Iceland

The Blue Lagoon of Disgust

Like everyone else in the known universe who visits Reykjavik, Mr. Pretty and I made a stop off at the famed Blue Lagoon. I won’t bore you with my tips for how to get the most out of a trip, or how not to make an ass out of yourself while following the rules by showering naked before heading out the pool. Every other travel blogger is eager to give you tips and advice. I’m not that kind of a girl.

I’m also not a Blue Lagoon kind of a girl.

What’s not to like, right? It’s not every day that you get to soak in warm therapeutic water in the middle of a lava field when it’s winter. It’s a pretty setting, for sure. And lots of people find it very, very relaxing and as though they’re getting a real Icelandic hot spring experience. I guess it’s easy to pretend you’re not soaking in run-off from a geothermal plant. It’s not like taking a dip in run-off from a nuclear plant or coal mine or anything, but it’s not a natural hot spring.

That’s not why I’m not a fan, though. There are a few reasons:

  1. It’s overpriced. If you’re a tourist, particularly if you’re making a stop off either on your way out of the airport or before you head back to the airport, you need to go with at least the Comfort Level because most people aren’t going to travel with their own bath towel. Comfort Level is 7,400 krona, or nearly $70 USD. When was the last time you paid $70 to get into a public pool?
  2. Oh, but it’s a spa, you say? You get to partake of the silica mud masks, you say? Okay, fine. But for the love of all that’s green, use the mud from the bowls and not the stuff from the bottom of the lagoon that people have been walking on and peeing on.
  3. Yes, peeing. A recent study indicates that the average 220,000 gallon pool contains 19.8 gallons of urine. You think there’s less in the Blue Lagoon because it’s classier than the pool down the street from your house? Don’t kid yourself. At least a swimming pool is chlorinated.
  4. Plus, the Blue Lagoon is more crowded than your average swimming pool, so there may very well be more urine. I mean, come on–the Blue Lagoon often reach capacity for sales and is sold out. I have no idea exactly what capacity is, but you’re essentially taking a bath with, say, 500 of your closest friends . . . many of whom have questionable hygiene.
  5. That whole naked showering before you get into the water rule the Blue Lagoon has? Mr. Pretty and I were standing within earshot of a group of people who sounded like they were from New York, and the ladies boasted vociferously about how they had showered in their bathing suits and hadn’t sudsed up as directed. I saw women skipping the showers entirely. A friend who had been to the Blue Lagoon another time said she saw used Band-aids floating by her in the lagoon. Yum, yum, marinating in the dead skin cells and grody Band-aids and urine of 500 strangers. Awesome.

Yes, I totally get that this makes me sound like a curmudgeonly complainer who doesn’t know how to let go and have fun. Maybe that’s even true. I don’t know. I will say the Blue Lagoon was the least fun and interesting thing I did in Iceland.

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