The next day was a day of leisure – shopping, the national museum, wandering through downtown Reykjavik and just having a wonderful day as our trip started to wind down.
Because of Edna’s age, 83 1/2, I built in extra ‘relaxation days’ which Cathy and I seldom take but it was important to give Edna break days where we could go to the coffee shop and enjoy the most delicious homemade cinnamon rolls in the world and take the day at a slower pace, so she didn’t get exhausted (or could recover from previous day treks 😊)
We have loved coming here on our leisure days.
After getting our cinnamon bun fix, we walked to the Settlement Museum. The Settlement Museum is a fascinating excavation of a Viking Long House dating to approximately 871. The surrounding depictions show what life was like during that time. It is really well done and should be on everyone’s list of things to do when visiting Reykjavik.
From the Settlement Museum, it’s a short stop to the oldest surviving building in downtown Reykjavik. Built in 1762, Athalstraeti 10 is now a cute museum that showcases life in the late 1700’s.
And there are some beautifully renovated buildings on the same block.
We stopped in one of my favorite shops, Ofeigur. Ófeigur Björnsson is a master gold & silversmith and his wife Hildur Bolladóttir is a master dressmaker and makes the cutest wool hats. Their son Bolli Ófeigsson is also a master gold & silversmith. All of their gold and silver work is Icelandic including selling items that are part of the national costume.
Next to Ofeigur is two of my favorite pottery shops. One of them helps local potters sell their wares. Edna bought something for each of her granddaughters and daughter-in-laws, with more jewelry shopping at Gullbudin.
Tomorrow, we head to the Blue Lagoon where Edna will have her first ever massage and also her first ever Michelin dinner. There are so many firsts for her, and she has been an amazing travel partner.
Our driver picked us up at the airport and took us to the Silica Hotel next to the Blue Lagoon. We had lunch reservations at Lava Restaurant, one of my favorites because the food is fabulous. We toasted with champagne to the end of a beautiful trip. A little while later, we went to the private lagoon to float in the warm thermal water and then to our water massage.
I was worried about Edna because she had never had a massage before and I wasn’t sure how this would go, but as with all of the ‘firsts’ she had experienced, she loved it. Pictures aren’t permitted inside the private retreat part of the lagoon. Massages are done in the warm water while you float on a mat. It is peaceful, relaxing and truly different experience. Afterwards we went and sat in the steam sauna which she enjoyed, until I told her the ‘ritual’ that I do….. steam sauna, dunk in cold tank, steam sauna, dunk in cold tank, steam sauna.
Okay, so there is ONE thing Edna refused to do- no cold pool dunking 😂. I always go into the care am sauna then go to the cold pool and back again for at least three times. Edna watched me go into the cold pool the first time and laughed out loud while shaking her head “no”. She enjoyed the steam sauna and then went off to a quiet relaxing dark room with a fireplace while I froze my body parts dunking in ice cold water.
Our final dinner was at the Michelin * restaurant Moss. It was the 3rd time I had eaten there, and I was anxious and excited to treat Edna to such an amazing dinner. She didn’t have any idea what the designation of being a Michelin * restaurant was, but she appreciated that it was the fanciest restaurant she’d ever been to. Moss did not disappoint. The service was impeccable, the dishes stunning, and even though neither of us care for Venison, we both admired the way the dish was presented, with the meat being brought out on a platter and later returned smoking as it finished being cooked.
The sommelier took extra care to help get Edna’s wine right when she didn’t like the first taste and I was appreciative of the professionalism. It was the perfect end to an amazing trip.
I am amazed at my aunt. She never blinked an eye to try new things, to take risks, to walk many hours even though it had to be difficult with scoliosis and constant pain. She appreciated each moment and that was always clear. She transitioned from never leaving our country to travelling with ease – for someone who didn’t know that a hotel had irons and water glasses – to someone that set up her clothes and necessities for the following day in advance. It was a joy and a treasured time to be able to show her our roots, our homeland, our Iceland.
And not once did she need rescued! Tough Viking woman that she is!