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July 26, 2013 / Jim Fenton

Iceland Day 12: Blue Lagoon and Reykjavík

July 12, 2013

The Blue Lagoon, a famous public bath west of Reykjavík, is one of those things that everyone who goes to Iceland does. Our tour included a voucher for admission, so we started the day with a trip there. We grabbed our swimsuits and towels, walked a kilometer or so to the bus station, purchased tickets, and made our way there.

Jim and Kenna, wearing silica mud, in the Blue Lagoon

Jim and Kenna, wearing silica mud, in the Blue Lagoon

There was quite a line to get in. Eventually we turned in our voucher and received RFID wristbands that let us through the turnstile. The changing rooms were large, modern, and immaculately clean. The same wrist bands were used to lock our lockers (and subsequently open them, of course).

The Blue Lagoon is in many respects a larger version of the nature baths we used at Lake Mývatn. For some reason, the water is less slippery. But the Blue Lagoon has a number of extras, including a beverage bar in the lagoon where they record your purchase with the RFID wristbands and containers of silica mud to smear on your face which is supposed to have a beneficial effect.  Alas, I didn’t notice any beneficial effect from the mud.

Viking ship sculpture

Viking ship sculpture

After returning to our hotel, we set out for a bit of souvenir shopping, along with lunch from Glætan, the café where we had breakfast on Day 2. Iceland is not an inexpensive place to shop, so we did a lot more looking than buying. Late in the afternoon, we took a walk over to the Viking ship sculpture along the harbor, which was well worth a bit of a walk. That also took us past the opera house, a beautiful piece of architecture.

We decided to do a bit of a splurge for dinner this evening, and we chose Við Tjörnina, a fish-themed restaurant across the street from the Alþingi (parliament). The restaurant has the feel of an older home, with seating in a number of small rooms. The fish and lamb were all excellent, likewise the smoked salmon and seafood bisque starters, and the chocolate cake for dessert was ultra-decadent. Service was friendly as well. Overall, a fine close to the trip.

This article is part of a series about our recent vacation in Iceland. To see the introductory article in the series, click here.

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