There are two “must-dos” in Iceland. The first is the Nordic Lights. I’m afraid the weather isn’t cooperating on this one, but fortunately it hasn’t interfered with the other main attraction: the Blue Lagoon. It’s 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik, and just 20 minutes from the airport. Luckily, the Flybus airport shuttle is highly organised and makes it easy to hit the Lagoon en route to the airport.
There’s a wood shed to store luggage, locker rooms, and great shower facilities and it’s a terrific way to unwind before the stresses of travel.
Nothing anyone tells you can prepare you for the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Lagoon. My taxi driver must have heard the deep intake of breath, and exclamation, “Wow” a million times.
On the approach, one is treated to the gorgeous bright blue water sparkling against a white lining, before the contrasting black volcanic rock. I head up a narrow walkway into the vast complex where I’m presented with a choice of options ranging from a day pass, to one with a bathrobe, spa treatments, and so on.
Plastic bracelets are dispensed with an electronic chip which, with a simple swipe, acts as a credit card for food and drink. But the thing to consume here is the great big lagoon. It’s sort of like bathing with hundreds of strangers, but somehow more fun that it sounds.
I only have about an hour to spend here, and yet it feels like the better part of an afternoon. At the risk of sounding cheesy, this is one of those experiences, much like taking a camel ride through the Sahara Desert, where I sit back, look around, and realise how lucky I am.
And yet, despite being surrounded by tourists, this doesn’t feel over-touristy.
I hit the showers, and return my bracelet, and board the Flybus to the airport.
All as simple as it sounds, though beware of busy Sunday afternoons. If you’re cutting your time tight, a long queue to pay for bracelet purchases could trip you up. And the mask must have worked, because as I greet a colleague at the airport, all she can do is tell me how radiant and relaxed I look. Must be the Blue Lagoon.