Iceland is beautiful.
Last night Sari finally got in to Reykjavik around 3:00, and met me, where I was already asleep, at Sabrina’s house.
This morning we woke up early, and after walking around the Reykjavik harbor and finding breakfast, we hit the road for the Blue Lagoon.
Since the earth’s crust is so thin in Iceland, the country is able to generate a significant amount of its power geothermally. They drill deep into the earth, and run water lines through hot portions of the earths crust, to make steam and drive electric turbines. When this heated water is done being used for power generation, it’s pumped out to large pools on the volcanic flats.
Since the water is very pure and warm, it’s used by the public for bathing and relaxing, and the largest one, built just outside of Reykjavik, is the Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon has an other worldly feel – the large steaming lake of milky white water is surrounded by a pitch black field of sharp lava rocks, with the steaming cooling towers from the power plant gleaming in the distance.
Because of the minerals that are washed out from deep in the earth by the water, the lagoon is lined with a perfectly white, smooth silica mud. The mud is routinely used as a skin creme, which immediate softening effects.
We had a great time relaxing for a few morning hours at the Blue Lagoon, and then got back in the car and drove north on Route 1 for Borgarnes.
Arriving in Borgarnes, we passed through a 5km long underwater tunnel. Notably, when the tunnel was build in the sub-sea rock, the drilled out walls were never covered with anything – they’s still the raw rock, so it feels a bit like a very large mine shaft. Stark contrast to the tile-lined tunnels in NYC.
In Borgarnes, we stopped briefly for a run through the town’s museum to learn about the Icelandic Sagas, and the drove through the dramatic western coastal terrain towards Blonduos.
Tonight we’re staying with Christina at her apartment in Blonduos, along with another couchsurfer, Martina from Slovokia. We had a great dinner at the one local restaurant, hung out with the geese on the edge of the water, and now at 12:26 am, the sun has finally sunk below the horizon, and we’re going to sleep.