Ok, a little more Iceland – then Spain!

Jul 28

Ok, a little more Iceland – then Spain!

Phew, it’s past midnight on Sunday and I’m STILL writing about Iceland?? Sorry about our lack of prompt blogging, I’m sure it will happen again :)…

Ok so lets start with yesterday…

Our day began with another breakfast of champions and the routine of packing our bags (which we are getting better at). We checked out of our hostel (thank god that’s over) and shoved our stuff into our tiny car for the drive to the Blue Lagoon. This place is definitely a tourist trap, but something you wont find anywhere else so we thought the day we left Iceland would be a good time to visit. The drive down from Reykjavik took about 20 minutes and we arrived!

The main activity at the Lagoon is pretty straight forward – soak in 2/3 salt, 1/3 fresh geothermal heated pools with silica minerals. I have to say, it was VERY relaxing though quite a bit crowded. For 35 euro each, we received a wrist band that would open a locker for us to use and charge purchases on, which we would pay at the exit. It was a very efficient system. We went through the locker routine and headed out into the pools. The area was really rather large with alcoves for sitting, large sections for swimming, a steam room inside a lava rock cave, and a waterfall that delivered a nice upper back massage. There were plenty of people all over the place talking in so many different languages. We floated around, put silica mud masks on our faces, floated around some more, drank a smoothie each, floated around some more… you get the idea. By the time we got out, I was a prune.

We had a light lunch at the cafe and got back into our car, heading back to our first hostel in Keflavik where we had rented our car. In short order the car was returned and we were on a shuttle to the airport, arriving about 2 hours before our flight to Barcelona. Our flight to Spain was only 4 hours and we were lucky enough to be on a flight with empty seats in the emergency exit row. At first, we intended to ask the stewardess if we could switch seats, but when a gentleman from behind us jumped into one of the seats, we quickly followed suit and had a nice, spacious ride.

At midnight, we arrived in Spain! The wait for our baggage was about 20 minutes during which time Ryder was trying frantically to get some sort of internet access so we could plot our course to our hostel. Thankfully, he found that had saved a map that routed our path using public transportation. We grabbed our bags and walked out of the baggage claim and into the main lobby which was entirely empty. At the far end of the airport we found an ATM and pulled out some euros for the bus fare. Then came the hunt for the bus stop. Ryder thought it was to the left, I thought it was to the right. We walked down one end of the terminal, only to have the bus we wanted pass us by! So, we walked back to the other end only to have the next bus pass us by! As we frantically tried to wave this bus down, to no avail, a woman seated in a bench behind us started speaking to us loudly (and rapidly) in spanish and pointed further down the terminal. Ryder tried to ask her which bus would take us to our stop, but she didn’t seem interested in trying to understand his broken spanish.

Eventually, the right bus came and we were in the right spot. Ryder asked the driver as we got on if he was heading to the stop we wanted. He very kindly pulled out his glasses to look closely at Ryder’s phone map, while driving I might add, and confirmed for us that we were on the right bus. He then proceeded to pull out personal bills inorder to give us change for the large ones we had, while still driving. We stood in the back as the bus took off, bumping and clattering down narrow streets going insanely fast! At one intersection a group of people were standing close to the road and jumped out of the way when the bus flashed it’s high beams which it proceeded to do at most intersections. The streets were crowded with people, taxis, motor bikes, and cars at 1:30am! We watched the monitor flash the stops as we passed them, looking for the one we wanted. We got off at a stop next to a highway and a hospital (ie devoid of life) and waited for another bus to take us the next leg of our journey.

There we sat, with our luggage, on the bus bench for 30 minutes. I started freaking out after 20 minutes, threatening to flag down the next taxi I saw thinking the bus must not operate this late! Ryder, calm and collect as ever, told me to relax and give it another 10 minutes. Lucky him, the bus showed up. Another harrowing ride later, and we exited at La Rambla, the main drag in our part of Barcelona. With rolling suitcase and backpack in hand, we walked two blocks down three blocks over and one block to the left. We missed our turn at one point and had to double back. All this time, the streets were crowded with people, all dressed for a night on the town.

When we arrived at the outside entrance to our hostel, we both felt a little shady. The street was a dead-end into a construction zone and it was completely empty with graffiti tagging everywhere. We buzzed the hostel and were let in to a dank and dark marble stairwell that smelled of wet dog, yuck. We marched up the three flights and entered the hostel area that was wonderfully clean, airconditioned and friendly! We have a wonderful room with a balcony and our own private shower and sink (but no toilet, we need to go across the hall for that). We even have clean sheets at this place! By the time we settled in it was 3am, Ryder worked until 4am and then we slept in until 12pm today!!


  1. Tawny Grossman /

    Clean sheets, what a miracle. That alleyway does not look inviting! Beautiful scenery!! Be safe…

  2. Kathy Hicke /

    Hi guys, I was in Barecelona in 2005. Make sure you go to the cathedral Sagrada Famalia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia. It is super cool. Also all the Gaudi stuff is incredible. I love reading your blog. I passed on the blog link to my friends you met at the dinner party. Watch out for pick pockets on Los Robles boulevard. Have a fabulous time……. lucky you!

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