We spent our last afternoon in Iceland at the famed Blue Lagoon, the most popular tourist attraction in the country, and billed as one of the 25 wonders of the world. Our guide had instructed us beforehand that Icelandic laws dictate that everyone must shower before entering the milky blue water, the color formed from silica and sulfur. The water is thought to be therapeutic, especially for those with skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Wikipedia says: The lagoon is a man-made lagoon which is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every two days. Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.
A few ladies in our group (including me) were thinking we would shower with our bathing suits on, thinking that there would be no privacy. However, we were happy to find individual showers when we arrived, and large towels! (I was afraid we would be given those skimpy dish towels like you get in Japan at the hot springs; luckily we were given nice, large towels.)
Truth be told, I confess that I do not own a bathing suit, but I did have a pair of shorts with me. One of the ladies suggested that I just wear a sport bra for a top, which is what I did!
You receive a special bracelet which has a computer chip in it which gains you entrance into the facility, opens and closes your locker, and even keeps a running tab of your expenses.
The water is about 100 deg. Fahrenheit, and it was immediately comfortable. It was like going into a gigantic bathtub! You can stand on the bottom with no problem; I do not know if there is any part deeper than any other, but it seemed to me about four and a half feet deep throughout. Oh, it was absolutely heavenly! And when I got out, my body seemed heavier than usual, but I think it was because it was so relaxed. Everyone should put the Blue Lagoon on their bucket list; it was that fantastic.
Our farewell dinner was at the Restaurant Reykjavik, and the menu began with smoked salmon salad, main course was roasted lamb with baby potatoes, and dessert was white chocolate brownie with lingonberries. It was all so delicious, and the best part was that I got to sit next to Gunnar, our guide. I found out that his degree was in geography, and in fact he was responsible for all those city maps of Reykjavik that you see everywhere. Many of us bought his hardcover book, Highlights of Iceland, for which he did all the photography.He also told us that the tradition of choral music is very strong in Iceland, and that every town has a choir. There are altogether several hundred choirs in Iceland.
But he saved the best for last, and serenaded our group with Icelandic folk songs in which he sang and played the guitar. The final piece was the 70s song, “Leaving on a jet plane,” and members of the group joined in song. How appropriate and bittersweet this was for our last event. This has been my second GoAhead tour, and I would recommend it highly.
Tomorrow I fly to Paris via Oslo.