Come dip with me...in power station runoff
Have you ever bathed in a power plant runoff? It's not what it sounds like.
Native creatures with white stuff on their faces, sloshing around in hot sulphuric water filled with minerals, silica and algae? No, it's not the plot of an old horror movie. It's just the Blue Lagoon.
Around the time ABBA were reversing the second B in their logo, a gleaming new geothermal station right out of a Ridley Scott movie began pumping surplus water all over the place, creating a steaming pool of bluish liquid in the middle of a lava field in the southern peninsula of Iceland.
Later, in the early 80s, people started bathing in the lagoon and doing silly things like shooting music videos. The official story is that it helped with psoriasis (the bathing, not the music videos) but we think it was mostly just a cool place to go skinny dipping after hours. Also, the chemicals in the water do things to your hair that people liked back then.
Fast-forward to the present day and what started as the unintended by-product of a geothermal power station is now one of the most visited tourist attractions in Iceland. The New York Times calls it “the mother of all baths” and it was even on the paper's top 44 list of places to visit in 2009.
It even has its own line of cosmetics! Just like Britney Spears!
The Blue Lagoon is open daily all year and it's actually rather conveniently located between the airport where you land and Reykjavík. (It takes about 30 minutes to get there from the city — just follow the "smoke".) If you don't have a car, there are plenty of people willing so separate you from your money by getting you there by bus. Oh, and if you figure out how the locker system works, please drop us a line.