As part of my whirlwind trip to Iceland, I booked in a chance to go to the Blue Lagoon.The Blue Lagoon is a man made lagoon which is fed by the water output from a nearby geothermal power plant. After the water is used in the plant, it passes through a heat exchange to provide heat for the lagoon. The waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur and being in the Blue Lagoon is supposed to help some people suffering from skin diseases. Slightly unusual right? It's supposedly the 25th (!) Wonder of the World, and it seems to be one of the things to do when in Iceland, so I knew I'd have to fork out the fee and head off there. After all, it's not something you can do everyday, and it's certainly not something you can normally do in my little part of South London. Plus, I'm a sucker for when something looks really cool to do, so I was hardly going to miss bright blue hot waters. But, as is always the way with these things though, there were a couple of things I wish I'd known before I went there.
For a start, this place books up quickly, and you have to book. I left booking it until a week before I flew out to Iceland and that was a mistake. There was only an 8am slot left, which meant that I had to get up at a ridiculous time to go on the coach to get there - not exactly the recipe for a relaxing spa trip. In the end, it wasn't the end of the world, and booking the transfer to leave from my hotel really helped as it made the whole process really simple. I think I'd underestimated how popular the whole thing would be.
Secondly, I wish I'd known when I first showed up is how much nakedness the whole process of visiting the Blue Lagoon would involve. As someone who swims in England regularly, I'm cool with throwing on my swimming costume and then showering - but in Iceland and specifically at the Blue Lagoon you have to be naked when you shower, and then when you return you can't leave your towel anywhere near the shower in order to be able to grab it without anyone seeing you. Maybe if I was just a little more body confident this wouldn't have bothered me, but it did.
I knew it would involve a serious amount of touristy crapness, and I think you have to be prepared for that to be in the case in order to throw caution to the wind and just enjoy the experience. So you have to know that there will be drunk Americans in the pool - even if you visit at 8am - and there will be people who are spending more time taking selfies in the pool rather than just enjoying the experience, and the whole thing will be vastly overpriced. I mean, Iceland is expensive anyway, but the Blue Lagoon takes it to another level. They market the waters are being really therapeutic, but how therapeutic can something be if there's a pissed Texan next to you drinking Icelandic beer at 8am?
Also, on a snobby side note, I hated getting changed afterwards. The changing rooms were packed, and one of the reasons I pay to go swimming rather than just going to my local pool is to avoid a packed changing room. Getting a bra on after you've been swimming is hard enough, it's even harder if you have to knock out three other tourists in the process.
But don't get me wrong, the whole experience was pretty fun, and I did enjoy it (even if it has left my hair a little dry, use the conditioner like they tell you to folks...). You can't really go wrong with a daytime spa trip, and the free silica face masks which were easy to get hold of were definitely a plus point and nothing to complain about at all. The heat from the water was lovely, a bit like having a massive bright blue bath. Also, I splurged (ha) out and treated myself to a Skyr smoothie (when in Iceland, eat Skyr...), which was honestly so lovely I still think about it even now. I'm really glad I went, but it felt a bit like a microcosm of my entire time in Iceland. I'm glad I went, but I don't think I'd hurry back any time soon.
Have you been? What did you think?