Monday, July 24, 2006

The Blue Lagoon

Davið took me to The Blue Lagoon yesterday and it was beautiful. The boys spent a nice afternoon with Inga and Rob.

We drove about half an hour out of town and were never sure if we were going the right way because there is no signs until you can see it.

This is a very popular tourist site, and Icelander's go there too. The water is so full of minerals that it is a light blue and you can not see in it. The mud from this lagoon is collected and sold, or you can use it while you are there. The water and mud are so good for your skin. Some people say it cures many skin problems like excema, but I just like how soft it makes your skin.

The warm waster is great to lounge around in, and in some spots the water is actually really hot. Useful if you are looking to boil yourself alive. I also got a massage there. WOW! That was relaxing. A massage while in the water. I felt like a princess.

Background information on it:
There was some sort of refinery that had this extra water after the process. They just left the water outside and made a bit of a lake of it. People started going out there for some swimming. Rumor went around about how nice this water was for your skin. More people went there for swimming. The company with the refinery caught on to this and built a fence around it. Then they started charging people to swim there. It went well so they built a huge spa facility beside it. Now they charge people lots of money to go there, but you can get everything else there as well, like a massage, time in a sauna, skin treatments. They even have a line of beauty products. Most of them are made from the mud that collects at the bottom of the lagoon. This is the stuff people used to bring home for free. If I had a guess I would say that the company with the refinery now makes more money off there waste products now then the actual products.

1 comment:

  1. It's not a refinery or a factory. It's a geothermal electric-plant.

    The area under, and around, the lagoon is rich in geothermal energy. A combination of fresh-water and sea-water (from the ocean around the penninsula) seep through the porous lava-rock, down to a depth of a couple of thousand meters. There the water gets in contact with layers of extremely hot rock and heats up to more than 240°C.

    When they built the power-plant they drilled holes 2000 meters down into the ground, and salty, sulphuric, silica-rich steam (240°C remember!) came blowing up through the pipes. The steam from this small plant is then used to produce two things:

    1. Electricity - enough to drive the surrounding communities of more than 40.000 people.

    2. Hot fresh-water for residential consumption (hot tap-water and for central-heating the houses)

    When the steam has cooled down it condenses and is poured into the lava around the power-plant, and some of it gets pumped a little further off, into the Blue Lagoon.

    Until only a few years ago, The Blue Lagoon was positioned right next to the power-plant, until around the year 2000 when they decided that the sight of the power-plant was too scary for the tourists, so they moved the Lagoon a few hundred meters away, and out of direct line-of-sight from the power-plant.

    Here's a Google Map of the Blue Lagoon. You'll find power-plant a bit off East-wards (to the right).