Woman cooling off in Blue lagoon | Iceland Holidays| ScanAdventuresWoman cooling off in Blue lagoon | Iceland Holidays| ScanAdventuresWoman cooling off in Blue lagoon | Iceland Holidays| ScanAdventures

THE BLUE LAGOON & HOW IT BECAME ICELAND'S SIGNATURE ATTRACTION


Just a few minutes along the Reyjkanesbraut leading into Reykjavik from Iceland’s Keflavik International airport you glimpse to your right a trio of stainless steel cooling towers disgorging cumulus white plumes which disassemble and drift with the wind across the surrounding moss clad lava fields. These mark the Svartsengi power station which once people passed by without a thought, just as they still do the Alcan smelting plant a few miles down the road! But today people in their too many thousands turn off at the Bláa lónið signpost leading to Svartsengi where its effluent lake has become one of Iceland’s ‘must see’ attractions.

A power station being hardly a prototypical design for a tourist attraction,and an effluent lake not being the first thing you’d thinking of bathing in[albeit turquoise blue] , how did this get to be? Svartsengi [Black Meadow in old Norse] after all is nothing more than a bore hole in a lava field funneling hot underground sea water to its turbines and heat exchangers for the locals to enjoy the cheapest power in the world. But on the way up the bore hole the sea water absorbs a mysterious cocktail of minerals and silica which is still there in the effluent lake by the side of the plant.

The silica refracts the light rendering the lakes’ water a translucent turquoise and the minerals have medicinal qualities which, back in the fifties, encouraged an employee of the day with a dry skin complaint to bathe in the lake after work. Apocryphal man and story or not, his after work habit caught on and others joined him, attracted by the soporific warmth of the turquoise water contrasted against the surrounding black lava and the exfoliating quality on the skin of the silica mud which lies on the bed of the lake. Down the years travelers started stopping off to join the locals and a changing room with showers appeared, presumably on the assumption that travelers were more inhibited than Icelanders. The silica mud was bottled for sale and an enterprising Icelandic ad man re-branded the effluent lake Bláa lónið or Blue Lagoon www.bluelagoon.is

Along came a restaurant, a souvenir shop [of course], branded cosmetics, spa treatments, conference centre and all the accoutrements of a modern tourist spot. Tourist attractions are born and grow like that. A simple, idiosyncratic, local practice is transmuted into something that’s a parody of what it once was. You can bathe in the Blue Lagoon on the way in or out of Reykjavik or, if you’re not keen on parody, elsewhere on the island in geothermal solitude just like the Svartsengi employee back when.

Velkomið to Iceland Holidays by ScanAdventures. Holidays carefully crafted by our Travel Designers who are all Scandi by birth and with a collective 25 years experience.  Modestly laying claim to an Experience Second to None it’s that that lies behind every one of our holidays and how we help turn yours into something beyond ordinary. And if you can’t see something on our web pages to fit your personal purse & passion, who better than a native to design you a Bespoke Holiday Arrangement; whether under the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun. Wherever & whatever in Iceland we'll  help make sure it's an Adventure. Including being pampered at the Blue Lagoon of course.