Vesturbæjarlaug – The Secret World of Geothermal Hot Pools

Reykjavik, Iceland Day 4 – December 11th 2016

Today was a slow, relaxing day consisting of a museum tour, visit to a hot pool and wandering the residential streets of Reykjavik. The weather this afternoon was rainy so we walked to the National Museum of Iceland. As in every country, museums always hold the idea of excitement and wonder as though you’re about to be transported back in time to eras of Viking kings and witches. Then you get there and it ends up being a lot of reading and trying to see how that decade piece of metal could possible have once killed someone. Still a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

We hit the streets again, this time with a hint of sunshine. In search of a local geothermal heated swimming pool, we came across a little café recommended by the hotel right across the street. We sat, ate toast and tea, watched locals come and go and relaxed as the sun began to set. It’s always so nice sitting in cafes watching friends meet up and chat about local gossip, relationships and plans for the week. There’s something about a softly lite café and the aroma of coffee that brings people both near and far together.

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We spent a good 2 hours at the hot pools today. The hot pool we visited was called Vesturbæjarlaug. No clue what that translates to. Reykjavik is full of these local swimming pools, this one is off the tourist route which was a pleasant surprise.

After the hot pools, we explored a bit of the residential area in Reykjavik. The city of full of 3 and 4 story apartment complexes. No one seems to use blinds in this city so you could easily see inside people’s windows. There were lots of Christmas lights and decorations, IKEA lamps everywhere and even a fake horse in one window.

So I have to briefly mention Iceland’s obsession with elves (aka hidden people). Dolls and stuffed animals of them are everywhere, in particular, there are holograms of them projected onto sides of buildings and each one is different doing some kind of different mischievous activity.

We had dinner at Café Vinyl (Kaffi Vinyl), the only full vegan restaurant in Iceland. The vibe inside was cozy, with a selection of vegan entrees including Thai noodles and crispy tofu, sweet potato lentil soup and a vegan black bean burger that was unbelievable. The restaurant plays old school records and is very relaxed.

Evening has thus far been spent next to the fire place in our hotel lobby, catching up on blog posts and sipping tea.

 

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