Friday, March 8, 2013

The Blue Lagoon, Iceland

The Blue Lagoon is a man-made lagoon, about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Reykjavík, on the way to Keflavík Airport.  The geothermal seawater is actually run-off water from the Sartsengi Power Station which is renewed every two days. 

The water is rich in silica, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfate and fluorine.  It is believed to have health benefits, particularly for skin ailments such as psoriasis.

There is white silica rich mud at the bottom of the lagoon which people put on their faces.  It's supposed to make you look ten years younger.  I did it a few times.  The warm water averages 37-39°C (98-102°F).  The water felt really good, especially with a bit of icy rain coming down.

Iceland has strict hygiene rules when it comes to its bath houses because the water doesn't have any chemicals or chlorine.  People have to shower before and after swimming.  The proper way to do it is to get completely naked, shower, and then put on your swimsuit.

It does seem kind of crazy if you think about it.  If someone asked me to go swimming in the run-off water of a power station in the USA or Czech Republic I would think that it was the craziest idea ever.  But in Iceland it is an absolute must!

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