not set the scene as well… It’s absolutely beautiful. The lagoon has a lovely blue/green color. Also, since it was so cold out, there was a good deal of steam coming off the lagoon. Very scenic and unique.
My husband and I decided to get the upgraded package – aka the Luxury Experience. Not at all cheap – but it offered our own private changing room with shower, access to the Exclusive Lounge that provided hot coffee, tea and small bites (chocolate, fruit…), and a private entrance into the Blue Lagoon. The private entrance was a real bonus due to the outside temperature. Basically, there is a small pool indoors that you enter and then you can make your way outside without the temperature shock. It’s lovely. You can just float around … taking in the view … then grab a cocktail and use the lovely silica mud mask. It really does leave your skin so soft.
After 3 hours of relaxation, we decided to have lunch at the LAVA restaurant. Our Luxury Experience package included a reservation at the restaurant with complementary sparkling wine toast. My husband ordered the Icelandic Gourmet Meal which featured an arctic char starter, rack of lamb entree and ástarpungar & caramel. The arctic char was served sliced with fennel, pearl onion, cucumber and toasted bread aioli. The rack of lamb was served with smoked onion, lemon, green cabbage, and apple. Finally, the ástarpungar dessert featured a chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel drizzle. I ordered the cod entree and the creme brûlée. The cod was served with sunchokes, grapes and almonds in a brown butter sauce. The grapes seemed strange at first but it actually really worked. The creme brûlée was flavored with vanilla and topped with an orange sorbet. Everything was really delicious – very clean flavors and unique combinations. It was also nice to have such a flavorful tasting without extreme portions.
All in all, an incredible experience. Amazing spa coupled with the star treatment at the LAVA restaurant. We left Iceland to head back to Oslo feeling very relaxed. In fact, we both experienced far less jetlag than past trips over the Atlantic Ocean. I highly recommend this quick – but worthwhile – layover. You can have a small taste of Iceland with relatively little effort. I hope to make a longer trip of it next time and really explore the country.
My next blog post will feature all of the food that we devoured while home over Thanksgiving! Bring your bib 🙂