Bare it all ?

22 Oct

Hey guys, I’m back… from Iceland! What’s the first thing you’d think of when I say ‘Iceland’? Northern lights I bet, and the Blue Lagoon is probably a close second. When I did a bit of googling prior to the trip (not much cos my amazinggggg friend pretty much planned the whole thing, I just showed up with my luggage), I came across a blog with a section on Blue Lagoon. It said that everyone had to shower naked in an open shower area, in the respective male/female bathrooms of course, before you put on your swim wear to enter the Blue Lagoon. There were many comments expressing dismay at this arrangement and wondering why there couldn’t be stalls/curtains set up to protect the individual’s modesty. I can’t remember when that blog was written, but stalls have actually been set up at the Blue Lagoon bathrooms during my visit last week – likely to cater to tourists – so for anyone who’s uncomfortable with the previous arrangement, you can breathe easy if you’re planning a trip there soon. I’ll talk more about my experience there later, but most people I’ve chatted with on this topic were also uncomfortable with the thought of baring it all in front of others. Personally it’s not an issue for me as I’ve been conditioned by my multiple trips to onsens (hot springs) in Japan where you don’t just shower naked in a public bath area, but you’re supposed to remain unclothed in the (gender separated) onsen itself. All those travel hosts on TV you see wrapped in a towel? That’s just so the programme can be broadcasted. I had my awkward moments on my first onesen experience but with more onsen trips, I literally became more comfortable in and with my own skin. I can’t speak for the male population, but as woman I have so many insecurities about my body: better complexion, tauter skin, longer legs, flatter tummy, smaller waist … the list can go on forever. In the onsen there’s nowhere to hide all these imperfections and… it’s ok. The Japanese are so natural and blase about it that it didn’t take too long for me to get used to it. No one’s gawking or judging, just there to have a relaxing time. Onsen trips don’t magically make my insecurities go away, but I learnt to not be scared of facing our own bodies. What’s your take on this?

Myvatn Nature Bath

myvatn

We drove round Iceland and first checked out Myvatn Nature Bath in the northern region. We went around late afternoon and you can see from the picture it’s not crowded. It has 2 changing rooms, with the first one connected to the main building you enter in and the second one outside. We decided to head to the second one as there were quite a few people using the benches of the first and it proved to be a good decision because there was only one other lady using the second changing room. It’s fairly spacious with racks for shoes, lockers for your belonging, couple of toilet cubicles and a main shower area. The shower area is an open square section with rows of shower heads and a poster at the side circling the areas you’re supposed to clean before entering the bath. Shower foam dispensers are attached to the walls as well so you don’t have to bring your own. So yes, for Myvatn there’s no hiding. Though if you had the whole place to yourself and your friends (the lady left very soon) like I did, technically you can get away with not stripping but I think it’s only fair to respect the rules of the place you’re visiting. Please clean yourself thoroughly!

Myvatn has two big pools, one warmer and one cooler, and a large bathtub size section (at the side outside of this pic) with water temperate at 41 deg C. The water temperate is not very constant in the warmer pool, I can feel hotter or colder currents at different parts of the pool, so somehow I ended up feeling cold sometimes? We ran over to the cooler pool to snap some pictures and expected to freeze, but once my body got used to the water temperature I felt better actually since the water temperature is more constant. Btw it’s not cold water, just not as warm as the other pool. The view there was absolutely lovely and I love my time at Myvatn. A very relaxing and peaceful time!

Prices & hours for Myvatn

Blue Lagoon

No pics but I’m sure you can refer to Google. :p Due to the large number of visitors, you must pre-book your tickets to Blue Lagoon on their website. When I was there I did see a separate queue line for people to inquire about ticket availability that day but I also saw a couple in front of me being turned away as they did not pre-book tickets.  There are ongoing renovations to expand the place with a luxury hotel so I could see cranes in the background but no construction noise actually interrupted the experience. The facilities look really new, I guess they were recently upgraded as well. The shower section has cubicles with doors (without locks) and each locker section also one changing room (with locks). There are also vanity tables with hairdryers outside the locker sections so facilities definitely on point. There were a lot of people, in the changing room, in the lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is fairly big and since the number of people coming in are controlled by the booking system, it never gets to the point where you need to compete with people for space in the lagoon, but you know this is a tourist spot for sure. But well, I’m part of the tourist group eh? The water temperate is fairly even, if I remember correctly the water is at 38 deg C, but it got too warm for me after a while I had to periodically stand up at the shallow parts to put my torso above water to cool down. We left around 8pm and even then many people were still coming in, quite a few in suits! As the Blue Lagoon is located near the airport, it’s probably an ideal spot for those who only have a short time in Iceland to pop by and enjoy.

Ok, that’s all from me today! I’m not planning to turn this into a travel blog, but if you have any questions about my travels or have travel stories to share, feel free to leave a comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: