Day 2: November 6, 2015
“60% of the Icelandic population believe in elves. Can you believe it?” Erling shares with us some of the traits of the hidden people: where they reside; how Icelanders build roads around rocks thought to be elvish homes – do not upset the elves! Erling also informs us of the great English illustrator, Brian Pilkington, who has brought to life many tales of trolls and elves. I may have even bought his tenth book, Trolls – Philosophy and Wisdom and added it to my mostly-children’s-books book collection.
All this talk of elves and Pilkington was on the way to the Blue Lagoon – 45 km outside of Reykjavik and, incidentally on the way back to Keflavik from whence we came the day before. As we approached the much anticipated destination, amidst the Grindavík lava fields, my heart warmed at the scenery. The view of the black lava rock is, as what a lot of people say, otherworldly. It’s what I hoped I’d see, though we saw very little of it on this trip. Lava lava lava. Closer yet: the smell of sulphur permeated the bus. Closer still: upon the first sightings of the silica infused and aptly named blue lagoon water, squeals were heard.
We were some of the first tourists to arrive.
We were given our magical wrist bands (for locking our lockers and running any tabs). Changed into out suits, showered t h o r o u g h l y, and heeding Erling’s advice, slicked our hair with the provided conditioner. It seems while silica leaves one’s skin feeling soft and “10-years younger”, it is not so good for the hair.
Tricky business wading around with a camera. The water was mostly warm-hot, with pockets of hot-hot and lovely to be in, with the air temperature being ~7 degrees Celsius.
My skin, and I have problematic skin, really did feel smoother and softer. I even believe my pores were less visible. Gasp. Gotta find me some silica deposits stat.
I went into the Lagoon knowing I would attempt to recapture an image I had seen e’r’day back home in the subway stations and on the TTC. Put on by IcelandAir, it’s an image of a woman with her one leg floating atop the water with a rocky Icelandic backdrop. I should have researched before striking the pose, but nevertheless, I too have an appendage and water shot.
Friend and fellow tour mate, said, “You look 10-years younger!” To which I replied, “Thanks! But… I put a mask on twice, so technically… I’m 10.”