Rest Day at the Blue Lagoon

photo_1I can’t remember when I first saw a picture of the Blue Lagoon, nor can I remember where. All I remember is thinking, “I *have* to go there some day.” Several years later that day is today.

One of the things that strikes me about Iceland is how empty and barren the landscape can appear. For miles and miles there’s nothing but forsaken landscape created through the violent upheavals of tectonic plates pushing against each other and the jagged black rocks hurled by volcanoes. You see all this within minutes of leaving the main area of Reykjavik. It doesn’t take much to find yourself surrounded by emptiness in this small island. The GPS told me that I was within minutes of arriving at Blue Lagoon. Aside from plumes of thick white smoke unfurling up to the sky, there was nothing but black rocks. I’ve grown used to this. Until you’re right on top of the final destination, you don’t see anything. A small nondescript sign directs you to turn off onto a small road. There’s nothing else. It’s not the States. In the States, we don’t like emptiness. We try to fill it up with chain restaurants, gas stations, rest stops, and anything else that we think might survive out there. In Iceland, there’s a lot of nothing. And I like it.

About a couple kilometers down the road, delicate blue pools of water appeared like a mirage against the harsh jagged black rocks. We were close. Last week I purchased the Experience Premium packages for my mom and myself because I wanted us to have a lovely relaxing day. The Experience Premium package was 98 Euros and comes with entrance fee, towel, bathrobe, slippers (you can keep), drink at the bar, volcanic scrub or mask, and a lunch buffet at the Lava Restaurant (there’s also a useless 5 Euros off any skincare product). Although it’s easy to visit for the Blue Lagoon far more cheaply (Packages and prices can be seen here), I wanted to splurge with my mom. She’s done so much for me from the moment I was born, so I wanted to treat her. One of the benefits of booking the tickets online is that you get to skip the lines when you arrive and go directly to be checked in. They give you a rubber bracelet to wear that locks and unlocks your locker and if you purchase something, the charges are added to the bracelet and you pay when you leave.

Iceland 015The Blue Lagoon is a huge oasis of warm water surrounded by black volcanic rocks. We’ve both been to many hot springs (natural and man-made), but we’ve never been to one as large as this. It was fantastic. Never once did we feel crowded. There were people, but there was so much space that it was quite easy to find your own little spot, especially if you went far out to the edges. The water is naturally heated by the geothermic activity. Different areas of the pool were of varying degrees of warmth. Certain sections were far warmer (which we loved!) because this was where the hot water was being discharged.

Iceland 009After soaking  for about an hour plus a visit to the steam room, we got our lunch at Lava Restaurant. The lunch buffet was an array of sushi and sashimi, roast lamb and turkey, and various prepared vegetables (roast potatoes and sweet potatoes, thinly sliced beets, cauliflower, salad, etc). There were also a nice lemon mousse and carrot cake for dessert. We at our fill. I had fun eating in a restaurant in my bathrobe. It felt rather decadent. I commented to my mom, “I feel like Hugh Hefner walking around like this.”

 

Iceland 007

Iceland 022After lunch, we went back to the lagoon for more soaking. Then we decided to get our drinks and our volcanic scrubs at the bar. The bar is right in the water. It’s fantastic. You can get drinks while soaking in the hot water. I got a strawberry sparkling wine and my mom got a green smoothie. The lady recommended that we get one mask and one scrub and share because each piece is enough for two people. The volcanic treatments looked like two lumps of rock (one black and one white). You soak the “rocks” in water and then start rubbing it on your face and body. I don’t know what’s in those rocks, but they started to feel really cold as they “melted.” The black one goes on black and you let it dry on your face for a few minutes. As it dries, it turns white.

Iceland 021

Iceland 020

Iceland 026When the face mask turned all white, I turned to my mom and said, “Fantastic! I’ve always wanted to be a White person.”* As we waited for our masks to dry, we finished our drinks. Then a lady working at the Blue Lagoon approached us and asked if we wanted a free photo taken of us and sent to us by email.

Um, yes.

She took two great photos of us (I posted one – it’s the first photo) and sent it immediately to us. I couldn’t believe that the Blue Lagoon offered us free photos like that. In the States, we could have been nickled and dimed for these things. We love the service at Blue Lagoon.

We spent several hours relaxing and enjoying ourselves there. The water is sooo restorative that it didn’t feel boring at all to be lounging and doing nothing. In the morning I wasn’t sure how long we would be there because I thought perhaps I’d get bored after a couple hours. Instead I was happy to sit and do nothing for the entire day.

Although the package is a bit pricey (I regret nothing), it’s perfectly possible to visit the Blue Lagoon for far less. Adults can get in for 40 Euros in the summer. They’ll charge for extras, such as towels, but you can bring your own. There’s no need to bring slippers because the outdoor floors are covered in a rubber mat that prevent the floor from being too cold to your feet. Many people bring slippers anyway. But except for visiting the restaurant, I didn’t find a need for them. Although the thick white bathrobe is nice, again, not necessary. The meal at the restaurant was good, but not a must. Next time, I would show up right after I ate a big lunch at home and then soak in the water all afternoon til the early evening. I do highly recommend that you bring a bottle of water with you and keep it in your locker. I was thirsty when I left!

The packages come with a 5 Euros off any skin care product in their gift shop. The skin care products cost so much that I called the 5 Euros off useless because I knew I wouldn’t be using them.

If you visit Reykjavik, I definitely say that Blue Lagoon is a must visit on your travel itinerary. There are several ways to get here. Special buses run between Reykjavik, Blue Lagoon, and KEF (airport) to handle the tourist crowd. If you have some number of hours at KEF, it’s possible to visit the Blue Lagoon.

Blue Lagoon

Grindavík 240
Reykjavik, Iceland
Open every day including holidays
Adults Summer: 40 Euros (cheaper in winter)

*Not really

 

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Rest Day at the Blue Lagoon

  1. I would very much have enjoyed helping your mom with the Sushi. 🙂 The Blue Lagoon is much more picturesque compared to the dead sea. Looks great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s