When we arrived in Iceland, our first stop was not the hotel. They were not ready for us. So we drove to the Blue Lagoon.This is Iceland’s most famous tourist attraction and gives a real feel for the country. According to my guidebook, it is a “dreamy, steamy spa complex that epitomizes the country’s faintly unearthly reputation.” ]Interesting little wooden bridges covered with thin strips of wood to ease traction and which cross the lagoon’s milky turquoise waters and hot pots in front of steaming vents of hot water.
The lagoon is not actually a natural phenomenon. It is a by-product of Iceland’s nearby Svartsengi geothermal energy plant. It pumps mineral laden hot water from up to 2 km (1.2mi) below the surface of the earth (not the centre like Verne envisioned) at 240°C. This is later cooled by a procedure that harnesses the hot water for electrical power and fresh water.
The runoff water is close to the body’s natural temperature 100°C. it is claimed that psoriasis and eczema sufferers (like me) often feel relief. Sadly, I did not notice the relief, but I enjoyed it.
Iceland has captured the power of the natural forces underneath the surface. The homes of Iceland have been provided with cheap and environmentally friendly hot water produced by geothermal energy. This is water heated naturally under the earth’s crust that escapes near to the surface here. About 80% of Iceland’s power is provided by geothermal conditions. The largest geothermal plant in the world is located right beside the Blue Lagoon and supplies water to the lagoon.
This allows the Icelanders to take an open-air swim when it is cold outside. It often gets cold, though I was told it is warmer here than Manitoba in the winter. And colder in the summer! Apparently about 1.6 million people visit the geothermal pools in Iceland each year. They have made it part of their lifestyle.
As you can see, I found some very scary creatures in the pool.
We all took a turn in the pool and all enjoyed it a lot. A free drink for each of us was provided with our admission. The water is partly fresh and partly salty. I found it easy to float. It was a delightful way to spend a couple of hours soaking up water and the rays of the sun. I left early to take some team pictures, without me of course.