Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Blue Lagoon

I'm not really one for communal soaking but you can’t really come to Iceland and not go to the Blue Lagoon, it’s just not done. And unlike the tubs at the spa at the Hilton which I visited last night, this promised to be spacious and interesting (as opposed to awkward and an invasion of personal space [sat in a tub with four other ladies in a nicely designed room which contained three other tubs which were also packed; sitting in what was at best a six-person hot-tub with strangers isn’t really my cup of tea. To be fair though, there were two nice, young therapists giving in-tub neck massages - from outside the tub- and getting a neck massage while soaking is a wonderful thing, regardless of others soaking next to you]). So the Blue Lagoon is a must, and I was definitely looking forward to the excursion.

The Blue Lagoon is located out in the middle of nowhere (most things in Iceland are out in the middle of nowhere) and close to the airport, so it was easy to book an excursion there and then a transfer on to the airport for my flight home.

And now it’s time to acknowledge that it might have been a little crazy for someone who gets cold as easily as I do to come to Iceland in November. But it also needs to be said that me and my warm blood were doing just fine on this trip. I wore either jeans with long underwear or my ski pants, my usual three layers on top, my winter coat, a scarf, hat, fleecy boots, and a double layer of mittens for walking around in, and I was just fine (as opposed to roasting like a bacon-wrapped hot dog like a normal person might if wearing all that). However, I was a little nervous about the few steps I was going to have to take IN MY SWIM SUIT to get from the spa dressing room to the lagoon itself. I wasn’t actually sure that I would survive. Look, there was frikkin snow on the ground and I walked outside, barefoot and nearly naked… probably ten steps
before sinking down into the water. It might have been the single most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done, but it was totally worth it. It was an overcast day which added to the ambiance – the clouds were really low and the steam coming off the water swirled around the pool surface. The lagoon water is saline, ranges from about 98-102° F, and is rich with silica (hence the murkiness). There are hot spots/currents running though the lagoon so you can experience different temperatures by paddling around the pool, and the best part of the whole thing is being outside. Mostly undressed. In winter. Yes, I just said that. And then it was on to the airport, an uneventful flight back to Seattle, and a day of doing nothing at home today before heading back to the office tomorrow. I’m really glad I trusted my instincts and decided that going to Iceland for only four days in winter was not actually a crazy idea.