Friday, April 10, 2009

Bláa Lónið and Friendship Bridge.

When we were preparing to go to Iceland, a person who had lived there before told us not to do all the tourist attractions in our first year. “Space it out", he said. So we were postponing and postponing our trip to the Blue Lagoon, the ultimate tourist’s destination in Iceland. With two months left and five holidays upon us, it finally happened – we went there.

My first impression upon entering the building was, “Neat, it isn’t very crowded.” Then I found out that they had the coolest magnetic bracelets that close and open the lockers. Then I discovered that if I wanted to ask questions I had better address nude people - they knew what they were doing. Those who had their swimming suits on in the shower tended to be foreigners and were as clueless as me.

What can I say about the Blue Lagoon itself? It is much smaller than films or photos lead you to believe, but since we knew to scale down our expectations it didn’t catch us off guard. The bottom of the lagoon and its shore felt slightly slimy. Hmm, this word has a strong negative connotation; how about slick? Oh, better yet – slimy and slick? In short, you had to watch your steps in order not to slip.

Water was pleasantly warm 40° C (104° F) and murky white. It awoke the very odd impression of swimming in milk soup. It also reminded me of a folklore tale where an old king, desperate to become younger, jumped into a pot of boiled milk. It was the end of him. His protagonist did the same and became astonishly handsome. I kept my fingers crossed that the much talked about healing ingredients of Blue Lagoon didn’t act in such a treacherous manner. According to the Blue Lagoon's site, its geothermal seawater is quite magical. It contains revitalizing minerals, anti-aging algae, and silica that exfoliates and deeply cleanses. So, bathing in these murky waters regularly may have a lot of benefits. Of course, since it is mostly tourists who bathe there and they tend to do it only once during their tour, these benefits can be hard to prove.

There were boxes of mud along the shore, which you are supposed to put on your face and other bits of flesh that you want to rejuvenate. I covered only my face; my male companions (my husband and sons) eyed me suspiciously, partially expecting me to turn into a lizard right there on the spot. Instead I just blended into the ghostly white-faced crowd. I am not sure if the mask did anything to my skin, but it didn’t do any harm, which is a plus.

There wasn’t much to do in the lagoon, except to vegetate in the water. You can go for massages, but with kids in tow it wasn’t meant to happen. After about forty minutes we got bored and left. We didn’t feel much younger, but certainly reenergized and hungry.

Here, specially for my friend who wanted to see photos of my boys. Howdy W.

We proceeded to go to Reykjanestá and later towards the Friendship Bridge. I like Reykjanestá because it has a great view of the sea, a lighthouse and nice places to have a picnic. Going up towards the lighthouse or having a picnic was out of the question because of the terrible wind, so we just drove to the edge of the cliffs and enjoyed their raw beauty.

Friendship Bridge, or "A Bridge between Two Continents" as its name suggests, is the bridge between the European and North American tectonic plates. It was highly amusing to run from one side of it to the other and pretend that you popped to N. America.

And that was the last stop of our journey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your post regarding Iceland and the Blue Lagoon. When folks ask me about the most surprising part of my trip I have to stifle my initial thought(the enormous amount of nudity in the locker room at the Blue Lagoon!) lest I cheapen all of the amazing natural attractions that make Iceland so special. Thank you for sharing.