March 9th, 2020

lolcat: science

Day 36/183: Flea market and The Blue Lagoon

Post-penis museum, we went to do a bit of shopping at the Kolaportið flea market. This was a curious mixture of overpriced tourist gubbins, authentic junk, local produce, jewelry, and genuine Icelandic jumpers (hard to find amongst the tourist gubbins). One of my companions and I bought jumpers for our kids, as well as acquiring baked goods and cheap, pretty hand-crafted jewelry.

Tuckered out after our exertions, I toddled back to my hotel for a luxurious mid-afternoon zizz, a rare pleasure. Eventually I levered myself out of my pit to get ready to go to the Blue Lagoon. I ambled down the road to my companions’ hotel and we had a drink (beer for me, mimosas for them) in the lobby before the bus arrived.

We spent the bus ride goggling out the windows at the golden hour prior to sunset.


Thanks to [personal profile] slemslempike’s tip, I hired a swimming costume, which cost me all of £5 as opposed to the £40 buying a new one would have done, assuming I could even find one in March in the shops in Reykjavik, which I couldn’t.

We gathered our slippers and robes and headed inside to shower off and change. The showering-off is taken very seriously. You must strip off completely and scrub down, and put conditioner in your hair and leave it there to try to prevent it from turning to straw (top tip: it doesn’t work). Only then may you don your swimsuit and head into the lagoon waters.

A brief history: the Blue Lagoon is not a natural geothermal spa. It’s formed from the weirdly luminescent effluent of the nearby geothermal power plant. A plant worker who suffered from psoriasis was the first to discover the healing qualities of the supersaturated alkaline waters, and the first iteration of the Blue Lagoon was born, a casual affair that was neither temperature or depth-controlled, and was in fact rather dangerous. In the intervening decades, it has morphed into the much safer and more formalised tourist hot-spot that it is now, and has also grown considerably since the plant continues to operate (and provide much of Reykjavik’s power).

We had two face masks - I went with the standard mineral exfoliation, followed by the algae mask, which was very cool and soothing - and a couple of drinks. The first was the girliest option on the menu, strawberry sparkling wine, and the second, a skyr smoothie. We swam lazily about in the sparsely populated lagoon, easily avoiding Facetiming strangers. Half an hour before the lagoon shut, the one companion who’d brought a waterproof case for her camera dashed quickly back in to the lockers and retrieved it to snap a few photos.These are below and behind the cut.

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After a long, soapy shower, my skin felt amazing and my muscles pleasantly achy from all the walking and swimming. My hair, on the other hand, was and remains a haystack, despite the mandated conditioner application. It was entirely worth it. I fell asleep on the bus home, and stumbled happily into bed, where I slept for nine solid hours. This entry was originally posted at The titration count is at comment count unavailable.0 pKa.