Friday, June 22, 2012

Best Layover Ever: The Blue Lagoon

The whole landscape is made of lichen-encrusted lava
I just came across a CNN Travel article, 14 Airport Amenities That Will Make You Long for a Layover. CNN lists airports that provide museum, music, golf and yoga experiences; and machines that pump out ice cream treats or downloadable movies to order. However, in my opinion, they missed the best and most amazing layover experience ever: The Blue Lagoon, located in a lava field in Grindavik, Iceland. You'll find it listed in the book, Unforgettable Things to Do Before You Die, by Steve Watkins. It is, indeed, one of the coolest and most unforgettable things I've ever done!

The airport and the tourist people in Iceland carefully coordinate bus rides from the airport in Keflavik; you have a short, 13 km. ride through a stark and stunningly different landscape to the geothermal spa; you are guaranteed a space on the bus to get back to your connecting flight on time. We left Paris early in the morning, and had plenty of time to play in the lagoon before continuing on to Boston later in the afternoon. The bus ride back to the airport from the lagoon was very silent, as we all had been soaking in nice hot mineral-laden water, and were too relaxed to even talk.

This was our first glimpse of the spa building, which houses changing rooms, showers, lockers, and a restaurant overlooking the lagoon

From the Wikipedia article on the lagoon:

The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases such as psoriasis.[1] The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F). The Blue Lagoon also operates a Research and Development facility to help find cures for other skin ailments using the mineral-rich water.

The lagoon is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every 2 days. Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal hot water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.
The water is a milky, glacial-looking blue

You can see a live web-cam view of the lagoon:

A million thanks to my son, Ben, for encouraging us to schedule the layover in Iceland, and for treating us to this amazing, life-changing experience.


Sylvia K said...

What a beautiful place, Clariz! The water is such an incredible color! I t does sound as though you're having a wonderful trip and I'm so happy for you!!


Jean (aka Auntie Bucksnort) said...

I can feel the calmness just from looking at your photographs.

Sallie ( said...

Fabulous! What a great stopover, just an amazing place. Sounds like Iceland would be worth a trip in itself maybe.