Geothermal Water

Trip Start Jul 14, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2012

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Flag of Iceland  ,
Sunday, July 22, 2012

We arrived early in Reykjavik, and we docked at the pier before we woke up. Our excursion today was meeting to leave at 10:45 a.m. so there was no reason to neither hurry nor get up early.  Breakfast to the room again: croissants, rolls, muffins, juice, coffee and tea.  Not an exciting start to the day, but tasty and easy.  It is nice to have it preordered the night before for delivery to the room. 

Reykjavik proper has a population of 115,000.  The entire country has only 300,000 people and over half of them live in this metro area.  The people we met today and other days in Iceland speak excellent English with very little accent; at least, the accent was more American sounding than British sounding.   

We went off on our shore excursion, Bathing in the Blue Lagoon and Panoramic of Reykjavik, right on time.   Since several busloads of guests were on the same excursion, they alternated when we would get to each stop.  Our bus toured the city first, with stops at a little house that is famous for who slept there:  Churchill slept there, Roosevelt slept there, Clinton slept there, and so on.  We could not go inside.  We stopped at The Pearl, which stands on five hot water storage tanks, has an observation deck, restaurant, museum, and gift shop on the fourth and fifth floors.   From a distance, the dome on it does look like a pearl sitting in the middle of the city skyline.  During the tour we drove past other sites that are famous in Iceland—the most famous being a church, Hallgrimakirkja, built by the state architect.   It is the tallest building in Iceland at 244 feet. 

Lastly, we drove out of town to the southwest to get to the Blue Lagoon, the highlight of the excursion.  We looked at the webcam for the Blue Lagoon before our trip so we thought we knew what to expect.  The webcam shows what looks to be a peaceful refuge from the world—gorgeous pale cerulean blue water surrounded by a stark lava landscape.  People were strolling around or lounging in the steamy water.  Although it must be cool outside there, no one seemed to be hurrying around or scrunching his or her bodies up to conserve heat.  We thought that perhaps the steam rising off the water was enough to keep the air warm, too.    

When we arrived at the lagoon, there were hundreds of other people in line to get in.  Since we had a tour, we did not have to wait in the longest line for tickets, but just a shorter line to get the arm bracelet.  That bracelet is used for admittance, but it also works the locks on the locker, and lets you charge snacks and drinks there, too.  

The lagoon is just as beautiful as expected.  However, since it is a Sunday, the place is very busy.  The weather is rainy with an expected high of 56 degrees. The bad weather and the crowds have taken away from the experience I was expecting.  Philip went off to explore other areas of the lagoon while I settled into a cozy spot on one of the built-in benches.  He returned with a scoop of silica goo that is good to rub on skin.  We applied it to our faces looking like clowns in whiteface and enjoyed the benefits of the natural product. The water is bathtub warm, and there are hot waterfalls that give a vigorous back massage.  However, there are people everywhere, and it is not as peaceful and relaxing as I had hoped so Philip and I did not stay in the water very long.  We returned to the dressing rooms (which were almost empty by then after having wall-to-wall bodies in there earlier) and got ready for the return trip to the ship.  We had time to snag a snack of a ham and cheese sandwich and sparkling water and still visit the gift shop.

I am glad we went to the Blue Lagoon even though we were there on such a busy and drizzly day.  It is one of those places that are on many people's bucket lists.  I thought it might be a place that we would want to return to, but now I think probably not.  Once was a nice experience.  Twice will be unnecessary.   
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