I am going through my usual large number of photos from the trip to Iceland, and will be posting a few of them in no particular order. The Icelandic language is one of the most complicated ones to spell and to pronounce, so I will not be listing most of the places where the photos were taken. Our group kept up a pretty fast pace, so a lot of the trip locations just blended together, especially all of those waterfalls.
The Icelandic people are particularly fond of soaking in man made pools outside, or in certain sections of streams that are fed by hot water that bubbles up from deep underground. The mid Atlantic ridge snakes through the country from northeast to southwest, so this is where most of the hot soaking pools are located.
The first stop for our group after being picked up at the airport was to go to the nearby Blue Lagoon for a nice soak. This is Iceland’s premier geothermal spa, and is located amidst an extensive and barren lava field. Next to the lagoon is a geothermal power plant where ocean water is pumped 1 kilometer into the ground to the magma layer to be super heated. The steam that comes up then turns the turbines creating electricity. The steam in the photos below is coming from the power plant. The left over hot water is then sent to the lagoon. The spa was opened in the mid 80’s after the locals discovered that soaking in the silica rich hot water cured a variety of skin ailments.
My experience of the water was that it was very alive and had a consciousness of its very own. It was like soaking in a very busy and yet nurturing liquid. In the weeks before the trip, I had been plagued by some muscle spasms in my lower back, and all of that completely cleared up after a nice soak. I do believe that it was possible to communicate with the consciousness of the water to express the desire for a specific healing, which I did.
The next day, we got to experience a different kind of soak. In the afternoon, we were driven to a trailhead up in the mountains for a 4 mile, one way and down slope hike. About halfway down to our pick up point was a hot stream that is also very popular with the locals for soaking. The hot water enters the stream upslope, and so there is a warning sign letting people know that the water at that spot is dangerously hot.
Here, there is no really private way to change into your bathing suit, so you just do it quickly and ignore everyone else.
Then, slide into the hot water of the stream and enjoy.
As opposed to the mineral rich and very buoyant water of the Blue Lagoon, this water was crystal clear and drinkable (if you wanted to) spring water. When we were done soaking, it was time to quickly change back into our hiking clothes and walk the 2 miles down to the parking lot and our waiting bus.