Bláa Lónið

Last weekend I went to the Blue Lagoon, or Bláa Lónið as it's known to the Icelanders. My friend Ahmad had two free passes that he got from some work thing, so Brynna and I got in for nothing. Ahmad got the 'special Icelander price'. Except they're not allowed to do that, because it's illegal. You just get a discount by signing up to the Blue Lagoon 'friendship club', or whatever it was called. For which you need a kennitala. Riiiight. 

Everything's a lot shinier than at the other swimming pools I've been to in Iceland. You can tell that they are catering for a mostly tourist clientele because they have shower cubicles rather than just a shower area. This is, I assume, to make things less awkward for foreigners who may be uncomfortable about showering naked in semi-public. You have to do this  before venturing into any Icelandic swimming pool, and will always see this helpful sign highlighting the areas which you should wash especially carefully.

Anyway, the actual 'lagoon' itself is certainly an experience worth having. I'd been there before, on the Icelandic family holiday when I was 17, but it was nice to go again. Basically you languidly propel yourself around a shallow pool of steaming hot, milky-blue water. Which is lovely. There's not much else to say about it, really. It's pretty cool to be outside (in intermittent freezing drizzle, in our unfortunate case), but to feel like you're in a bath. You can also cover your face in white mud if you want to, which is supposed to be good for your skin, although I didn't notice any difference myself. The salts in the water make your hair go like straw, though. Luckily there is free conditioner in the showers. Oh, and we also discovered you can buy beer there! Bar combined with swimming pool doesn't seem like the best idea in the world, but there's no way we were missing the chance to have a pint of Iceland's finest euro-lager in a geothermal pool. 

There are other natural hot pools in Iceland which have not been turned into big tourist centres, which I would love to visit sometime. Although I imagine there wouldn't be any free conditioner, and I would have to bring my own beer.

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