Tag: Blue Lagoon

The Summer of Jon (TSOJ): Now Appearing In Iceland

The Summer of Jon has begun.

Yesterday, or two days ago, I flew from the 90 degree weather of Seattle to the 55 degree weather of Reykjavik Iceland. Almost everything went smoothly with the exception of me getting through the TSA security checkpoint and then finding my seat on the plane. It took me three attempts to get through the metal detector. The first one was because I had not emptied my pockets…rookie mistake, and the second time was because I had not taken off my belt…doh! Finally, I got through, bought a ten dollar beer for lunch (I doubt there will be a more expensive beer on my trip) and then arrived at the boring terminal S at Seatac in time to see that Egypt was on the brink of some difficulties. Thank goodness we have the Trayvon Martin case to distract us. (Guy follows someone, ends up shooting him, admits to shooting him, and there is a trial? Only in America and The Soviet Union during the Cold War.

My seat, which I had carefully selected for leg room, turned out to be a big fat lie. There was no leg room. Little graphs on the internet (I’m talking to you SeatGuru) don’t always give the full picture when making little charts of the best and worst seats. The good news was that I was sitting by a young couple, so they were going to talk to me, and the baby in front of me was cute. I don’t mind a crying baby, I have always been able to ignore that noise just ask my wife.

I did not sleep a bit on the seven hour flight, but did enjoy watching Django Unchained. It is wrong to laugh loudly when watching a movie this violent, so I am sure the young couple seated next to me wondered if I was some sadistic, tall, moron.

Arriving in Iceland by plane is usually (from my vast experience of flying in here twice) boring. Clouds, clouds, clouds, ocean, ocean, are we going to land in the ocean? Tarmac and rain. Not yesterday. It was beautiful. I could see a good chunk of the island all spread out like an egg in a frying pan. I zipped through customs and then spent the rest of the morning like a child asking when it is time to go. It was only 6:30 am and the Blue Lagoon didn’t open for another two hours. I went to an ATM pushed a few buttons and then found myself deciding if I was going to get 40,000 IK or 200,000 IK. My little hamster wheel of a brain knew the exchange rate was 125 to 1, but was that 400 dollars or 40? I ended up with more Icelandic money than I need, but there are hot dogs to buy and at least three things to do. I bought a coffee for 500 IK and then drank the precious liquid.

Soon enough it was off to the Blue Lagoon. The bus trip there was just as shocking as the last time I was in Iceland. I would be no one in Iceland owns a chainsaw. Trees don’t exist on this planet. There are some trees in Reykjavik, but most of them are wind-beaten little numbers that are just trying to survive.

The Blue Lagoon was great. I got a bathrobe this time and spent a few hours soaking in the blue waters of the lagoon. Part of my package was a buffet lunch. I had a difficult decision to make, stay in the water and wait another hour while my skin turned to mush or put on my robe and sit in the relaxing room. I went for the relaxing room. They had those zero gravity chairs (I doubt there is science supporting this zero gravity thing, but I found a chair leaned back and tried not to fall asleep. I watched the people frolicking in the waters below and then had what I thought was a moment of sleep, but when I regained consciousness there were new people all around me in their zero gravity chairs and it was time for lunch.

I did not eat on the plane and took it out on the buffet, a sushi buffet, oh the carnage. I think I ate 20,000 IK in sushi but passed on a drink since I would have to pay extra for that. I then decide it was time to wash off the Blue Lagoon and head to the hotel.

Everything went like clockwork until I went to charge my iPod. I soon found myself on an epic quest to find an iPod dock in downtown Reykjavik where the only thing you can really buy is Icelandic sweaters, wool, gnomes, books on gnomes, viking stuff, and stuffed puffin dolls. I walked until I found a blister on my foot, but eventually found the charger.

I then wandered into the Hallgrimskirkja church (good luck pronouncing that one.) The church can be seen from just about anywhere on the island of Iceland, not just the city…this is an exaggeration, but it sticks up a bit. I went in and wandered for a moment until some guy in a hoodie got onto the keyboards and busted out some serious music. His little fingers were flying, his feet were working away also. It was awesome. I stuck around until I stomach told me it was time to eat a hot dog or three.

I ended my first night by taking a sleeping pill that worked like a charm. So it is off to breakfast and then to the penis museum.

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An Icelandic dinosaur coming to life at the airport. Why? I don’t know, it is Iceland there are lots of unknowns.

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For 500 IK you too can enjoy two sips of coffee.

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The Blue Lagoon overpriced, touristy, and oh so worth it.

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A tiny panoramic picture of the Lagoon.

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Blue Lagoon hairdoo, ready for a nap.

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The entrance to the Blue Lagoon.

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The Hillgrimslakf;alkfzhvlmnieuhfkldnf church. My hotel is 25 Icelandic meters away.

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The church pews’ backs can move to look forward during services, or can swing the other way during organ recitals.

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Dude in a hoodie playing that funky music.

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The best hot dog in the world. 1 of three that I ate yesterday. 350 IK.

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The Harpa Opera Hall. I’ll be there tomorrow.

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Two more hot dogs in their little handy table.

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Businessman with a block for a head? Maybe saying something about the financial crisis in Iceland.

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Leif Erikson is like, you can go that way if you want, I’m off to AMERICA!

 

Let The Summer of Jon Begin: Top Ten

 

Top Ten things I am looking forward to during The Summer of Jon 

 

 

10. Eating three hotdogs each day while in Iceland at Bæjarins beztu pylsur.

 

 

English: Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, known as the b...

English: Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, known as the best hot dog stand in Reykjavik.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9. A full day at the Blue Lagoon. (Slippers and robe included.)

 

 

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon (Photo credit: Arian Zwegers)

8. Seeing Munch’s The Scream.

 

 

Munch The Scream lithography

Munch The Scream lithography (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7. Spending some time in the Danish Design Museum

 

 

English: Table and chairs designed by Kaare Kl...

English: Table and chairs designed by Kaare Klint at the Danish Design Museum in Copenhagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. Visiting the Carlsberg Brewery

 

 

English: The "Elephant Gate" at the ...

English: The “Elephant Gate” at the Carlsberg Brewery, Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. Taking the Norway in a Nutshell tour.

 

 

Norway in a Nutshell: Flåm

Norway in a Nutshell: Flåm (Photo credit: TXMagpie)

4. Touring Potsdam on bike

 

 

Potsdam, Germany: Sanssouci Palace with vineya...

Potsdam, Germany: Sanssouci Palace with vineyard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. Walking though Vigeland Park (Froger Park) in Oslo.

 

 

Vigeland Children

Vigeland Children (Photo credit: Will Cyr)

2. Vienna’s outdoor evening concerts/movies at city hall.

 

Vienna's Town hall (4)

Vienna’s Town hall (4) (Photo credit: Elena Romera)

1. A full day bike tour of Prague.

 

English: A panoramic view of Prague as viewed ...

English: A panoramic view of Prague as viewed from Petřín Lookout Tower. The view is approximately 180 degrees, from north on the left to south on the right.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Top Ten Concerns/Fears/Obsessive thoughts

 

 

10. The exchange rate. There is going to be some weird money on this trip. The Icelandic Kroner’s current exchange rate is about 125 to 1. This sounds good, but I don’t want to have to use skills from my Algebra 1 class in 1850.

 

 

9. Angry German bakers. I could avoid German bakers altogether but then I would have to avoid German baked goods…not gonna happen.

 

 

8. Being on time. I will show up to the airport three hours before my flight just like I am told, but once I am on the road I don’t want to spend time waiting.

 

 

7. Italians walking slowly.

 

 

6. Italians cutting in line. Okay this can be anyone cutting in line. Getting off the ferry in Victoria last week I purposely stepped in between a family that was cutting in line knowing that they couldn’t pass through customs as two groups. There is a line people! Get in the line or I will get all Clint Eastwoody on you. (Not the talking to a chair Clint Eastwood, but the Clint that stares into the sun and spits on stuff.)

 

 

5. Heat. I am a delicate flower and heat will make me wilt.

 

 

4. Not being able to speak the primary language of any country I am visiting. Yes, I am going to assume everyone will speak to me in English. My multiple years of Spanish class will probably not pay off in Iceland. Actually, my Spanish is only good for laughs these days.

 

 

3. Being stuck someplace where they play Techno music.

 

 

2. Being stuck on the plane next to someone who wants to talk too much.

 

 

1. Gypsies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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