Iceland (2006) ~ 01.Arrival and the Blue Lagoon
I can tell that Iceland is nowadays a very popular destination. So popular that actually the country is trying to cope with the increased demand of tourism which might be bigger than the country and the infrastructure can sustain, at least from what I hear. I can't imagine how it is now, its been more than 10 years since my visit back in 2006. Many things must have changed and its definitely a time for me to revisit. But before that, I would like to share here that trip, for the ones who have been there recently to maybe compare how things were back then when the tourists were much fewer. For the people who haven't been yet, to get inspired and go visit.
Two important notes a) the economy back then was strong, June 2006 when I started my trip the exchange rate was 1€ = 95kr, checking the current rate at the moment is 1€ = 135kr and b) the number or tourists visiting Iceland in 2006 was around 400.000 people while for 2017 was a staggering 2.2 million! *All photos taken with a Canon Powershot S1 IS, 3.2 megapixels, my 1st digital camera.
Iceland (2006) ~ 01.Arrival and the Blue Lagoon End of June 2006, after spending some time in England I caught my flight from Stansted airport, London, to Keflavik, Iceland. I was extremely excited as visiting Iceland have been a goal for quite a long time!
These were the first views of Iceland from the flight before we land in Keflavik...
...and somehow looking out from my flights window I spotted the famous Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa which is one of the most iconic and visited places in Iceland! Decided to be my first place to visit since its not that far from the airport.
Quite a lot of cold but not freezing, rainy weather. Looking at the clouds and rain, an Icelandic woman smiled to me saying "This weather IS Iceland, welcome!". Caught a combination bus ticket from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik, stopping en route in the Blue Lagoon and allowing us 1.5h to enjoy. That costed (including the entry to the Blue Lagoon) 3900kr, around €41 with the exchange rate back then.
Walking through a black volcanic rock path to the entrance of the lagoon
Just before the entrance, would be nice if I could bathe here too.
The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, bathing in the Blue Lagoon is reputed to help some people suffering from skin diseases. The water temperature of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C.
The lagoon is man-made and fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every two days. 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 for us to bathe in.
Iceland has a strict code of hygiene and guests are required to shower before bathing. There are communal showers which separated by gender.
The silicate minerals is the primary cause of that water's milky blue shade. After the minerals have formed a deposit, the water reinfiltrates the ground, but the deposit renders it impermeable over time, hence the necessity for the plant to continuously dig new ponds in the nearby lava field.
In 1976, a pool formed at the site from the waste water of the geothermal power plant that had just been built there. In 1981, people started bathing in it after its supposed healing powers were popularized. In 1992, the Blue Lagoon company was established, and the bathing facility was opened for the public.
After going around taking photos and marveling this sci-fi setting I finally put on my swim suit and entered the steaming hot waters. While bathing around I found somebody I had met in the bus coming here, Noriko from Japan, Osaka. Fortunately she had a waterproof camera so we could take some shots while bathing.
After the whole experience, just before I board the bus to continue my way towards Reykjavik I decided to take a photo of myself in this endless blue...
Additional information GPS coordinates for places in this post, click on them to be redirected to the exact point in google maps Click on the names to be redirected to their official websites
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