After Husavik, our Icelandic adventure slowly wound down. We spent Easter morning huddled in our car in an empty, windy parking lot outside the Myvatn Nature Baths. We’d been LP assured that these tranquil blue pools were the more reasonably priced cousins of Reykjavik’s pricey Blue Lagoon – and that they’d be less crowded. Jamie was napping in the backseat (I’d dragged him out late in the evening to go hunting for the Northern Lights, somewhat against his will, and he was understandably groggy) and I was scribbling in my journal, wondering with slight panic whether the metal sign that was flailing helplessly in the wind might suddenly uproot and smash the windshield.
We waited for a half an hour for the baths to open, changed in the locker rooms, and sprinted through the icy wind to the water – a skill we were quickly becoming adept at. The Myvatn baths weren’t as hot and toasty as the Blue Lagoon, but they were warm and relaxing enough to soak off any morning grouchiness we may have had before heading northwest to Akureyri, Iceland’s capital in the north.
As we approached the town, we were greeted with the unfamiliar sound of radio tunes, something we hadn’t heard since leaving Reykjavik. We’d spent much of the journey to Akureyri entertaining ourselves with games like 20 questions (I nearly won, until Jamie chose some apparently famous athlete I’d never heard of – John McEnroe??), but now we could kick back and listen to some music. Akureyri rose out in front of us, the largest town we’d seen in days. We checked into a farmhouse – less isolated than Dynjandi, but still pretty great – and headed into town.
Jamie agreed to search for the lights that evening, so I offered to drive so he could have a few beers. This resulted in many a pint of Polar Beer – a name he found increasingly amusing – being consumed during some football match. At night, I drove east and west and scoured the skies for the supposedly active lights, but none were to be found. It would have been disappointing had we not been exhausted.
The next day was a longer drive back to Reykjavik, where we relaxed, ate, had some drinks at the hotel, and prepared to say farewell to Iceland the following morning, when Jamie would be off to the airport and I planned on searching for hidden folk in the town over. Unfortunately, my GPS did not register the name of the hidden folk park, so I headed to the airport instead.
It sounds like an anticlimactic ending, but really, it’s just an example of how Iceland works. It’s unpredictable, exciting, and erratic, just like its landscape. Even now, nearly three months later, I still think of it as the best trip I’ve taken to one of the best places I’ve seen. Whatever might be deterring you from packing a suitcase and heading north, be it the weather, the prices, the fear of choosing to stay there forever and abandon your previously established life – forget it. Do it. Go to Iceland.