Our Iceland Adventure – Day 3

Day 3 was all about the Blue Lagoon, which is a must experience for anyone traveling to Iceland.  The lagoon is filled with geothermal water that gets it’s blue color from the silica and other minerals on it’s way to the surface.  Having read reviews that the pools get more crowded as the day goes on we decided to make our reservation for when they first opened and not knowing exactly where to go we arrived a bit earlier.  That turned out to be a good thing in a couple of ways.  The first was that we weren’t stressed before our big spa day and the second was that we misread the signs and ended up at the Blue Lagoon hotel rather than the lagoon itself.  The hotel is surrounded by this unique landscape of lava rock and moss.  Since we had a little extra time I explored the trail near the hotel briefly taking it in.

There were several signs directing guests to stay on the trail as the moss is very fragile and that no smoking was allowed because the moss is also very flammable.  I’m not sure what that is exactly, but I’m guessing it has to do with the sulfur in the area.  There was a distinct smell of sulfur in the air through out the valley where the lagoon is located, reminding you of the natural geological processes at work.

The hotel had a modern design that contrasted the uneven texture of the landscape.  It’s what I envisioned a colony on the moon looking like – if the moon had vegetation that is.

Across from the hotel is an area that is being developed to expand the lagoon and create private areas for hotel guests to enjoy.  The construction on this area will continue through 2018.

We got directions from the hotel staff and made our way down the road a bit further to the actual lagoon entrance.  This large sign off the parking lot marked the pathway to the lagoon so we knew we were in the right spot now.

At the end of a short trail through a canyon of lava rock was the spa.  While also modern in design it seemed to fit right into the landscape with complimentary colors and textures.

Inside we found the correct line for our reservation and had a little time to take in the facility.  Beyond the check in counters was a cafe and to the side of the registration area was a gift shop packed with all sorts of creams and masques.

Through the large windows behind the registration desk you could see the lagoon.  The sun was still rising over the nearby mountains and the steam floated over the water, giving it a magical feeling.

Since we were visiting in the fall the outside temps were quite chilly.  We arrived in coats and boots, but pared down to swimsuits to get in the lagoon.  The short distance from the locker rooms to the water was quite cold, but once you’re in the water you don’t even notice the outside temperature.  Most of the lagoon is about waist deep so we wandered about keeping our knees bent so we stayed under water from our shoulders down.  There are also several areas with built in benches which were a great spot to sit and relax as you soak in the experience.

Because the water is filled with silica and minerals the staff advise you to take breaks from the water and stay well hydrated.  After an hour or so we took a break in the guest lounge where we had a bird’s eye view of the lagoon and the expansion area beyond.  We had a light meal and relaxed a bit.

The break from the water gave me an opportunity to get a few more photos since we had both decided to leave our phones in our lockers and enjoy the experience as it happened rather than try the dry bags we saw many people using.  Everything for your reservation is loaded to a wrist band that you wear the whole day.  You just hold it up and the staff scan it to validate your selection.  It’s also connected to your credit card so you can pay for additional items without having to leave the water or carry payment.

There was this cool grotto created out of the natural lava rock to the side of the main deck.  It was a good spot to get out of the wind and was nearby the silica bar where guests can enjoy facial masques, which is the white stuff you see on several faces in these pictures.

To give you an idea of what the outside temps really were I had to get a shot of the lifeguards.  It was pretty funny to see them insulated from head to toe in winter attire while the rest of us bobbed in the water in swimsuits.  Beyond him you’ll notice the power plant that helps generate the geothermal water for the lagoon from underground.

The Hubs and I did explore the whole area of the lagoon, but found we liked this corner near the bar the best.  There were benches along the boardwalk around the rock formation where the life guards patrolled and the rock acted as a natural windbreak, keeping this area a bit warmer.  There were also spots to stretch out and lay back on the sloped entrance to the pool along the handrail you see to the right with a great view of the surrounding hills.

Our reservation included a drink of our choosing at the bar.  Since we’re not big alcohol drinkers and we didn’t want to add to the dehydrating qualities of the lagoon we both opted for the Skyr smoothies, which were so delicious I had several.  Later in the day the Hubs decided to try their version of a slushie which is called Krap.  We got a good giggle out of that!  I forgot to get a photo of the cups when I was out of the water but I did see them advertised with an added i at the gas station that evening when we left the lagoon.

I opted to book the additional facial masques at the silica bar and an in-water massage.   I wasn’t sure exactly how getting a massage in the water was going to work, so I peeked over the rock wall to the massage area when we were exploring and saw earlier appointments floating on foam mats just under the water.

When I arrived for my appointment I was introduced to my masseur, Alexi who was most certainly descendant from the Vikings who first inhabited Iceland based on his broad and solid build.  He had me lay on one of the floating mats and covered me with a towel to keep me warm while above the water.  Throughout the massage he also would occasionally dunk me under the water from the neck down to ward off the cold from the wind.  The only thing I didn’t care for during the experience was that while floating on the massage mat the water surface is right at your ear level so there is the sensation and sound of water lapping against your ear.  It was a bit distracting and made it hard to hear Alexi when he was describing the next portion of the massage with his accent, but it was unavoidable and not something that would keep me from doing it again.

We had also made a dinner reservation at the spa’s restaurant, Lava.    We got cleaned up in the locker rooms and headed to the restaurant which get it’s name from the large lava wall that runs along the back of the dining room.  Our reservation included a complimentary glass of their specialty wine.  Since the Hubs was driving, I got to enjoy both his and mine! 🙂

It was still fairly early so there were only a few other guests in the restaurant, which overlooks the lagoon.  I snapped a picture of the whole space when I went to the balacony to go to the restroom.

We both ordered the grilled beef tenderloin, which was topped with wild mushrooms, crispy potatoes, onion jam and dijon mustard.  We both declared that it was delicious.

And after dinner we shared creme brulee, with the cutest lemon shaped scoop of lemon ice cream!

It was a perfect relaxing day after our adventures the day prior.  We opted to stay at a hotel in the town about 10 minutes away rather than the lagoon’s hotel which was much pricier and is often full.  It was no surprise that we both crashed and slept soundly soon after checking in.  I’ve got one more day of Icelandic adventures to share and then it will be on to our Scotland experiences, so stay tuned!

Check out our other Icelandic adventures from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 4.  Then see our travels through Scotland on the same trip with Day 1, Day 2 here and here and Day 3.

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