It’s getting cold, dark and windy in Copenhagen. Going through all these summer photos is making me long for other places.
Archive for October, 2013
So you want to know about the Blue Lagoon? I know I really wanted to when we started planning our summer trip early this year.
I’ve never been a fan of touristy things because a) too many people tend to spoil my (personal) experience and b) all the money. So while researching to make our four day stay in Iceland as fruitful as possible, I asked around and the answers were mixed, but neither overwhelmingly positive or negative (“it’s crowded!”, “it’s so relaxing!”, “it’s expensive!”, “it’s so beautiful!”, “it ruins your hair!”, “i want to live there!” – you get the jist).
So we decided to go and see for ourselves on our way to the airport for our flight to Seattle. Entry to the lagoon is included in the bus fair, so the original entry price of EUR 40 didn’t seem like too much of a ripoff (high season price – this includes entrance and bathing priviledges to the lagoon and nothing more. If you’d like to borrow a bathrobe or towel and other smaller stuff, your package price comes at a whopping EUR 65 on top of whatever means of transport you need to get there since the lagoon is located 45 minutes from Reykjavík, which, on a student budget just makes my jaw drop while I’m shaking my head slowly in disbelief – but I guess it must be incredibly awesome, then, huh?).
Now, with my photos I am guilty of the biggest problem I have with most promotion photos and ad campaigns for the Blue Lagoon – can you tell how? There are hardly any people in them (which, you know, is what I’m all about). I’ll admit I am overly sensitive when it comes to crowds of people bigger than the amount of fingers I can count on my hands, but I just was not prepared for the amount of stress I felt coming into the closed lagoon area (note: all photos except 7 & 8 are from the area outside of the spa area, which you can explore for free). It’s fast (super market fast track expedition), crowded (buses and cars arrive constantly with new guests), outer space like (a combination of the landscape, the architecture and the magic blue bracelets that become your identity, your method of payment and means of getting around the closed areas within the lagoon) and just a lot to take in when you’ve hardly slept in four days and your entire body aches from horseback riding for six hours around the feet of Icelandic mountains the day before. I couldn’t do it. We couldn’t do it. I don’t know how, but after we’d seperated to go to our respective changing areas, we found each other again twenty minutes later, still dressed, back in the entrance hallways. Both confused, overwhelmed (where do we even go to change, how does it work, everyone walking around like chickens with their heads cut off) and disappointed (I guess not in the Blue Lagoon itself, but that we couldn’t work it out or make it work for us). We gave up even going in the water and instantly became more relaxed, instead enjoying a cup of coffee in the sun, just observing.
As with public swimming pools, you will totally ruin the experience for yourself when you start thinking about the amount of people that are in the water with you (them and their bacteria, shedding their hair and skin all over the place – I’ve read many comments from people from outside the nordic countries, who tend to not shower completely naked before entering public pools and this totally freaks me out when going about the cons of swimming in public from a germ and chemical perspective).
So in conclusion: if you are sensitive to big crowds of people or don’t have too much money to spend, maybe don’t go to the Blue Lagoon. If you’d still like to see it, go there on the way to or from the airport if you have a car anyway and explore the site for free. I felt like it was worth it just going there and not going into the water, just to know how I feel about it. I even went again this time around, by myself, to see if maybe we’d made a mistake in July, but it was still too overwhelming and I guess I’m saving going into the water for that one magical moment where I don’t feel stressed out about it. But hey, it was more blue this time because of the blue October sky, which you’ll see in some months when I get to posting those photos.
Þingvellir is a magical place. Be aware that if you take the Golden Circle bus tour (that takes you to Geysir and Gullfoss as well) you won’t have much time to explore. That is what we did in July, and when I came back recently I realised there was even more to see than I got round to the first time. So when in Iceland: rent a car so you can walk around in your own pace. For some reason not everyone needs to stop and take pictures every to seconds.