The man sitting next to me on the plane was going on to France. As we were landing he asked me where my final desination was. "Here! in Iceland!" "Why?" "Just vacation." With that, he looked out the window at what appeared to be a barren lava field. Then he looked at me strangely. I guess some people are just ignorant.
I got off the plane, made my stop in the duty free shop (guidebook said it's the best place to buy alcohol) and then met my friends at the car rental desk. Our car was ready and we were going to head straight to the Blue Lagoon! And then, in a scene that felt a little bit like the Wally World catastrophe in Vacation we realized it was closed! Not too tragic though--turns out it doesn't open till 10:00 in the non-summer months. So we headed into Grindavik and had a little breakfast--coffee, cake, pancake, salmon on buttered bread. This little meal cost about $25 each--we knew it would be expensive but oh!
We headed back to the Blue Lagoon and it was amazing. We agreed it would be worth it if we got back on the plane and headed home now, The water was perfect--warm and so salty we could float almost effortlessly. The scenery was unearthly beautiful and the water is the crazy blue that you see in the pictures but can't imagine is real. We finally dragged ourselves out of the water a couple of hours later and started our drive to our hostel. We had decided to head straight out of town and then return to the city at the end of our trip.
We found the ring road, which is to guide us around Iceland. Our tiny little Opel has a sticker on the glove box informing us that this car is NOT to be taken into the interior and the man at the car rental place sent us off with a parting yell of "stay on the ring road!"We did. We took the ring road (and the shortcut through Hvalfjörður Tunnel) all the way to our first stop at Saeberg Hostel. We were exhausted, so the non-drivers felt the urge to nap a bit, but Iceland is so beautiful we didn't want to miss any of the gorgeous scenery. It appears there are far more horses and sheep inhabiting Iceland than there are people.