11 Aug 2014

Icelandic Adventure by alexkrook

6/6

Star 2

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My last day in Iceland was blessed with absolutely glorious weather. Barely a wisp of cloud in the sky and the gentlest of breezes as I enjoyed Kex's sun-drenched comforts for the very last time and chugged towards Keflavik and the Blue Lagoon. Someone last night described the Icelandic landscape as otherworldly, and the scenery floating by the window during the drive would certainly attest to that. Someone told me that Neil Armstrong and co spent a whole lot of time in the Icelandic planes before shooting into space - it's the closest you can get to walking on a real-life lunar landscape, and the rocky lava fields stretching on towards bare and barren mountains do bring the moon to mind. Everything was simultaneously glaring and hazy under the cloudless sky, with one side of the road harsh and bare as a desert with the other dropping straight off into ocean. Occasionally we rounded bends in the road and green sloping hills burst into view along the coastline, almost reminiscent of Cornwall, and it wasn't long before the steam clouds of the lagoon came into view, blaringly white against all that black rock, and its neon blue itself crept into our sights.

Star 1

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Icelandic law requires a full and thorough swimsuit-less shower before entering the lagoon, and I charged through all the faff of wristbands and towels and lockers to burst out into the sunlight and plunge into its deliciously warm and stupidly blue depths. The water is pale and almost opaque to the point of your body becoming invisible more than an inch below the surface. It's warmer than a bath, and sometimes uncomfortably so. The lagoon is so stuffed with minerals that it's easy to float along blissfully almost entirely above the surface of the water, totally oblivious to how far your drifting takes you - to the displeasure of all the other bathers around you and the pain of whacking into the rocky surroundings. I swam in and out of the puffs of steam from the bubbling geothermal pool, was pummelled by the artificial massaging waterfall, and struggled for breath in the close and dripping steam baths - one carved right into the rockface to resemble a dark and misty lava cave and the other with moist white walls like the silicon mud everyone scoops from vats and plasters across their face and body. I wish I had had more time here as I could easily have whiled away an entire day in the lagoon's milky waters, but my flight and the state of my straw-like salty hair prevented more than a couple of hours of carefree floating. A wonderfully relaxing experience. Don't miss it.

Star 0

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Reykjavik has been a novel and incredibly unique European experience for me. It's a buzzing city full of cool places and cool people, culture and wonderful aesthetics, and I would love to spend more time here some day. Or maybe live and work here for a while - it's full of young and restless foreigns soaking the city up for a few months while they work out what to do with their lives. The landscape around the capital (and, I'm sure, beyond) is ethereal and begging to be absorbed, and I promise to be back to explore the what lies to the south and the far West. Goodbye Iceland. It has truly been a pleasure, and I'm already planning my return.