FOLLOW WILLY COSMO AS HE EXPLORES THE HEALING WATERS OF THE WORLD
JOE: I'll start with some sound advice. Don't plan a trip to Iceland and schedule a 9 hour horseback riding adventure that begins the hour after you arrive from your international flight and day and nights long journey to get there. This is an in hindsight bit of advice of course as we did just that. Our trip to Iceland - which was to be the start of our 30 day European honeymoon adventure - started early in the morning with Rachel and I taking a 15 minute Uber ride from our house to a Bolt Bus in downtown Portland, riding the Bolt Bus for 3 and a half hours to Seattle, hopping on the light rail for a 45 minute ride to SEA-TAC airport, and then a 7 hour flight to Reykjavik, from there it was a 20 minute bus ride to the bus station where the tour buses leave from, oh, and we missed our bus by 5 minutes, managed to get on a different tour bus thankfully a short while later that was going to drive by our destination, and then we got to where we were to start our 9 hour horse back adventure. Oh, did I mention roughly two weeks before this we found out Rachel was pregnant? She had felt fine and had no symptoms of morning sickness or anything like that before leaving on our trip, though that all changed basically the moment we got on those horses. We might be ambitious (crazy?) to a fault sometimes in our plans for adventures and the lengths we'll go to experience a new hot springs though this to date takes the cake by far. We did it though. Rachel did it. We made this the beginning of our honeymoon and it was one helluva a way to start things off.
Iceland is like one big volcanic mass of energy. It rests on the fault line of two continents (the North American & Eurasian) which is pretty incredible to ponder. It's the primary reason this island is so volcanic in its nature. The countries utilization of geothermal energy is quite impressive and while I have learned some of its history, I look forward to learning even more about their relationship to this natural energy source. Soaking in these geothermal waters is a part of the culture throughout the entire island as well and that is another aspect of Iceland and its people that make me feel like the folks living there are all my sisters and brothers from another mother, if you know what I mean. This was also the first foreign country other than Mexico or Canada that I had ever been to and I have to say, it was a pretty epic introduction and way to begin my worldly travels. 4 hours trotting through the mountains and valleys of Iceland was pretty surreal. Having our half way point in the trip be a simple lunch and a nice soak in this hot springs river was absolutely wonderful. I think it nearly saved Rachel's life as well, what a way to rejuvenate after such a long day and night of traveling by planes, trains, and automobiles, and then of course horses only to rest for a spell in some healing waters. We did then have to do the 4 hours horseback ride back from this incredible destination which I know was a doozy for my darling.
In all, this was an incredible adventure that was well worth doing. I highly recommend it and while it was a bit rough for Rach due to early pregnancy, I know she was amazed by this place as well. And speaking of early pregnancy, this was officially Willy Cosmo's first hot springs (in the womb, of course)! That's pretty cool to think about. What a way to start your life's journey, pre-birth that is. And on a health and safety note, soaking in hot tubs (or hot springs) while pregnant is a decision that should be made by each individual woman and should take in their particular health and circumstances. It is not recommended to soak in waters above 104 degrees Fahrenheit for any extended period of time and it is advisable to ask your healthcare provider what they would recommend given whatever your conditions may be. These waters weren't too hot and in all the places we visited after this, Rachel was careful not to soak in anything that could have been dangerous for her pregnancy.
In all, this was a day trip I'd recommend everyone who has the good fortune to visit Iceland take. It's kid friendly and it is considered an easy level of adventure for most all. The world renowned Icelandic Horses were great (though Rachel had a rougher ride due to her tender body in early pregnancy), they have an easy gait and shorter trot than most horses of the world. Once I got a feel for it, it was quite a pleasant ride. After we got done with this most ambitious kick-off to our trip, we headed to Reykjavik to an AirBnB we were staying at for the night, checked in, headed out to grab some dinner and took a light stroll to see some of the sights and then promptly went to bed for a solid 12 plus hours. The next day was another hot springs adventure and this time to one of the 25 wonders of the world, The Blue Lagoon! We actually spent the afternoon there (you can read about that by clicking here) and went straight to the airport afterwards to fly off to Milan for the next set of honeymoon adventures which included a few more hot springs along the way!
There are a couple of ways to get to this hot springs though the horseback tour is definitely a good way to go. The tour will pick you up from most places around the area at no additional cost and then you are on your way to a pretty darn special experience.
Negombo Thermal Gardens
Aphrodite Thermal Gardens
Saturnia Thermal Springs
Bonneville Hot Springs
Reykjadalur Hot Springs ~ Iceland
Blue Lagoon ~ Iceland
Breitenbush Hot Springs
Water of the Gods ~ Norris Hot Springs
Symes Hot Springs Hotel & Mineral Baths
Mundo Hot Springs
Crystal Hot Springs