First of all, when I think of the Blue Lagoon, I think of Brooke Shields and that cute hunk she was trapped with on that lush island in the Caribbean. I do NOT think of Iceland. But somehow, because of Brooke Shields and the 1980’s flick about adolescent love and naivete, I felt inclined to go stand in line at the Icelandic Blue Lagoon to take a dip in an outdoor pool that isn’t really even that famous and strip down to my skimpies in freezing temperatures.
We did some other things first before going to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. We went to see the Katlahraun lava floes and I took some pictures of Icelandic sheep and Arctic horses grazing in picturesque little fields hemmed in carefully by Icelandic fencing. The lava was interesting though not beautiful perhaps because winter was coming and the moss was entering a dormant, “ feeling meh” phase. Lydian found a lava rock on the ground rather randomly named it Stanley.
We pulled into a farm with stacks of twinkie-shaped hay bales that had been carefully wrapped in
blues and whites to find that the sheep weren’t particularly friendly. As I moved closer to them they “bahhh-ed” plaintively and move further away publicly ousting me in cliques. They were fluffy with tiny stilted legs, a design that’s undeniably cute so I was disappointed when they turned out to be quite shy.
By afternoon when we visited the Blue Lagoon, our willingness to suspend disbelief was at a low ebb. We stood in line with hordes of expectant visitors who were taking little chocolate iced cookies off a plate from a woman wearing a white shirt and a neck tie. The cost of admission loomed ahead on a sign that wasn’t within reading distance. The cookies passed by us again. And again.
The woman announced that the registers were open again, “The lines will be moving quickly now!” She said cheerily and then suddenly, the cookies were gone.
John stepped out of line to go read the sign. I watched him disappear into the crowd. A few minutes later, he reappeared and marched back toward us with the gait of a crusader.
“Let’s go.” He said when he returned. “It’s going to cost $250 for us to go sit in a big pool of hot water.”
“Oh my god, are you serious?” Lydian said. “And we have to get cold first to do it, right?” She added, appalled.
By this time, we had all exited through the glass doors, past the Blue Lagoon gift shop filled with facial and body scrubs, Blue Lagoon sea salts and the like. It was so cold outside, it burnt our skin. I was secretly relieved that I wouldn’t have to don my bikini and walk out into the cold to get into the pool and then eventually get out of it and back into the cold again too. Lydian expressed similar sentiments.
We walked around the building and dipped our hands into the crystal blue water surrounding the “spa”. A few other people had opted for this tour as well. We didn’t linger because the air was frigid and the sun was low in the sky. We were eager to just go home for a few hours to relax and eat dinner.
Generally, we skip out on the must-see travel experiences that cost as much as the plane tickets that got us into the country in the first place. If one hour of entertainment costs as much as a round-trip ticket to Mexico, I know I’m overspending, unless there’s some compelling reason why I must have the experience in question (which is almost never the case). Maybe the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is an unforgettable, life-changing experience, but there are other unforgettable, and authentic experiences to be had at a more affordable price, or, for FREE! So we skipped the dip in the Blue Lagoon and instead had a different, albeit memorable experience of getting home before the sun set for rice and vegetables. The sheep and lava rocks were every bit as worthwhile as sitting in a hot pool of water.