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Paul & Tracey's Travels
29th Jan 2013 - Iceland
Snow and the Blue Lagoon

Final day in Iceland. It will be sad to leave this great country. We have seen some great sights, learnt a lot, met some nice people, and overall had a brilliant experience in a country I have wanted to visit since I was a child.

Snowy start

Started off at 9.30 in a light snow shower. We drove West towards Reykjavik learning more about Iceland from our guide. The primary industry is still fishing at 55%, although this has dropped from 95%. Second is aluminium smelting, then third is tourism. Tourism is relatively young in Iceland, really only starting about 20 years ago, and then only initially in summer.

As we drove on the N1 across the mountains the dusty snow was blowing across the road causing a total whiteout. The only thing visible was the yellow poles marking the side of the road - if they were not there we just would not have known where the road was ! On the way across we did a slight detour to drive by a Geo Thermalpower plant, which has accommodation for staff who cannot return home after their shift because the main road is closed (which is often in winter). Needless to say there was a strong smell of sulphur all around.

Back to Reykjavik

By the time we arrived back in the capital, we had driven out of the snow. We paid another quick visit to the the Perlan for a drink and a last view of the city. Driving around it has been noticeable that there are no international brand shops around. Only seen one KFC, one Subway. There is a large mall on Reykjavik which includes Next and a couple of other international stores, but they only have these single branches in the capital, as there are no other towns anywhere near big enough to support the business..

Next it was south bound on to the Reykjanes peninsula in the far SW of the country where the international airport is at Keflavik. The drive took us through another large area of lava fields with snow capped volcanoes in the background.

Blue lagoon

About 8 miles from the airport is the hot springs area that has been developed into the Ble Lagoon spa. This is an amazing area. In the middle of a huge lava field is this area of incandescent blue hot pools that are said to be very healthy to bathe in. I have seen pictures and thought the colour had been doctored but even in the overcast weather they were a fantastic blue colour, which is caused by the white silicon.

As we entered the pool, it was absolutely freezing, and snow was in the air, but once in it is lovely and warm. The pool is only a few feet deep and the bottom is very uneven black sand/grit. People use the white silicon around the side of the pool as a face mask. There is also a little shack on the side where you can buy a beer ! A complex has grown up around the pool with a restaurant and gift shop. It was very expensive to get in (£30) but a great one off experience.

Finally, it was back on the bus for the short drive to Keflavik airport. On the way we found out that this was an area prone to earthquakes, and last weekend there was one of 3.8 on the Richter scale which was felt in Reykjavik - this was when we first arrived, but we were certainly oblivious to it. Our flight is 4.30pm so we will be back at Heathrow by 7.30pm, with fond memories of Iceland.

Next: Arrival in Miami
Previous: Volcanoes, ice, hot springs and prisons


Diary Photos

Paul at Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland

Dodgy road conditions in SW Iceland

Tracey in Reykjavik, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland

Paul at Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland

Tracey at Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland

Tracey at Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland

Blue Lagoon, Nr Grindavik, Iceland


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