Monday, June 25, 2012

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

When we were still planning our trip to Iceland, the Blue Lagoon was at the top of my list. I've heard the healing power of the Blue Lagoon's geothermal seawater with its active ingredients: minerals, silica and algae, known to be good for the skin. Due to the treatment I'm undergoing, my skin has been a challenge to manage; regretfully, my facial skin is not what it used to.

The Blue Lagoon is a 40-minute drive from Reykjavik, so we decided to visit this place before our flight home. The Blue Lagoon is about 20 minutes to the airport, so it's the perfect stop before our flight home. We planned to stay there for a couple of hours, but the place felt magical and how we wished we can stay there longer. The place is beautiful and the sight of lava rocks cradling lagoons of blue water is a calming experience.

I was in awe when I caught this sight.

This photo was taken outside of the spa center.

Entering the Blue Lagoon. Standard use (includes towel) of the spa center costs 40 Euros.

Calming, isn't it?

Here's the Blue Lagoon inside the spa center. The rectangular booth is a place to buy drinks, so you can enjoy a drink or two while wading through the Lagoon. It's warm in the Lagoon, but once you get out of the water, the cold wind can be a shock to your system.

There are different temperatures within the Lagoon, so you need to wade around and find the right temperature your body can tolerate. I also applied silica on my face, which is readily available in wooden boxes on the side of the Lagoon. BUT make sure you don't get silica on your hair or you'd have a bad hair for a couple of weeks. I've heard stories how their hair felt like wire for weeks. One remedy is to use a lot of conditioner on your hair before you get into the Lagoon, then use conditioner again when you rinse afterwards.

Next time, I'd plan to stay here the whole day.


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Just the word chocolate makes me long for the taste of sweet and creamy indulgence. Since I was a kid, I have always loved chocolate. No wonder I grew up to be a chocoholic and I think this is one indulgence I will never give up. I'm not picky about chocolates, but I love those that come in pretty boxes just like the ones from There's a difference in getting those lovely boxes because they never fail to bring the recipient a smile. Although there are days you just want to chomp on a good chocolate bar to pick up a bad day at work.

The ones at look absolutely enticing and they look delicious as well. I am ogling their Belgian gift box right now, and I hope someone would order that for me for my birthday. Isn't it amazing that you can have chocolate delivery by Serenata to anyone you'd like? It's the perfect place to buy gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, well wishes and even on those days you just feel like making someone happy. In addition to chocolates, this place also offers hampers, wines, flowers, plants and experiences. This is absolutely THE place to get your gift shopping done. THE place to sweeten life.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cats Of Reykjavik

Wherever I visit, cats seem to roam the streets or just appear from nowhere.  Here are some photos of the cats we met in Reykjavik:

What a day!

"Go away!," says the black cat with piercing eyes.

This is my house.

Purr...let me sleep.

What's that?


Here's one aloof cat we met. He just gave us that mean look saying, "What do you want?"

This cat loves to sleep at our guest house's living room couch. I later found out that he was featured in a book about interesting facts in Reykjavik. If I remember it right, his name is Borgata. I could be wrong, but he's a sweet cat and I did took a photo of him with his book, but then, I really don't post my face here on my blog.

What was amazing was these cats were so furry, heavy and large. I think that they do need a larger body and lots of fur to keep them warm throughout the year. Most of all, these Icelandic cats were beautiful and super soft.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

When I think of Iceland, I think of glaciers and volcanoes; that's exactly what I saw when we visited Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.
Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon is one of Iceland's most spectacular sights, located about 60 km east of Skaftafell National Park and almost 400 km from Reykjavik. Jokulsarlon borders south and east part Iceland, at the roots of Europe's largest glacier Vatnajokull.  Breidamerkurjokull, an outlet glacier of the great glacier Vatnajokull, crumbles down the steep mountainside of the glacier and big icebergs break off into the lagoon where they float around before melting. This is a very popular sightseeing attraction, widely regarded as the most picturesque scenery in all of south Iceland. (Source here.)
Jökulsárlón has been a setting for four Hollywood movies -- A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins -- in addition to the reality-TV series Amazing Race.

 For me, this is absolutely one of Iceland's most spectacular sights and a must see for any traveler.

We took a tour boat to have a closer look at the floating icebergs and gaze at the Vatnajökull ice cap.

It's quite hypnotic watching the icebergs float and the scenery is constantly changing because the icebergs are constantly moving.

Even in a country well known for its astounding natural beauty, Jökulsárlón stands out. The combination of majestic floating icebergs, the giant icy blue lagoon, the contrasting black of the sandy shore and the soaring dome of the nearby Vatnajökull ice cap is so breathtaking, it hardly seems real.

It’s no wonder this amazing lagoon is one of Iceland's most popular natural wonders. Jökulsárlón's hypnotic beauty draws tourists, photographers and film crews alike to its shores. It has been featured in advertisements, movies, and even on a postage stamp – not to mention, of course, countless computer wallpapers across the world.
(Yohani Kamarudin)

The black dirt on the icebergs were known to be from a volcanic eruption thousand of years ago. An iceberg is a history book - every single ash and every single trapped insect is a page waiting to be read.

My troubles ceased as I gazed at this staggering beauty. This is most definitely one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

Our boat guide clutching a piece of ice that chipped from on of the icebergs. We tasted a piece of that ice and it tasted sweet. A perfect way to cool off as we were already freezing in negative temperatures. If I remember it right it was -15 degrees when we were there.

Out of this world scenery.

Nature at its best.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Skógafoss Waterfall, Iceland

The flight from Dulles to Keflavik was about five hours. This is the second time we've taken Iceland Air, and I am still not impressed with their in-flight services.  For an international flight, there's no meal given except for drinks.  If you're hungry, meal is available for purchase. Since we'd rather spend our money on "proper" food when we landed in Iceland, we spent the duration of our flight watching movies; they did have a good selection of movies and TV shows including "The Descendants," which I'd love to see again.  Quite a moving and powerful movie I'd say.

When we got to Keflavik, we took the FlyBus to Reykjavik (1800 ISK per person).  I slept the entirety of the bus ride, as I sat beside a German tourist who kept nudging me with his elbow because he couldn't stop yapping and taking photos inside the bus. I was too tired and sleepy to protest so I let him be. I think he was just too excited to be in Iceland. I was too, but at that point in time, sleep is more important.

After a 45-minute bus ride, we finally arrived at our guesthouse, which was a small house smack in the middle of Reykjavik.  The house was cozy and warm; it was more than we needed as we crept to the living room's sofa to sleep some more.  Our host, Bedda, was so welcoming and friendly.  We slept mostly on our first day in Iceland.  We managed to walk around Reykjavik that night, since it doesn't really get dark until 1 AM.  I will talk about Reykjavik in a different post but today, I want to show you Skógafoss Waterfall.

Skógafoss Waterfall is about an hour and a half drive from Reykjavik. This waterfall is 60 meters high and counted among the most beautiful of the country; I think Gulfoss is prettier.  There are at least 20 more waterfalls that cascade down the mountain slopes above the Skogafoss and it is easy to walk along the river to see them; there are paths and steps available for hikers in the area as well.

My interpretation of Skógafoss Waterfall.

A rainbow appeared as we walked around the area. Here's two tourist taking a photo with the rainbow.

Spectacular landscape.

Trying to find the rainbow's end.

At the other side of this river is a sheep farm.

It would be awesome to sit there and listen to the powerful voice of nature.

And while the Skógafoss Waterfall roars from a few steps, sheep graze and nap on the green, quiet grass.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Blog In A Book

When Philip White e-mailed me inquiring about my photographs from my trip to Potsdam, Germany posted here (Potsdam's Cecilienhof Palace), the idea of having my photograph included in a book was exciting especially that it's a historical one. After all, I was a History major in college.

The book was published a couple of months ago, but it's only now that I found the time to post about it.

This will be included in my summer reading list.

"Kayni's Corner Cafe" made it on page 1.