Iceland part 1: First impressions, Hot Yoga and Hot Pools. 

A birds eye view from the very top of a huge cathedral.
A birds eye view from the very top of a huge cathedral.
Landing with a hard thud, the plane wheels demanded our arrival into Iceland. I was excited! Another new city and finally my European leg of my journey was beginning. I have another 6 weeks to go of my trip at this point, and I was ready to travel and ready to explore with my eyes wide open.
Looking barren but beautiful, the bus ride from the airport was longer than I expected. I was pleased to see many purple blue flowers, of which I was busting to photograph, but the bus wouldn’t stop for me. I was planning originally to see the Blue lagoon on my way into town, but it was sold out for the day, you need to book this one in advance. I was planning a visit to the local hot pools to make up for it.
Arriving to my downtown hostel called Kex Hostel; I was pleasantly surprised by this very funky and hipster accommodation.  Old style fittings, mis-matched furniture, with a scenic harbour view, fresh white clean linen and a clean room; I was happy with my abode for the next few days. A friend from Perth had recommended I stay here, bragging about the sumptuous breakfast, and relaxed atmosphere; he was spot on.
As I stumbled into the doorway of the hostel, I saw a familiar face, a man who I had eyed in the check in queue way back in Toronto. I saw him pass me to sit down on the plane, and now here he was staying in the same hostel! It was time to say hello. Turned out he was from Melbourne and on a world tour for 4 months, cool! We made friends quickly and I then joined him and his two other Aussie friends on a walking tour around the city centre of Reykjavik.
An interesting and slightly disturbing sculpture garden, but nonetheless, very interesting!
An interesting and slightly disturbing sculpture garden, but nonetheless, very interesting!
We walked around sculpture gardens and up church stairs, wandered around a scenic lake, and into a city hall. We all chatted easily and I was pleased to learn his friends were living in Nova Scotia for 3 years, working overseas. I always like to meet new people, and travelling solo provides many opportunities to interact and be open minded.
A beautiful glass sculpture at the local art centre.
A beautiful glass sculpture at the local art centre.
I said my good byes after an hour or so, and wandered off in the direction of the local Hot pools. I was keen to try out the authentic Icelandic hot pool experience and go to a hot yoga class. I arrived late, power walking encumbered with heavy bags, wet from the rain, but happy to be joining in on a yoga class. Annoyingly, I forgot my shorts in my haste to get there on time and ended up performing the class in my bikini bottoms! Lucky I didn’t know anyone… And it was hot so sort of appropriate!?
I enjoyed the class, even though I was stuck right on the edge near the doorway, crammed in, on the worst old tatty yoga mat I have ever seen. There were at least 50 people jammed into a small hot space, so I must say I didn’t feel that relaxed. I pushed into the poses with some concentration, copying those around me; trying my best to interpret by sounds and visual cues the Icelandic spoken instructions. Funnily I did understand quite a few words. I enjoyed the heat, and it felt good to stretch my body and sweat through the one hour workout. Mental note, arrive early, be more organised and get a good spot in the studio! I do try and over do myself sometimes. But I am glad I did the class even if it was a rush, that was my third hot yoga class in three different cities. I will aim to do more! I really like this hot yoga experience, it is my new favourite exercise.
After yoga, I decided to swim laps and dunk in the hot thermal pools. All very enjoyable, and I do wonder why we can’t have more of these types of facilities in Australia. Like hot outdoor spas, that couldn’t be too difficult to set up right? They are such a great way to unwind and de-stress, the hot water is rejuvenating, comforting and very therapeutic.
I want our local councils to see how many great affordable and varied exercise opportunities there are going on in the world. Encouraging our community to work out and be fit should be a priority. Well I think so anyway!
Colourful overhead view of the town.
Colourful overhead view of the town.
I only have 2 days in Iceland so I plan to make the most of it! On my second day I have a tour booked to explore a little more of the scenic wonderland of the countryside. Heading out to the Glacier lagoon and a pretty waterfall is the plan. Let’s see how it all works out! I am really looking forward to taking lots of great photos, so far Iceland looks to be a very scenic place.
More on my adventures in Iceland on my next post…
Until then I hope you are enjoying my blogging and photos. I would love your feedback! Please comment and share my posts in your community too!
Anita xx
Aldrei er góð vísa of oft kveðin”
Translation: Never is a good verse too often said. English equivalent:
“The truth never gets old”
 Isafoldarprentsmiðja.. 1964. p. 102.~ Wiki Quote

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