Posted by: yachtcrewsing | November 17, 2011

Iceland: The Blue Lagoon and Heading South

After our 6 a.m. arrival at Keflavik Airport we discovered our fist fact about Iceland- nothing seems to open until it is light out. In November, the sun begins to rise at around 10 a.m. This makes me wonder about general operations in the summer months when the country is aglow with 22 hours of sunlight…

After a prolonged breakfast at a hotel (read: places adhering to international standards of temporal normalcy), we headed out of the town centre and were immediately immersed in the lunar-esque landscape of Iceland. After a mere dozen or so kilometers on our way to the Blue Lagoon, we came across a majestic lighthouse perched on top of a hill, with cliffs below on one side and a pasture of grazing horses on the other. Taking a small off road track, we arrived at the cliff side in order to witness waves crashing on the jagged rocks below with the sun rising in the background. Farther down this same road, the landscape appeared to be boiling; large clouds of fine steam arose from specific points in the ground where it was rapidly transported by the cold, ever prevalent Icelandic coastal winds. These geysers were an incredible sight to behold, especially when enflamed by the pinks and reds of the spectacular sunrise.

The Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most famed geothermal spas, provided the ideal post-flight relaxation. I was shocked to discover how immense the natural pool was and how well established the sight was as a whole. The stunningly designed building surrounding the lagoon hosted a boutique with face and body products (with buzz words such as ‘lava’ and ‘mineral’ justifying astronomical prices), a café, a gourmet restaurant and a lounge and change rooms.

After paying our €48, we were given a luxurious bathrobe, a magnetic bracelet that could be used to purchase drinks or food, and two wristbands: one for a drink at the small bar in the lagoon and the other for a mud face mask.

The whole experience at the Blue Lagoon was fantastic. The water was a beautifully warm temperature (and in some places even too hot), and the lagoon was punctuated by bridges spanning over sections of the water, small caves in which to relax and saunas and steam rooms on the periphery. With the beautiful backdrop of mountains encasing the coves, the setting and atmosphere could not have been a more perfect introduction to the understated natural luxury of Iceland.

After an afternoon spent at the Blue Lagoon, we undertook the 3 hour drive east along the coast. The landscape, as I can only impress so many times before it reaches tedium for the reader, was incredible and ever changing along this coastal route. It is a place you really must experience to understand the nature of Iceland’s desolate, ethereal splendor.

Our first night was spent at the beautiful Hotel Anna countryside inn. The place, although devoid of guests external to ourselves, was cozy and friendly. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, the location was nothing short of breathtaking. The cold mountain air acted to make the natural warmth of the small hotel and the incredible dinner they prepared all the more incredible. All in the first day, we had discovered a place full of unexpected surprises and charm.


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