After a long day touring the Icelandic countryside, a dip in a geothermal pool sounded like a perfect way to rest my weather-beaten body. In 2012, the Blue Lagoon (not the 80’s movie) was named as one of National Geographic's “25 Wonders of the World." The lagoon used to be a reservoir of geothermal runoff from a nearby plant and is smack dab in the middle of an 800-year-old lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula.
Getting to visit the lagoon was a luxury more than anything else, as I was short on time and there were definitely more convenient and less touristy spas around Reykjavik, but the reviews I researched made the Blue Lagoon worth the stop. I don’t know what I expected but a scene from an upcoming sci-fi movie was not in the running, so please excuse me has my imagination takes off in recounting my visit.
A glowing white light guided me through a carved out pathway, surrounded by a rocky black lava field, toward a structure where a slew of young men and woman clad in unisex jump suits waited to greet me. They bid me to enter and supplied me with a tracking bracelet. I was then required to enter the showers, making sure to fully bathe before putting on a plain white robe and sandals. No filth was allowed to enter the mysterious pools that I had yet to see. After figuring out how to swipe my bracelet to secure my locker with all my possessions that I felt I might not see again, I stepped out of the showers and into 15 degree briskness. I quickly threw off my robe into a pile of other white robes; keeping track of your robe was next to impossible once you entered the maze-like lagoon, and it was too freaking cold to properly hang it up on the hooks that were provided around the outside of the pools. I just wanted to get into the water and warm my lower extremities.
And the water was definitely warm, at least 100 degrees if not warmer in various hot spots around the lagoon. In the dark with the eerie lights beaming through the fog and steam, and the power plant in the background, I swear I was no longer on Earth as I looked up at the clearest night sky I have ever seen. Many of the constellations that I grew up learning about were visible so I knew I wasn’t on another planet; however, heavily jacketed spa employees walked the bridges and pathways surrounding the various pools, not letting me get too cozy. At random intervals, they would shine a spotlight into darkened corners where couples tried to secretly nuzzle.
No copulation please!
Our electronic bracelets, or tracking devices, afforded us a free drink at the floating bar where our beverage of choice was handed to us by a jump-suited perfect-looking blond. Were they trying to butter us up for something nefarious? I looked around for a Bond villain but I didn’t see any bald heads stroking a Persian cat. I thought I did see one-time James Bond actor, George Lazenby floating around, but couldn’t be sure. After a beer and a free mud mask that couldn’t make me look any paler than I already was, I became comfortable in the warm waters not wanting to escape anytime soon, but alas, my time was limited at the Blue Lagoon; however, it was all exhilarating and memorable.
Don’t let my uniquely dark take on the Blue Lagoon turn you off on visiting, as it just opened up my imagination as a fiction writer, proof that sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction. The lagoon is something to experience for sure, even though it might be a tad touristy. I went in the winter with less crowds; I can only imagine what the high season is like. Reservations are encouraged and many different priced packages can be found at www.bluelagoon.com.