The drive to the Blue Lagoon was on a highway through fields of lava rocks covered in snow, it looked really neat! The lagoon, which has been named the world’s best medical spa for 5 years in a row, holds 6 million liters of geothermal seawater that is restored every 40 hours. Before you are allowed to enter the lagoon, you must have a NUDE shower. There are people working here to ensure that you do; they are shared showers and thankfully, a few private showers (for us North Americas). I spent a wonderful 3 hours bathing in the bright blue hot water. There was a waterfall, steam room, sauna and basins of silica for applying to your skin to make it nice and soft. Everyone swam around with this silica mud mask on. The lifeguard was in a huge snowsuit, toque and mitts, which was funny to see since, in contrast, I work short shorts and a tank top when I was lifeguarding this summer.
I met 2 Americans from NY and considered going out for drinks with them afterward until I realized they had taken a cab the 45 minutes from town to the Blue Lagoon and didn’t pay their driver and left him to wait an hour until they were done. They spent 4 hours there and had no intention of paying the poor driver who must have waited for nothing and didn’t get paid. That threw me off a little, its guys like that that give Americans a bad image. But then I met a sweet older couple from Pennsylvania who were wonderful and gave me all sorts of travel tips. I wanted to get pictures of me there but by the time I remembered to get my camera, it was already to dark. I chose the less expensive bus to get there and everything was great on the way there. On the way back, the bus kept stalling and then the main door wouldn’t close but I made it back safely.
When I got back to my hostel I met 2 of my roommates, a dental hygienist from Denmark and a government worker from Hong Kong. We chatted then went out for an Icelandic dinner. We went to a place with the original name of “Icelandic Bar” and I had a platter with veggies, goose, lamb, puffin and whale!! It was all very good; I washed it all down with an Icelandic Viking beer, also good.
Today I learned about Icelandic last names. Children take on their father’s first name with the addition of “son” or “daughter” at the end, in place of a family last name. So, if I were Icelandic my name would be Leandra Timdaughter and my brother would be Charles Timson. Our waitress said this is very confusing because everyone ends up having similar last names so they are more often then other nations identified by their social security numbers. I’m not sure how true this is but it is pretty interesting.
Iceland has a total population of around 320’000 and of that, about 200’000 people live in the capital city of Reykjavik. Apparently Iceland is a nation with one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Nobody locks their bikes in town; kids are trusted to play everywhere with minimal supervision and apparently the prime minister’s phone number is listed in the phone book (fun fact). The small population makes it so that everyone knows someone who knows someone etc. so somehow that and whatever other social characteristics makes for the low crime rate. Our waitress says that because of the small population and lack of news (crime), that whenever something even remotely interesting happens, it is a big deal and is widely publicized. Reykjavik has a crazy nightlife so it is apparently very easy to be in the spotlight and to be known if you go out often enough.
Anyways, then we checked out some live music back at the hostel bar. Now, time to shower the lagoon water out of my hair, then time for bed because I have to be up early for my Golden Circle tour.