Day 3: The Blue Lagoon
Day 3 was our last full day in Iceland. We decided to reward ourselves with a visit to the famed Blue Lagoon - rightfully one of the 25 natural wonders of the world. It is located about 20 minutes from the airport, and is one of the most magnificent things we saw and experienced on our trip. The spa area is a man-made lagoon that is super-heated by a geothermal plant nearby, but the waters are naturally colored this way and contain numerous minerals that are good for our bodies, such as silica and algae found only here. There is an area around the spa open for walking that displays the natural state of the waters and landscape.
This is my journal entry for that day:
I guess I was wrong. We didn't set up camp. It was pouring rain all night, and by the time we got to Selfoss it was past midnight. It's easy to lose track of time when the sun doesn't set until 11:30 PM. We pulled into a campsite and slept in the car for a few hours, then left for Reykjavik. We got there about 4:30 AM. We cruised around, went to the massive church in the city center, the Hallgrímskirkja, (that is an architectural marvel) and got some breakfast.
We then headed to the Blue Lagoon, and waited for it to open. I walked around a little and made my way into the main area. Even though it's still raining, what an incredible place. The water is like nothing you have ever seen, and the craggy, moss-covered rocks only makes it more bizarre. I guess 'before it opens' is always the best time for photos; there's been 0 crowds.
----- Entry #2
So the Blue Lagoon gets 5 stars from me. Maybe I've just never been to a big spa before, but wow. We bought the 'premium' package, which cost $75/person, and gets you:
- Admission to the Lagoon
- Flip Flops
- Algae Mask (in addition to a silica mask)
- Skin Care Trial
- Complimentary drink at the swim up bar
- Reservation at the Lava Restaurant
- Complimentary sparking wine with lunch
What a deal. This place was well organized. We were given e-bracelets to unlock our lockers, we were lead to changing and wash rooms, with blow dry stations etc. After showering, you get to the lagoon which is a huge area separated from natural river that is heated to be very hot. The area has walk paths, bridges, a swim up bar, steam baths, and a silica mud station (this is why everyone in the photos on Google have bluish mud on their faces). You could even opt for a private facial or in-water massage. We were there for about 4 hours, and our skin felt great afterwards. It was well worth it. I also think a hotel is being added soon. I'm already thinking of coming back for a long weekend in the winter.
After the lagoon, we came back to Reykjavik to set up our tent, and this time we actually did. I guess nothing is open for season yet, so unfortunately none of the facilities were in use. But, fortunately, that means we didn't have to pay for our stay. We headed downtown so I could find my Lopapeysa - or, Icelandic sweater. We came to Thorvaldsens Bazaar, the oldest shop in Iceland. It specializes in wool products and they are all 100% hand-knitted and all profits go toward children's charities. I picked one out, and it is soooo warm. It's just what I needed to get through the cold nights. Then we went to Frederickson's Ale House for dinner, and we both ordered a lamb flank with red onion, carrots, and mashed potatoes- WAY better than any freeze dried meal or gas station sandwich.
And now, I'm back in my sleeping bag with a cozy new sweater, ready to get on the next flight. I'm thoroughly impressed by Iceland and will miss being wowed by every sight around every corner. I know I will be back. Norway, you're up next!
Here is our route: