West coast of Iceland, Blue Lagoon

4 August 2007.

After breakfast, we headed to the south. Tonight the hotel-Northern Lights Inn-was booked near Blue Lagoon. The hotel provides complimentary transfers to and from the airport and also to and from Blue Lagoon. Considering those available options, we decided to return the car before checking in to the hotel. But before that, we had half a day to enjoy the west coast.

We made our first stop on the way from Grundarfjordur to Keflavik at Gerðuberg basalt columns. Gerðuberg is an interesting rock face with high uniform basalt columns. It is one of the longest rock faces in Iceland.

The next stop was in Borgarnes. The lady from hotel Framnes had suggested visiting the Settlement Centre of Iceland in Borgarnes. As the Borgarfjordur area is the setting for the Egils Saga, one of the most graphic of the settlement sagas, we visited an exhibition in the center which described this saga. We got headphones where Egil’s saga was told and walked through the 30-minute exhibition. The saga of Egil Skalla-Grimsson was very interesting to hear. This really helped better understand Icelanders’ Viking background. The settlement center is quite new and modern. There was also another exhibition about the settlement of Iceland.

Borgarnes settlements center

Before returning the rental car, we made a stop at Reykjavik’s newest shopping center, Smaralind. This had many familiar brand name shops and also Icelandic knitwear, like 66 North and Cintamani. The clothes in Icelandic shops look really good and warm. But I would not suggest going to Iceland for shopping as the clothes here are very expensive. We bought some souvenirs.

After returning the car, we were picked up by a minivan at the airport as promised by the Northern Lights Inn. The hotel was about 30 km from the airport and very close to the Blue Lagoon. The surroundings were amazing—pure lava fields. We checked in, had a cup of coffee, and then walked to Blue Lagoon. This 10-minute walk in windy weather between the lava fields was an event in itself.

The Blue Lagoon was beautiful and crowded as promised. The Blue Lagoon is famous for its milky blue waters, full of sea minerals and silica. The Blue Lagoon was formed in 1976. During the building of a pipeline from the Suðurnes Regional Heating Corporation in the Svartsengi geothermal area, something broke during the weekend and the “lake” of milky water was formed. In 1981, people started bathing in the lagoon, and people with psoriasis noticed an improvement in their condition after bathing in the lagoon and rubbing their skin with the silica mud.

The weather was sunny, and we also enjoyed bathing in thermal mineral water. We also made masks from silica mud, as everybody else does in Blue Lagoon. After an enjoyable bath, we also looked around in a souvenir shop selling all kinds of “silica-mud-Blue-Lagoon” products. We did not buy anything, but it looked and smelled really good. The dinner we had at Northern Lights Inn was delicious. We had seafood again and were really happy with the choice of codfish and salmon. During the whole trip, we have had only excellent seafood experiences—fresh and delicious. Iceland is definitely a paradise for seafood lovers.

Our trip to Iceland was about to end. Only one night of sleep and driving to the airport was left. In conclusion, we can say that the trip to Iceland was special and memorable. We are already thinking that this place is worth a second visit.

Photo gallery of Iceland

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