Saturday, August 02, 2014

Iceland, Day 2, continued

Following the debacle on the beach, we continued on our way around Reykjanesbaer.  It was much more uneventful, but still quite pretty.  Here we go!

 On our little tour we got to see loads of geothermic spots where the earth was literally boiling.  Appropriately, there were also some nice fairy tales connected to these unusual spots. 
 Not only that, but due to the sulfur content, they certainly stank!  It was definitely no fun being caught in a cloud of hot, rotten-egg-smelling steam!
 Nonetheless, all these steamy holes in the Earth were quite impressive and awe-inspiring!
 Next up we stopped at the southwest tip of the island and got a nice look at the crumbling coastline.  I do love giant rocks!
 This, sadly enough, was the only puffin we saw.  I really, really wanted to see some live puffins, I've adored them for as long as I can remember, but at least this time around, we were not so lucky.
 Nevertheless, the scenery and wildlife were gorgeous!

 Our next stop was the Blue Lagoon, which we nearly missed because a couple of roads leading to it were closed for a bike tour.  Fortunately, we managed to wrangle our way in.  This is a funny place because there is a tourist temple built in the middle, and it's kind of fortified and cordoned off.  You pay a whole lot to get in and lay yourself down in warm pools of blue, geothermal power plant runoff.  We didn't do this, instead we walked around the public paths around the place where there were cool or extremely hot pools of the mineral-rich blue water. 

 You can see the power plant in the background.  The way they found out about the healing properties of this water was that power plant employees used to swim in the pools of runoff after work, and they noticed that after doing so, their skin problems vanished.  So they smartly decided to harness this great thing, build a clinic and a public pool and charge admission.  The public areas where you can look around are all too cold or too hot to go into, so nobody's just jumping in outside the pay area.  They probably have security personnel to put a stop to that kind of activity anyway.  We did not fear any kind of repercussions and scooped up as much of that salt as we possibly could.  We got about 2 gummy bear size bags full, but have yet to put it in the bathtub at home. 

 In this photo you can see the clinic, I didn't photograph the spa because I didn't want to get any pictures of bathing beauties.  We couldn't even get that close to it.  It didn't look huge from where we were, but I can imagine that a dip in that water would be quite pleasing!  I just don't really care to pay 30 Euro or more to do so.  The other thing that put me off were the sheer masses of people going in there.  I'm also not a huge fan of hanging around in a bathing suit with a bunch of strangers. 
After our lovely tour of the peninsula, we just headed back to Reykjavik for some dinner and then back to the cabin to sleep and get ready for our last day touring around the Golden Circle.

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