Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blue Lagoon and The Gullfoss Waterfall

Iceland's most famous and visited tourist attraction is the Blue Lagoon Spa. Its a geothermal pool  located in a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Southern Iceland. If you're a tourist, this means its a twenty minute drive from the airport, or 40 minute drive from Reykjavik and you can see  people dragging  suitcases and bags to and from the buses parked in the massive car park. Granted that doesn't sound very promising but somehow the tour buses don't intrude on the proceeding once everyone is inside.
The waters are fed from the water output of the adjacent geothermal power plant. 
 Super heated water is tapped from the deep lava flow and used to spin turbines, with steam and water running through exchangers providing heat for municipal water.
 Electricity and hot tap water from the ground.
Zero carbon footprint and cheap power.
The warm water is then fed into the lagoon which is man made ( a fact conspicuously absent from the tourist info).  The temperature of the water averages  between 37-39 Celsius. ( 98-102F) and is completely replenished every two days.
 Its rich in silica and sulphur and said to  relieve skin conditions like psoriasis. There's a strict policy of showering before entry and everything appears clean and hygienic. Call me a pessimistic cynic,but I couldn't shake the conviction I was lounging in a giant bath tub full of people having a sneaky pee. I confess  temptation to follow suit did strike but I resisted and emerged feeling virtuous.
 A post-wallow shower is a must. 
That's it for the Blue Lagoon.
Gullfoss ( Golden Falls) is on the canyon of the Hvita River in South West Iceland.  Along with the Geyser and Blue Lagoon its one of the "Big Three" on the Golden Circle route out of Reykjavik. Its  32 meters high (105 ft) and falls in two stages into a 20 meter wide crevice. The crevice is obscured from view as you approach the falls giving the illusion that the river vanishes into the earth mid flow.
That's it for Iceland.
I've been to a couple of places since and will get to them as and when.
Hope all is well to all who keep coming back to this blog.
Stay happy and healthy

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