The next morning we left our room to brace the chill air again, heading for the appropriately named Blue Café, The Brit lugging her laptop along and grumbling at me for not doing the same. . . until I informed her I’d already done my internet check for the morning.
“Oh do shut up,” she muttered, making me wonder if she had a hangover, though I would have imagined her workout would have taken care of that, or rather she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish much exercise with one.
The Blue Café claimed to be the centre of the action–the British spelling, I noticed with amusement–though at this time in the morning there wasn’t much of that yet. Once inside we found it brighter than it really needed to be, with floor-to-ceiling windows making it look even more spacious, the direct opposite of the romantic ambiance of both the restaurant and the bar last night. Since this place was open to anyone and everyone, it had to be that big, and even had an outside porch, for those really that crazy, but again we were too early to have to deal with much of a crowd.
With a grin as I looked over the menu, I told her, “Do everyone a favor and stick with tea this morning. The last thing you need is more wine. . . or beer, you typical Brit.”
She introduced me to her favorite finger, then got that mischievous smile of her own as she intoned, “I’ve never had sushi for breakfast. . .”
I didn’t care; I wasn’t planning on kissing her, though the smell might make me sick. It was no surprise to me when she added a salad to her order, but then neither was she taken aback when, taking a page from her dinner wine order, I ordered both a bacon and egg sandwich as well as a ham and cheese sandwich when I couldn’t decide between them. I was assured the bread was made from scratch just a few minutes ago–as was the sushi, which I didn’t need to know–but that hardly mattered to me as for a moment I wondered if the milk, as well as last night’s steak, was imported. . . and if the cows knew each other. Luckily I let it pass quickly and easily, being hungry enough to dig in right away.
And of course I had ice cream after, topping it off with nuts to make a drumstick without the stick, enjoying it for itself as well as the annoyance factor it gave her. Slurping on an orange/vanilla smoothie as we walked out, with her snarking about someone other than her needing a trip to the gym, we headed back to the hotel room, though only to change into swim attire for another round of burning stinky water.
A few minutes later she led the way back to the Blue Lagoon, as usual making a face at having to shower first, once she stored her overclothes in a locker. Don’t they realize how much colder it feels with your hair wet?
“Ever listen to Raining Jane?” she tossed off on the way to the water.
Snort. “Are you serious? I’m the one who told you about them!”
“You wouldn’t know anything about music if it wasn’t for me.”
“What a slanderous lie!”
“That’s a slanderous lie!”
Snort. “You’re suffering from narcissistic affectation.”
Using what I remembered from her snootiest accent, I Oxbridge’d, “I’m sure I have not the slightest idea what that means.”
Sighing, she swam–or paddled–away, not about to admit she had no idea how to counter that, especially when I did the accent almost better than her. In the distance she saw what looked to be a cube floating in the water, and as she floated closer–pushing off with her feet, basically walking with her torso bent forward, as the water was shallow–she quickly found it to be the Lagoon Bar, which most likely had exactly what she needed right now.
For a moment she remembered she had no pockets in her swimsuit, but just as quickly she recalled the bracelets we’d been given were pretty much credit cards. So with a grin she got in line, quickly realizing this really had all the makings of a bar as she was quickly hit on, rejecting all offers that would let her cut ahead because she said she was having fun flirting with all her boys. . .
And even more fun watching all the boys puff up like peacocks. . .
Luckily she soon became hungry for lunch, though she did promise to see them again in the afternoon. Finding me quickly–alone–we headed back to the showers, once again grousing at the amazingly strict code of hygiene that required guests to shower before and after bathing. It didn’t help that the shower water flowing through the plumbing was just as stinky as the lagoon, though I felt better when I noticed all the beautiful women around me smelled just as bad-eggy as me.
Once past that, I remembered something about the lunch buffet having what they called “steak of the day,” which I figured I could live with as long as they didn’t put anything disgusting on it, and the thought of some different kind of fish brightened her as well.
“So,” she fake-perked after grabbing our goods from the long buffet table and sitting, “have you wondered what makes people want to vacation here?”
I swigged from my ever-present 7-up. “Look at that girl over there–why do you think she’s here?”
Dreading that it might be the redhead, relieved when it wasn’t, The Brit did her best to stare without being noticed. “Why does any single girl show up here? To party!”
“Wouldn’t she be in the bar? Or in the bar out in the water?” Like you, I didn’t need to add, since she blushed anyway. “Besides, she’s reading.”
“So she’s on a relaxing vacation.”
“Far cheaper places for that. Keep going.”
“Maybe she’s hoping to Mr. Right! Fall in love, live happily ever after.”
“Did you get that from the book she’s reading?”
“Hadn’t noticed,” she admitted, though now looking closer. Not knowing it, she gauged from the title that it was some kind of cross between fantasy and romance. Just your type, she grinned, but knew I wouldn’t let her off that easily. “So she believes in fairytales. Maybe she’s hoping for fate to sweep her away, a kiss of kismet. . .” I made a face at that last one, but she seemed to be on a roll. “Hoping for love at first sight, she imagines her knight in shining armor: abs of steel, hair longer and thicker than hers, emerging from the stinky water to pick her up and carry her away.”
“Betcha she orders ice cream for dessert.”
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you? I can’t see how you eat so much, as well as drink that drink you have in front of–”
“Watch me chug this 7-up like it’s tequila!”
She winced involuntarily, then gave me her patented glare, which I’d seen enough times to be vaccinated against. Knowing she was doomed to failure there, she sighed, “Fine, let’s go to the bar again.”
“Really? Do they have AA in England?”
“That attempt at alliteration did not work,” she informed me, as always missing the point on purpose. “You can take photos from the viewing platform.”
“Don’t teach your grandpa to suck eggs,” I returned easily, “even if he smells like them today.”
“Don’t we all. . .”
This time I didn’t bother to pretend to get a drink, letting her cover for me by flirting with the bartender–a different one from last night, I noticed. Making sure to use the wide-angle lens, in case someone accused me of bathing beauties being my sole interest, I let my mind wander a bit more over the subject she’d brought up earlier. Despite how well I’d eaten here, people didn’t travel to Iceland for the food; there was Italy and France and so on for that. No, tourists flocked here for the glorious nature, the unique and stunning views. So with that thought I changed lenses and shot like I was being paid to do so.
Concentrating on the photographic always made me feel better. From up here it was easy to observe why Iceland’s terrain was often compared to the surface of the moon: landscapes cut by giant glaciers, charred by molten lava. . . it wasn’t at all hard to get why NASA brought astronauts here to prepare them for missions on that other rock. Again I wondered just how those famous horses could ride through such rough and downright treacherous terrain, but then I figured a thousand years of genetics would make even the wildest animal surefooted. Couldn’t be as hard as those goats who liked to cling to fjords all over Norway and Alaska and probably New Zealand too, for all I knew.
And then I had to keep from giggling as I remembered those silly tree-climbing goats in Morocco. . .
But finally I was done, and the bartender must have said the wrong thing, for she flounced away from him and back toward the exit at the same moment I arrived there. For once I didn’t bother to ask, or even make a snark, even though I had one prepared, something about a girl being really repulsive if she couldn’t score with a bartender. . .
Instead we walked back out into the cold in silence, then stopped to look around. Finally she sighed, “Let’s go back to our room and. . . rest. And I really mean that. It’ll get me in the mood for another long soak in the afternoon.”
“You’re not bored of it?”
“Not at all!” She looked positively shocked by the very idea. “Are you?”
“Immensely. Let’s go look at the activities board in the lobby first.”
But as we made our way there we were passed by a long train of tourists, doing what tourists did best: taking tours. To me it seemed rather silly–if you were already here, you might as well take a dunk in the water–but obviously not everyone agreed with the sentiment, or the price. Instead we had to flash bored looks at photographers and voyeurs wearing parkas before heading back to shelter to continue their “Worldwide tour of Iceland,” as I termed it and she giggled.