Blue Lagoon, Southern Peninsula

Walking around the capital made me tired, but at the same time I successfully got back to the main bus station. I looked at the schedule of the next bus going to the Blue Lagoon. I kept myself entertained at the bus station by browsing the net and when the bus was almost ready, I bought a ticket for $100 for the bus and entrance to the lagoon. It was getting dark and cold when I got in the bus and it was not full so I have the seat to myself. Its about a-50 minute ride so I took a nap and when I woke up took some pictures and gazed at the endless fields as it started to rain

“The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa located in a lava field near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula, in a location favourable for geothermal power, and is supplied by water used in the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station. The Blue Lagoon is approximately 20 km (12 mi) from Keflavík International Airport, and is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.”

The bus dropped us off at the main entrance and I followed the group to the path down the main visitor center. There were a lot of people as we arrive there were some who leaves and I came across a lot of them. It was raining so I was soaked but I continued on trying to walk as fast as I can. There were puddles along the way and within minutes, I saw the smoking, teal color of the lagoon. I reached the entrance which was a contemporary building. I went in line and waited for my turn. It was quite a wait and when it was my turn, I was given my ticket bracelet. The wristband was the main key for the locker room, getting drinks and other amenities you might need while in the lagoon.

“It works like an in-water credit card – you just pay for anything you charge to the wristband when you leave.” I followed the flow of people and went to a locker room designated by gender and there I changed to my swimming clothes and took a shower as required. I went out the locker room with my towel and down the main hall where the indoor lava restaurant was located. It was all glass and I saw the swimming pools outside. So I went out to the cold. It was raining and I was only wearing my swimming shorts. I immediately put my towel in a safe distance and dip in the hot lagoon. I can’t help wondering where it came from so here is its start of its history.

“The lagoon is man-made. The water is a byproduct from the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi where superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon.

Blue Lagoon

The rich mineral content is provided by the underground geological layers and pushed up to the surface by the hot water (at about 1.2 MPa (170 psi) pressure and 240 °C (464 °F) temperature) used by the plant. Because of its mineral concentration, water cannot be recycled and must be disposed of in the nearby landscape, a permeable lava field that varies in thickness from 50 cm (20 in) to 1 m (3.3 ft).

After the minerals have formed a deposit, the water reinfiltrates the ground, but the deposits render the ground impermeable over time, so the plant needs to continuously dig new ponds in the nearby lava field.

The water renews every 2 days. The average pH is 7.5 and the salt content is 2.5%. Very few organisms live in the water apart from some blue-green algae, despite the water not being artificially disinfected it contains no fecal bacteria, environmental bacteria, fungi, or plants.”

The feeling was refreshing because the hot water counter the cold weather. I dipped in up to my shoulder and walked around. It was already 7 but there was still some light and plenty of people. I bought a good deal so after taking some pictures I went to the first small booth attached to the lagoon. It was nice, it was the same height as the lagoon and open counter where we can get our drinks. I don’t want any alcohol so I got a Somersby Apple cider and drink it while walking along the waters of the lake. To get a more definite information about this geothermal spa, here are some more information.

“The water’s milky blue shade is due to its high silica content. The silica forms soft white mud on the bottom of the lake which bathers rub on themselves. The water is also rich in salts and algae. The water temperature in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (99–102 °F). .”

Silica Mud Mask

I met a couple of people and took their picture and then mine. Then I strolled along the warm waters and after finishing my drink, I went to the other side where I got my Silica Mud Mask which was believed to reduce visibility of pores. Then I walked around some more crossing to the other side where there were less people and where the access to visitors to the lake ends. I washed the mask off after 10 minutes as the rain comes and goes and the cold wind made me sink more to the warm water. It was also getting darker and by 8 pm we were told to go back on the other side of the bridge closer to the buildings. So I went back and explored some more and here are some more history.

Blue Lagoon with the expansion map and bridge

“Shortly after the opening of the Svartsengi power plant in 1976, the runoff water had made pools. In 1981, a psoriasis patient bathed in the water and noted that the water alleviated his symptoms and the lagoon subsequently became popular. Bathing facilities opened in 1987 and in 1992 the Blue Lagoon company was established.

Studies made in the 1990s confirmed that the lagoon had a beneficial effect on the skin disease psoriasis. A psoriasis clinic was opened in 1994 and in 1995, the Blue Lagoon company began marketing skin products containing silica, algae, and salt.”

Manmade cave

Then later, I went inside a man made cave, which was like a spa room. I spent some time, relaxing with the water coming out of the pipes massaging my back. I left when more people start coming in and enjoyed the rest of my time in the lagoon until we were told it was time to go.

I took my towel, went back to the building, took a shower and dressed back up. I visited the visitor store where I looked and bought some souvenirs. Then I walked back to the entrance and since its cold and raining with the other passengers we went inside the locker storage and waited for our bus. When it arrived, I got in and it was full as we head to the airport where I will be waiting for my flight to Frankfurt. This last stop in my Iceland adventure was worth the price even though its kind of expensive and I thought its more fun if you have someone to company you.

Here are the links for more information:

Say Cheez!

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