The Blue Lagoon. I am not a very "warm" person - I don't enjoy saunas, sunbathing is out of the question, I don't think I'd enjoy a hot tub too much and I have been known to take one of those frozen blocks used to keep picnics cool to bed with me in the summer months as a sort of "anti" hot water bottle. So why would I be even remotely interested in sitting in a geothermal pool? Well, why the heck not?! With a cave, a "waterfall", boxes full of skin-nourishing silica mud dotted around the pool AND a bar right there in the lagoon, why would I not want to visit?! Oh and did I mention the view? If you can see anything through the clouds of steam, you can see snowy peaks in the distance. It's a pretty special place!
The drive from Reykjavik took about 40 minutes using the same road that took us from Keflavik airport to the capital and then turned off to another (well paved) road and headed towards plumes of steam in the distance. The road was surrounded by lava fields which had a moon-like quality to it.
As we neared the Blue Lagoon I realised that sadly the steam we saw from the distance was not actually the Blue Lagoon but the Svartsengi power station which is where the water that fills the Blue Lagoon actually comes from! How wonderful is it that the by-product of a place that powers the country is a lagoon that we can all enjoy?!
Get your ticket at the ready then head to the counter where you are given an electronic wristband that lets you through the turnstile but also acts as a key to your locker in the changing room and can be used to buy drinks from the bar in the lagoon.
I went through to the changing room and being British and all that was quite surprised that although there were quite a few changing areas, there were not that many changing areas with doors - one per changing area. As everyone else was in the nuddy I decided to embrace the nordic way of doing things and just stripped off and changed into my swimming gear.
Once changed you have to take a shower before entering the lagoon. There are open showers, there are showers with partitions and there are showers with doors. I figured that I'd got this far with the nekkid bits (and to be honest, no one else in the shower room seemed to give a toss!) so just went to the first space available and had a shower. This is a key bit - there was a body wash and conditioner. The body wash I understood but not sure why you would want to condition your hair if you've not washed it. Ladies (and possibly some gents) - the water in the lagoon has so many minerals in it that it can make your hair go crazy. Don't overlook the conditioner, embrace it. Slather it on.
Shower done, I was all ready to get in the lagoon! Mr Jones and I dropped our towels and flip flops off at the side of the pool and then headed down the ramp into the warm water. It was like nothing I've ever done before - kind of like walking into a giant bath! I was concerned about it being too hot for me but the temperature was perfect. If you take a stroll (is that what you do when mostly submerged? A stroll? A wade? A paddle?) around the lagoon you will find pockets of really hot water.
Dotted around the lagoon on the walls there are wooden troughs of silica mud - grab a handful, daub your face and upper body with it, give it a rub (it's a bit gritty so great for exfoliating!) and then when it's almost dried massage it around and then rinse. Be careful getting it around your eyes though - you do not want salty gritty stuff near your eyes!
One of my favourite things in the Blue Lagoon was the waterfall - there was an alcove with a sheet of water falling across it and we could see people just standing underneath. Once I got under there I could see the appeal. The water dropped with so much force that standing under it felt like I was getting a fairly good massage!
After being pummled by water for a second time we gave the sauna a try. I said before that I am not a fan of anything hot but gave it a try and to be honest, it wasn't too bad! The dry heat made me start to sweat but it wasn't too unpleasant. The steam bath next door was a little too much for me though and I really enjoyed darting through the cold mist of water just outside the steam room!
Just before we were going to leave the lagoon I noticed that some of the staff were by the edge of the pool taking pictures. It's completely free - they take your pic while you're wallowing in the warm water and then send it to your email account!
We headed back to the changing rooms to rinse off the mineral packed water of the lagoon and met back in the reception area. We headed back towards the car park but noticed that people were walking down a path just to the side of the reception…
Look at the pools! I love the colours - the blue sky reflected in the water, the white of the minerals that have built up on the rocks and the algae.
With my skin feeling soft and my body relaxed it was time to head back to the capital for some exploring and shopping…
Day 1: Arriving in Iceland
Day 2: The Golden Circle
Day 3 (pt 2): Exploring Reykjavik