Wednesday, November 07, 2007
DAY 1: Blue Lagoon
Eldey (also called Fire Island) is one of the many "famous" landmarks in Iceland. It was actually featured in the poster over our bed in the hotel!
The last stop on the tour was actually part of the package we had purchased through IcelandAir... the mandatory Blue Lagoon experience. The Blue Lagoon is a thermal water spa. Years ago, a man with eczema bathed in the waters released by the geothermal plant we had just visited. Apparently the still warm water mixed with the silica and other matter in the volcanic soil of the "lagoon" cured him of his skin ailment; and a homeopathic tourist attraction was born! (Although there were a lot of Icelanders there as well)
And now the Blue Lagoon Experience...When you enter, you must rent a towel ($6) unless you umm... acquired one at your hotel (Since we hadn't checked in yet, we didn't have that option). Then separate from your loved one and enter the gender-specific changing room. Change into your bathing attire, clean off in the shower (notice that Europeans are very comfortable in their own skin AND your body doesn't look bad comparatively), and coat your hair with conditioner (slather it on and don't rinse). Now walk outside. If you're lucky, it's not that cold. But no matter, you're stepping into a warm bath anyways. Careful not to slip on the "milk coated" rocks, you slowly get to about waist-high and start floating. Ahhhh.... If you'd like there some of the white mud some lucky worker got to scrape off the rocks that you can apply to your face or other parts of your body. It's supposed to make your skin silky smooth. Eh, didn't really work for me. Now the 45 minutes are up and you have to get cleaned up. Hey, your hair is feeling funny. How did that happen. Oh ya, you decided to float and your ponytail was soaking up that silica as great as it soaks up bleach. Shampoo and condition all you want... the next few days you're going to be wearing braided pigtails so that you don't go through with the urge to go all Britney on that hair. Consider taking some spa product home for your mom. First, gag at the prices ($10 for one bath tablet) and then consider it for later when told that at the terminal, you can save up to 30-50%.
Helga now drops us off at the Hotel Fron and we check in. We're upgraded to a lovely studio apartment (mini kitchen area with stove top and microwave, sink, pots, pans, etc) and a tv that doesn't get any reception (oh well). After a brief nap (we've been up for over 24 hours), we walk around and realize that talk about restaurants being bloody expensive was right! Finally we decide on a little Thai restaurant on a side street (meals were only $18 a person instead of $30). Still tired, and we're going to be doing the glacier walk the next day, so we call it "Sunday."
:: End of Day 1::