Our Scandinavian adventure began at 6 am in Grand Rapids Michigan. This is much earlier than I typically want to be awake on a Saturday, but sleep was futile anyway because of my own anticipation of the upcoming trip. Over the course of the day we boarded a 2.5 hour flight to Baltimore, used our long layover to explore the excruciatingly hot National Mall in Washington DC, took a train back to the airport to board our overnight flight to Keflavík, and finally woke up around 4 am to deplane and wait for our charter bus to our first destination: The Blue Lagoon.
The Blue Lagoon is a natural hot spring in Iceland, which has been turned into a luxury spa. Day packages range from €50 to €195. I was traveling with a group of thirty other people led by Percussive Tours, an excellent agency that specializes in budget travel to fantastic locations, and the standard entrance pass was built in to our vacation package. This gave us access to the lagoon, and use of the silica mud masks, which supposedly make you look ten years younger (if this is true I now look like a six-year-old since I applied the mask twice). For around 5 USD I was able to rent a bathing suit, which I highly recommend doing if you plan to visit. The suit rental will save you from having to deal with carrying around a wet suit that smells vaguely sulphuric, and the suits they provide are actually quite flattering. Everyone in our group was pleased with how the rental suits fit. You can also rent towels, bathrobes, and sandals all for around $5 each. When you check in, you’re given a wrist band that will serve as your locker key, and will track any purchases you make during your visit. You pay for the purchases when you return the wrist band at the end of your visit.
Before entering the lagoon, you need to shower. Shampoo and conditioner are provided, and it is recommended that you slather your hair in conditioner and leave it in for your entire visit as the water in the lagoon will dry out your hair and make it unmanageable, in some cases for up to a week after your visit.
The lagoon itself is around 100 degrees fahrenheit all the time. It was raining when we were there, but it was no bother as this actually made the hot water feel a bit more comfortable. After a long overnight plane ride, a relaxing soak in the lagoon was exactly what I needed. I left feeling rejuvenated, clean, and ready to jump into my first day in Iceland.