On holiday

Another wonderful weather day today, warm and sunny.  We enjoyed a morning in our rented cabin/house, the children played and read while The Dad and I prepared for tomorrow’s departure – the terms of the rental mean we must clean the house thoroughly before we go.  It was spotless when we arrived and we intend to leave it that way too.  We did some this morning and more this evening after dinner, leaving minimal chores for tomorrow morning.

In late morning we headed back to Reykjavik.  We had wanted to buy some quilting fabric – the kids are planning to make memory quilts of the trip when we get home – but the fabric shop (at least the only one I knew about) was closed for the weekend.  So we went on into the centre of town, and got fabric patches to sew onto horse- or volcano-themed fabric from elsewhere as a compromise.  We also got some t-shirts and some little souvenirs to take home with us.  Fainjin has been thwarted in his desire for “a remote-controlled flying puffin”, thank goodness, and has asked repeatedly for a helmet with horns on instead.  We’ve had to point out that it really wouldn’t fit into his backpack, and the airline probably wouldn’t be keen on him wearing it on the plane.

We had lunch in town.  Nice food but the service was a bit of a disaster, they served Babess an adult-sized meal when we’d ordered a children’s one, and Pearl’s meal never arrived at all, even after we’d reminded them.  But Fainjin couldn’t finish his, and of course Babess had far too much, so Pearl ate theirs and assured us she was quite satisfied.

Then we went to Laugurdalslaug, a very large public swimming pool complex.  We didn’t go in all the pools, just the recreation pool – a large pool about 1m deep and kept at around 28ºC – and the warmer family pool at 38ºC.  There is a big lane pool as well, and hotter hotpots, and some indoor pools too!  I really like the system at the pool – you take your shoes off before entering the change rooms.  Once inside, you store your clothes in a locker (included in your entrance fee, which is not terribly expensive).  Then you take your togs/swimsuit and towel into the wet area, where you shower thoroughly before putting your togs on – soap is provided, as is a diagram showing you what bits to wash extra-well(!).  You can leave your towel in a rack there, or take it with you to the pool.

When you come out, you can shower again if you choose, and there is a spin-dryer for the togs (brilliant idea!).  You get dry before going back to the locker area to get dressed, and there are hair-dryers available as well.  Finally you leave the locker area and put your shoes back on.  Everything (and everyone) is very clean.

Photography is forbidden in the pool complex, and even if it wasn’t it would probably not be a good idea to take the camera into such a wet steamy environment, so no photos of us in the pools!  But we had a great time.  Fainjin found a floating foam “race car” and had a great time scooting around the 1m pool in that with The Dad; Pearl went down the 86m-long waterslide several times; Babess & I sat and chatted in the warmer pool.

On the way home we took a scenic detour down the west side of Þingvallavatn (the lake at Þingvellir).  It was a slow but beautiful trip, mostly gravel roads around cliffs, bays and rolling countryside.

We do finally feel that we really are on holiday… and we leave tomorrow for New York.  I’ve resolved that future trips to Iceland (ha!) should be for a minimum of two weeks (and preferably much longer).

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

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