I got up early once again for a last adventure: a visit to Reykjavík’s naturally heated pools with some new friends, and then on the way to the airport! And then on the way to another airport! To endure the WORST LAYOVER EVER. To then go to another airport.
Laugardalslaug – The Reykjavík Public Pools
I met a few people in the hostel’s communal kitchen and one of them knew about Reykjavík’s public pool – Laugardalslaug. It’s about a 30 minute walk from KEX, and well worth it. The other cool thing was the entry cost is only 900 Krona – about $8. I don’t have any pictures (because it’s a pool) but I want to lay it out because it was one of the coolest experiences I had in Iceland. First of all – it was early and it was mostly locals, except for these cute little kids from Poland that were very talkative and had very good english! The system/locker rooms was the first part that was very cool, they gave you an electronic waterproof bracelet to lock/unlock your lockers, including your shoe locker and your regular locker in the locker room for your clothes/belongings. All you had to do was push on the actual locking mechanism with the bracelet and it would toggle a lock/unlock. Brilliant. And there was even a kiosk to scan your bracelet and it would tell you which locker corresponded with it!! I was geeking out, it was the best UX I’ve seen in a locker room haha.
Anyways, after the mandatory showers, we headed out to the outdoor pools. Just stepping out was amazing, because there is steam coming off of all the pools. It was cold outside, but even the coolest of pools were a perfect temperature because of the natural thermal heating. One pool was absolutely huge, and had a slide for kids and adults! That one, and the lap pool (with 6 lanes) were both a pretty normal temperature. We decided to try out the 3 hot tubs, which all climb in temperature once you get in them. One of them felt like it was almost boiling! It was very relaxing, and so early in the morning there was almost nobody there. I decided to do a few laps of breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle in the lap pool and it started snowing! Totally unreal.
We grabbed everything from KEX and hit up Iceland’s most famous bakery, Sandholt, on the way to the bus station. They had a lot of beautiful bread to choose from, including a rye bread with lots of seeds that could seriously stand on it’s own as a meal – it was amazing. They also had a few Mikkeller beers on tap, including some gluten-free IPA I wanted to try, but it was a bit too early to start drinking considering I was so tired already. I split a bagel sandwich with a friend and it was maybe the best bagel I’ve ever had!
My travel was as follows: Reykjavík, Iceland -> Gatwick, England -> Porto, Portugal -> Lisbon, Portugal. In EVERY SINGLE AIRPORT I had to go through the departures/immigration and back through security for one reason or another. By the time I was done, that would make it 6 airports in 6 days (AVL, EWR, KEF, LGW, OPO, LIS) – which is a bit insane. A conversation with a nice man named Victor on the plane to Porto was very nice, but the biggest kicker was the 11 hour layover in Porto. I can’t sleep in airports, and I was way too tired from traveling to get any real work done. So I basically just sat there, oscillating between trying to sleep and trying to work. It was the worst, but Lisbon would be worth it.
- Miles Walked: 10.5 (after the walk to the pool, the hostel, the bus station, and all those airports you better believe I walked 18302 steps)
- Beers Drank: 0
- Git Commits: 2 (clearly the worst day)