Iceland: Day One
Land of dreams, Iceland, just like other Nordic countries triggers exotic fantasies of adventure and nature, at least in me, much more than, say, their celebrated design masterpieces. Upon arrival my thought would have probably been to go straight to my hotel, having missed the end of the working day, which at these latitudes occurs earlier than in our Mediterranean countries and having being awake for the last sixteen hours.
However, some good colleagues and several connections had warned me to absolutely not miss my first Icelandic experience: the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a fantastic warm sea water pool and spa about 20 km from Keflavìk airport, a small deviation from the 50 km ride to the Icelandic capital.I looked for some more info but was a bit concerned by some disappointing reviews I had read: ‘too crowded’, ‘rude service’ and the like. A sign of Iceland’s renewed tourist boom?
They lead me to take a good decision though: pre-booking saves some time especially if a bus has just unloaded hundred tourists in front of you.
I took the 50€ package because I didn’t have a towel and got a facial mask and a free drink.
Once you are in you may enjoy to the full extent: warm blue waters in a barren natural scenario, freezing wind blowing strong while you are relaxing and maybe throwing some silic sands on to your face, how do the Americans say something is cool when it really is cool?!
One tip that will save if not your life at least will do so for your health: do not leave your towel outside unless you want to collect it later wet and dirty from the ground. I told you, winds are strong here.
They have a restaurant there but if you have to be in Reykjavik at a certain time you may want to head to Grillid for dinner.
Located on the 8th floor at the Radisson Blu Saga, it has a great view over Reykjavik at night.
The Head Chef Sigurdur is a local celebrity having been Iceland’s ambassador at the Bocuse d’Or cooking competition.
I picked the four courses tasting menu, and started with
Juniper berries, salmon, yoghurt and fennel.
I love salmon, I couldn’t help thinking though that yoghurt added too much substance to an already heavy food, and fennel did not balance enough with its fresh taste.
My experience took a different turn
pan fried cod, onion, cabbage and shellfish onion broth. I like the habit of pouring sauces in front of the customer: I think it gives you the impression you are getting something unique. And if I learnt something here, is that they are good at making cod.
I had been sampling Italy’s best wines the day before so a local beer discovery was welcome: Einstök.
When I am having this kind of food, I usually pick Pale Ales.
Slowly cooked pork belly was the main course
with oyster mushrooms and a very smooth mustard sauce, which I am told is made in a certain way in order to keep the taste but keep the spicy under control.
Apple butter confit, cider sorbet and brique galette were the conclusion of my first Icelandic dinner.
Comparison will follow soon.
Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
+354 420 88 00
8th Floor, Radisson Blu Saga Hotel
+354 525 9960
This post is also available in: Italian