"I didn't come all this way to just look at the Blue Lagoon," Jim said earnestly over a cup of coffee.
I adore Jimmy's earnestness as much as his sense of adventure. He's too cute. He saved the day, our very first day in Iceland.
A deck chair along the banks of the Blue Lagoon looked more enticing at the moment than a dip in Iceland's premier tourist attraction. We'd deplaned outside on the tarmac in an eye opening 47 degrees Farenheit, which wasn't making the prospect of an outdoor excursion any more enticing. Okay, I'm a woos as well as a party pooper, but I was not alone. Rod and Lynda were sitting on the fence too.
We'd actually planned the excursion to the Blue Lagoon when we'd booked our trip to Iceland 6 months earlier, fully aware we had almost 7 hours to kill and a ton of luggage to schlepp around before we could check into the Hilton and properly address our jetlag. The Icelandair bus that would eventually take us to our hotel 40 minutes away in Reykjavik stopped at the Blue Lagoon along the way. The excursion and bus ride was already paid for, including the storage of our luggage onsite at the Blue Lagoon. There were no refunds; fun was optional.
In my experience, fun has always been a choice, not a given. Jim seemed the only one capable of wrapping his mind around this simple truth that morning. Then again, Jim has always been adept at napping: on airplanes, in waiting rooms, in the car; occasionally he's even been known to "rest his eyes" in the theatre or in the public library. A nap is a given if he's anywhere near the sofa at home. Does my lover and best friend look like he's limping along on no sleep like the rest of us? I think not!
Okay, so the water vapor was simply condensing given the air temperature was a chilly 47 degrees Fahrenheit and the water temperature was an inviting (that's of course if you like really, really warm bath water) 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Rational thought was slowly returning to normal. Well, normal for me.
We practically had the Blue Lagoon, all three football fields worth, to ourselves. Undoubtedly the early morning airport run had something to do with the limited number of guests "bathing" when we arrived, just after the spa opened at 9 am.
We paid 8000 kronar each for admission, towels and bathrobes. A handy wrist bracelet insured our clothing and valuables were safely stowed in lockers. As per strict hygienic code, we took pre-swim showers (communal) without a stick of clothing on (naked as a newborn baby, which is the image I prefer to leave you with).
It was high school gym class all over again, except our rented towels were half the size they were years ago (ah, the ever-expanding-waistline saga). I kept looking for some bad ass broad with a whistle to sweep through and check for damp towels and derriers before allowing us to exit.
Where was I going with all this? Oh yeah, Lynda and I joined Rod and Jim at the edge of the Blue Lagoon. We'd all showed up for the party after all, thanks to Jimmy's lead!
The subterranean brine (I tried not to think about the yuck factor behind this byproduct of the geothermal process as the white silica oozed between my toes) of the Blue Lagoon is actually known for its curative qualities, especially when it comes to skin conditions such as psoriasis. I can assure you, my toes look years and years and years younger! What do you think?
It was a memorable party. By east coast standards, we basically went from sundown to sunup (something that lasts for about two hours in Iceland during the month of June) getting our groove back. At the end of the day (or night, depending on the time zone) we all agreed, getting completely wet with adventure was our new mantra.
The bottom line on the Blue Lagoon.
- Verdict: I'd go again, especially if I could spend more time and money. We didn't have
time to visit the spa, which was in an adjacent building a short 5 minute walk away. I can
see why this is Iceland's premier tourist attraction. The experience was surreal.
- How to Get There: Bus, taxi, or your own automobile. From Keflavik Airpot take Route 41
west to Route 43 to Grindavik. From Reykjavik, take Route 41 east to Route 43 to
Grindavik. Because so much of Iceland outside the major cities is isolated, walking or biking
isn't the best option on the two lane roads leading to the area, although I was told
hitchhikers only have to wait for the next vehicle to come along to get a ride. Outside the
city limits that could be a long wait. Parking outside the lagoon is free and just a short walk
away from the entrance.
- Ideal for: Relaxing in any kind of weather. Obviously Icelanders don't let rain, sleet, snow,
lava, or lethargy deter them from enjoying the outdoors. No poopy people allowed, for
- Insider tips: There are actually several small private showers if you're the modest type.
Hair dryers are also available for guests. Bring your own shampoo and conditioner if you plan
on doing your hair. No amount of conditioner will undo the damage should you take the
plunge and go underwater. I'm told from several who've gone there recovery is a minimum
of 2-3 days. The silica really does do wonders for the skin. I wished I'd slapped some on my
face. It's free in the lagoon, pricey in the spa.
- Nearby food: The Lava Restaurant on the premises wasn't open (opens at 11:30 am)
before we had to catch our bus to Reykjavik. A full menu includes the traditional meat soup
(lamb, not beef), salmon, shrimp and lots more. Lagoon guests can show up in their
bathrobes for lunch but street attire is required for dinner. There's also a bar on the top
floor adjacent to an awesome observation deck (all of which we missed). Snacks were
available as well as bottled water, although the tap water in Iceland IS bottled water, at
least the kind we pay good money for.