I MUST CONFESS, I WAS COMPLETELY SUCKED IN BY THE POWER OF VIRAL MARKETING AFTER THAT FAB VIDEO CLIP “INSPIRED BY ICELAND” WAS SENT AROUND THE WEB. YOU KNOW THE ONE WITH THE FUNKY TUNE WITH EVERYONE DANCING AND CLEARLY HAVING A FABULOUS OLD TIME, ALL OVER DIFFERENT PARTS OF ICELAND. ANYWAY, IT WAS ENOUGH OF A HOOK TO GET MY SUITCASE PACKED – BEANIE, SCARF AND ALL – TO WING MY WAY ACROSS THE OCEANS TO FIND OUT WHAT ALL THE EXCITEMENT WAS ABOUT. OH, AND ANY EXCUSE TO SPEND A DAY LUSHING ABOUT AT THE FAMOUS BLUE LAGOON GEOTHERMAL SPA!
WORDS BY SAMANTHA SAMPLE, BE NATURALLYOU
Upon stepping off the bus, Shaun and I pinch each other at the realization that we’re actually here in Iceland about to have our day lounging about in pristine nature. Words could never truly explain just how beautiful the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is. Imagine a 5000 m2 bathing lagoon that holds six million litres of geothermal seawater, in what seems like the middle of nowhere, surrounded by snow tipped mountains and brilliant blue skies.
The eager beaver that I am, we have our treatments and dinner reservations pre-booked, which I strongly recommend, as it is one popular destination! Our treatments aren’t for a couple of hours, but we thought best to arrive early to give enough time to swim about in the lagoon. Checking in we receive a bracelet that acts as a key to our personal lockers, as well as a means to charge drinks during the stay. Very clever!
Boys and girls are separated in to different change rooms, so we say our quick goodbyes to change in to our swimmers. All it takes is one step out of the changing rooms and I am quickly reminded where I am. It’s 3°C and having only my teeny tiny bikini to keep me warm throughout the twenty paces it takes to reach the warm water, I now realize what the big fluffy white warm bathrobe that was given to me at the check-in is for. An easy mistake for a first timer. But its all forgotten the second I am submerged in the 37-39°C healing waters of the Blue Lagoon. It’s another of those “pinch myself moments” as I wade my way through the water taking in the beauty that surrounds.
A few little facts that you may find interesting: The Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater is part of an ecocycle where nature and science work in harmony. The seawater originates 2000 metres beneath the ground where it is heated by the earth’s natural forces. The geothermal seawater comes into contact with cooling magmatice intrusions and captures the earth’s minerals, resulting in this unique natural source known for its healing properties. This active water, known for its positive effects on the skin, is brought up, and in to the lagoon for people to enjoy bathing in it, and is renewed every 40 hours. Regular sampling shows that “common” bacteria do not thrive in this ecosystem, thus additional cleansers such as chlorine are not needed. Good to know!
After lolling about and swimming to all corners of the lagoon with moments of relaxation and floatation, we find the silica mud mask that is provided in boxes on the water’s edge, paint our faces white, and swim back to our quiet secluded corner. Whilst I imagine it could be particularly busy during the summer months, we struck it lucky, as the lagoon is so big that although there’s still a lot of people here, its not intrusive in the slightest.
Catching a quick look at the clock we swim to the privately zoned treatments area for an In-Water Silica Salt Glow and Massage. Starting out on a soft thin floating mattress-like bed atop a platform on the water, the therapist scrubs my body, neck to toe, with a silica exfoliant that leaves my skin feeling baby soft. Following the scrub, my therapist slowly and oh so gently slides me off the platform and into the water on top of the soft floating mattress-like bed. Then she massages my body while towing me around the water. The combination of a fabulous deep massage focusing on the bits that always manage to retain stress (shoulders and upper back) whilst floating in water is like nothing I have ever experienced. The only thing that comes to mind is that this is what it must feel like in the womb. Absolutely heavenly to say the least!! And one experience that has officially reached my number one spot of “favourites”. I turn to Shaun and can tell that he is equally as impressed.
Not wanting to lose this zen state of mind, we swim back to the communal area and loll about in the lagoon for a little longer to soak up the scenic beauty, with a pit stop at the bar for a glass of champagne. Ok, so it’s not the finest of champagnes, but who says you can’t pretend, and indulge in a little fantasy! A sparkling wine in a plastic cup can soon magic itself in to whatever you’d like it to be with a little imagination.
As day turns in to night it’s time to leave the warm waters so we make a quick dash for the changing rooms to spruce up for dinner. Girls, you won’t be disappointed … the changing rooms are decked out with everything you need to freshen up.
Lava Restaurant at Blue Lagoon is well worth the reservation. Truly unique, the restaurant is built into the cliff with a view overlooking the lagoon. We both choose the seriously delicious Spinach Lasagne wrapped in zucchini and aubergine with flavors of chill, cumin and pickled cucumber, and a mixed green salad, whilst gazing out over the colors of the night sky and luminosity of the water we’ve been soaking in all day. What a lovely end to a truly memorable day!
Can’t wait to return to Iceland for a week-long kayak adventure in the warmer months, as a weekend was simply not long enough to explore and enjoy all the natural beauty that this country glows with.
Where we stayed:
Highly recommend the fab art deco Hotel Borg.
Fab vegan/vegetarian places where we ate:
Ecstasy’s Heart Garden, Klapparstigur 37, Reykjavik
A Naestu Grosum, Laugavegur 20b, Simi, Reykjavik
Being a vegan in Iceland can be a bit of a challenge if you haven’t done your homework, as most menus have minke whale, puffin, deer, sheep’s head and every other animal imaginable. We did, however, stumble across a restaurant that I can’t remember the name of, sorry!!, but it had the most heavenly organic barley risotto with wild mushrooms and Icelandic herbs.
One thing I was particularly impressed about is how easy it is to get around and do things in Iceland. The tourism people clearly have it all sorted, so no matter what you want to do, see or visit, it’s a simple can-do approach, with no stress or drama.