Destinations, Iceland

Iceland Day 6: Blue Lagoon and goodbye

August 29, 2013

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.

Iceland Day 6: Blue Lagoon and goodbye | Destinations Iceland

Guilty as charged – I took pictures of the moss along the pathway leading to Blue Lagoon.

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.

Iceland Day 6: Blue Lagoon and goodbye | Destinations Iceland

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.

Along the sides of the lagoon, long ladles can be used to dole out the mineral-rich mud from lidded containers.  Cold, milky white and flecked with black, it looked deceptively like semi-melted cookies and cream ice cream, but smelled incongruously of eggs.  We smoothed the chilly mud on our faces, arms, and backs, then settled back water.  Our bodies definitely needed this – decompression after the bustle of the last few days.
Iceland Day 6: Blue Lagoon and goodbye | Destinations Iceland

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.

Iceland Day 6: Blue Lagoon and goodbye | Destinations Iceland

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?)

Our trip was amazing, and we’d only scratched the surface of things to do in Iceland, or even in Reykjavik.  We’d seen Snaefellsness peninsula and the Golden Circle, ridden Icelandic horses, and experienced some of the best food Reykjavik has to offer, and yet there were still other adventures to be had: glacier hikes and dogsled tours, driving the ring road and seeing the Northern lights, walking the black sand beaches and visiting volcanoes… there are so many things to do, and so many things we want to do.

1 Comment

  • Reply Reykjavik Recommendations – Plethora, Etc. – Travel, food, and more January 15, 2015 at 10:11 am

    […] we had activity-packed days and accomplished a lot (two photo tours, Icelandic horseback riding, Blue Lagoon, and the Golden Circle, to name a few), but we also had to pass up quite a few ones as well (we […]

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