In To The Blue

And so, to the last port of call, in Iceland, for us.  We had circled the country, admired much hot mud and ice and now it was to time to unwind.

Blue Lagoon-01

The Blue Lagoon is possibly the ultimate destination for anyone visiting Iceland (everyone tells you so – it must be so); who knew industrial effluent would prove so popular?

Svartsengi Power Sation

Svartsengi Power Sation

High up on the bucket list I don’t really have, bathing in a geothermal pool in Iceland (preferably during snowfall) was something I felt I must do at one point in my life.  I had heard of its healing properties, and being someone who has had one form of Psoriasis, or another, since early childhood, I was hopeful that it would do wonders for my skin.

We couldn’t have had more glorious weather – no snow for me, then!

Glorious blues

See? – Glorious blues

What began as a power plant to supply energy to the NATO base at Keflavik in 1970s, The Blue Lagoon is now, undoubtedly, a bit of a tourist trap.  It was initially intended that the mineral rich waters would seep away into the surrounding rocks. However, due to the high silica content of this geothermally heated ground water, the rocks were coated with this white mineral (aka silica mud), forming smooth surface, which eventually sealed up all the gaps and cracks between the rocks.  A dam, therefore, naturally formed and during the 1980s people started sneaking into the power station’s property to have a dip in the hot waters.  The resort-style complex (that plays host to the coach-loads of tourists that descend daily) was only built in 1999.

Blue Lagoon complex

Changing rooms for day visitors to the Blue Lagoon

Overview of the Blue Lagoon

Overview of the Blue Lagoon

Most tourists are day trippers, bussed in from Reykjavik.  My sister and I sought a slightly different option.  We booked in to the Blue Lagoon Clinic – a five minute stroll from the main complex.

Blue Lagoon Clinic

Blue Lagoon Clinic sits nestled in front of the power plant

At the outset it seems like an expensive choice, which we tried to counter by having settled for extremely cheap accommodation in Reykjavik the previous evening (Thank you, Pavel and friends, for keeping us awake all night with loud banter right outside our bedroom window – you will never be forgotten).

View from the room

View from the room – just lava (no sign of Pavel – phew!)

Included in the Blue Lagoon Clinic’s rate was not only the usual bed & breakfast deal, but vouchers for the entrance to the main pool – worth €30 per person.  In addition to getting “free” entrance to the lagoon, we could use the clinic’s own smaller blue lagoon outside treatment therapy hours.  You can bet your bottom dollar that we made the absolute most of every opportunity to be in that water.  It was our last stop-over on our epic tour of Iceland and here we could relax and let all the wonderful experiences sink in, whilst we floated and bobbed about in thermal tranquillity.

knobbly knees

Who’s knobbly knees are they? (Not your typical advertising brochure pic)

The clinic's blue pool

Tranquility at the clinic’s blue pool

Floating under lead skies

Floating under lead skies

You don’t get inner tubes and noodles (aka floatation devices) at the big lagoon, by the way…

The face mask seen here is that silica mud I was telling you about earlier.  It is available in buckets around the edges of the pools.  Up close, it looks like this:

Silica mud

Silica mud (normally there is a ladle provided)

The idea is to smear it all over parts of your face and body (and head if needs be), let it dry whilst you relax and then wash it all off.  There is quite a lot of this mud on the floor of the pool (especially at the clinic) and so digging your toes into sloughed off mud is both a squidgy delight, and a little discomforting at the same time… all that sloughed off skin…..Erm. (I’m not being unduly insensitive here, I have Psoriasis myself, I know what I’m talking about!)

My guide book (Bradt), which I bought after booking into the clinic, says that foreign guests must have a referral form completed by their dermatologist in order to be accepted as a patient.  We, somehow, managed to just book our accommodation online, without any medical practitioner being involved.  Just so you know 🙂  – it really is worth it.

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A wonderful end to an epic holiday, I’d like to thank my “wee sis” for making it so cool 🙂

(Psst….Where to next time?)

Want more Iceland? Here’s a link to view all of my previous posts, in case you missed them 😉

26 thoughts on “In To The Blue

  1. I have this urge to visit Iceland. This post confirms my desire. I love this post and my psoriasis could definitely do with medicinal silica mud gunk. Hooray for hot springs and geothermal energy. I wish coal powerplants, nuclear powerplants, and oil fields had such amazing byproducts. Why isn’t geothermal energy everyhwere??

    1. Ah, if only coal dust could be so good (cough, cough… hack, cough)
      It really is worth the trip, if not to abate your Psoriasis, but you get asked for ID when you get back home because somehow years are washed off here…
      It’s great. I want to go back right now and bathe in the elixir of life 😉
      Thanks for the visit!

    1. Do you know, I did not notice whether there were, or not now that you ask! There were people from all over the world visiting, not just the Blue Lagoon – but all over Iceland. I can’t imagine black foreign tourists NOT being there, or not wanting to go…

    1. I’ve heard of Pamukkale, but I’ve never been – at least it is a natural environment, as opposed to Blue Lagoon being a product of industry!
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment 🙂

    1. It worked out really well – after all the driving we did, it was nice to relax and appreciate everything before having to travel back home – and back to reality!
      Thanks for visiting 🙂

  2. Hi Nic. I’m an Icelander who would like to share your blogs on my Iceland travel blog. I would hope you ok with that.

    1. Hi Kristjan – sorry it has taken me so long to respond. Feel free to share whatever – it would be a privilege 🙂
      (Not sure who Nic is, by the way…!)
      Cheers, Lu

    1. Yeah, I can’t quite imagine it being as wonderful in the cold and rain – although I had big dreams of being there in the falling snow! I think we were very lucky with the blue skies.
      The prices weren’t as horrendous as I expected (perhaps my expectations were overly ridiculous!?) Mind you, that being said, I felt their products were overpriced.

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