Our seventh and final day in Reykjavik – the feeling is bittersweet. Though a short trip, each day was so action-packed that the trip somehow managed to feel much longer. Early that morning, we catch a shuttle bus from the Hilton to Blue Lagoon – our last destination before we fly out of Reykjavik.
Blue Lagoon is a spa near Keflavik airport. A nearby geothermal power plant pumps up superheated water from underground, uses the steam for electricity and hot water, and then allows it to run off. Originally, Icelanders bathed in this runoff after discovering its skin benefits (which sounds more scary than it actually is – since the water is used for its steam and heat, it’s slightly cooler when it leaves the power plant, but otherwise unchanged.)
Thus, Blue Lagoon was born (or, perhaps more accurately, made). And while it is entirely man-made, it’s nonetheless incredible – rich with silica, packed with algae, and absolutely beautiful.
The water is captivating and almost opalescent; depending on the location and lighting, it shifts from a semi-opaque white blue to a true aqua.
After showering off and stowing our belongings in the locker room, we sunk down into the warm waters and luxuriated. A blustery, cold wind swept across the surface of the lagoon – it chilled the water on our skin and left goosebumps in its wake, so we sought out warmer pockets of water. We soon figured out the locations where the hot water was being pumped in and planted ourselves there, reveling in the relaxing warmth.
At one end of the lagoon, you can stand underneath a waterfall for a massage – it pummels your head and shoulder-blades in an incredible torrent of warm water. John stood underneath it for minutes on end, eyes closed and hands hands upturned in a zen-like state; he had very clearly found his happy place.
We alternated between the adjacent steam rooms and the lagoon for a bit before heading back inside to shower off, change back into our clothes, and grab a bite to eat at the cafe. It was a wonderful way to spend our last few hours in Reykjavik, and potentially the most relaxing pre-airport experience ever. All too soon, we shuttled from Blue Lagoon to Keflavik and were on our way home to Seattle, our bags considerably heavier with last minute, post-security line purchases (brennivin and juniper schnapps, anyone?)