THIS POST IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN SWEDISH.
You only celebrate your 40th birthday once, right. At least in this lifetime, in this here & now. So I decided to spoil myself rotten. I’d spend the day on Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s main attractions. Number 1 actually, if you’re to believe their own website.
Blue Lagoon is located in Grindavik, somewhere between the international airport in Keflavik and the capital Reykjavik. It’s very popular to make a stop here before your flight back home (or after you’ve arrived). There’s a very convenient storage facility, so you don’t need to return to your hotel just to pick up your bags, thus you can go straight to the airport.
So what’s Blue Lagoon? Isn’t it a movie from the 80’s?
Yes, it’s a movie from the 80’s, one of my childhood favourite’s actually. Recorded on an island in the kingdom of Fiji, where I actually got to visit as an adult. Not that particular island, because that one was (is?) owned by a German homophobic man, who didn’t let just anyone set foot on his island, but I did get to visit one of the neighbouring islands, so I got to experience the beauty anyway.
But, Blue Lagoon on Iceland is something completely different. Here you can read about the facility and/or look at pictures from their own website, if you like – if not, here’s a short story by me.
Short & Simple
1976: Blue Lagoon was formed/developed, completely by accident, more or less, while they were constructing the energy station Svartsengi. People started to swim in the warm water around the station and positive effects on the skin was discovered. Psoriasis patients noticed how their problems got increasingly better.
1987: the first public bath opened and after that things have just kept growing. Blue Lagoon – as a brand – is very innovative in regards to using nature’s own ingredients in their products, and today there is even a large spa in the bathing area. Blue Lagoon boutiques have popped up here and there in the country.
A small part of the spa.
The water in the Blue Lagoon is rich in sulphur dioxide and silicon and smells a bit rotten, but its said to have magical powers and your skin really feels soft and smooth afterwards. The mud on the bottom of the lake is apparantly super great as a facial mask; I was offered to choose one of those or a lava mask as a free gift in my Exclusive Lounge package, but I chose to resist – the panic attack from last year fresh in mind. The turquoise colour of the water is completely natural and comes from the more than 200 different micro organisms living in the water. You are never alone…
Walking around in the water you can feel the difference in temperature in the different locations, some areas are even closed off because the water is too hot. There is a description on Wikipedia how the water gets pumped up from a depth of 2 km (if you’re interested of a more technical description).
My Blue Lagoon experience
While it was my 40th birthday I had booked an Exclusive Lounge package, which meant I got my very own dressing room, and of course my very own shower and some other stuff. Robe, slippers, towel. Usually you can rent these, if you don’t bring your own, and that will set you back a few Icelandic crowns. Showering together with a bunch of annoying tourists wasn’t really that appealing to my inner hermit, so this alternative was seriously great. For me. Besides in the end the difference of money wasn’t that big anyway, now at least I didn’t have to rent anything.
And what wouldn’t I pay to get some alone time!?
Upon arrival it was pretty messy and I didn’t quite understand which queue I was supposed to stand in. I asked some staff, but they seemed to misunderstand me (as usual – I need to work on how I express myself apparantly!) and thought I wanted to buy an Exlusive Lounge ticket, and pointed out the longer queue for me.
After having stood there, squirming, for a while I realised it wasn’t very likely I had to stand in this queue when I’d already booked the Lounge. If that was the case, then what was the point in booking “exclusively” in advance? I managed to get ahead in the queue by walking past everybody on the side and I asked someone new – specifying I had already booked. I was then told to sit down for a minute, and wait for my personal assistant Brandon.
I had to wait approximately 5 minutes and then Brandon came and picked me up, guided me through all details, the lounge and to my dressing room. For a whole 3 hours the dressing room was all mine and I got a bracelet to open the doors around the Exclusive Lounge, including the one to my dressing room, and the door to enter the public bathing area. The bracelet could also be used as “payment” in case I wanted to buy some drinks in the bar outside.
Me in my dressing room.
All showered and ready I directed my steps to my Exclusive Lounge. Here you could find fresh fruits, chocolate, water in abundance, coffee and tea (which of course didn’t attract me, but still nice for those who drink either coffee or tea, which is quite a lot of people in this world, if I understand it correctly). I also got one drink from the bar for free, which my personal servant Brandon picked up for me. Of course I wanted something healthy and tasty like a Smoothie.
When I entered the public area of Blue Lagoon I realised I had made the completely right decision to go for the Exclusive Lounge package. Too much people for my taste who splashed around, sharing each other’s space. Luckily Blue Lagoon is really huge, so there’s enough space for plenty of people. At times it felt a bit crowded, a lot of teenagers bouncing around, but then all I had to do was find another spot, a more deserted spot. And that wasn’t hard at all.
I bathed and enjoyed myself completely. It’s an indescribable feeling bathing in hot water, while it’s so cold and icey above the surface. An amazing mix. I don’t think I would appreciate it as much had it been 30 degrees and sunshine outside, though, but I’ll have to try that one too. Next time.
I paused for a while, lounging around in the lounge, sipping on my Smoothie, and had some chocolate and fruit. Very luxurious.
Lunch at the Lava Restaurant was also included in my Exclusive package – an amazing lunch too (picture above). Incredibly tasty. You were allowed to walk to the restaurant in your robe – during lunch hours – but I chose to get dressed before I entered. I felt kind of white trashy running around the complex in my robe, and that’s not a feeling I usually strive for.
I felt a sadness leaving my dressing room. Blue Lagoon was an experience well worthy of my birthday, and an experience I want to relive during my next visit to Iceland too.
Do-s and don’t-s in Blue Lagoon…
You have to shower and wash yourself thoroughly before you jump into the water. That means you have to shower and wash yourself without your bathing suit – which means naked.
You should not get your hair wet, because the silicon completely messes with your hair. Put a lot of conditioner in your hair and keep your head above the water surface at all times.
You should try a facial mask, of course. They are free, and all free stuff is good stuff, right? It’s also supposed to be great for your skin, so go for it.
ENJOY, RELAX, ENJOY!