Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blue, Silver and Sad in Iceland

June 18, 2013 the last day of our OAT Tour. We bathe in the Blue Lagoon, check out the Icelandic hot dogs, visit the National Museum and say our farewells

Blue Lagoon

Iceland's most popular visitor attraction, the Blue Lagoon is a giant bathtub that pools six million litres of geothermal seawater from 2000 metres beneath the earth's surface. By the time it reaches the lagoon, the mineral-rich milky, aqua blue waters simmer at temperatures between 37 and 39°C.
The pool is fed by the water overflow from the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi and is renewed every 2 days. 
Superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.
Besides poaching in the water, one can apply mineral mud to the skin for exfoliation and stand under a wonderful massaging waterfall.

What's in the water

Silica (SiO2)251
Sodium (Na)7.643
Potassium (K)1.117
Calsium (Ca)1.274
Magnesium (Mg)0,60
Carbon dioxide (CO2)11,4
Sulphate (SO4)31,8
Chlorine (Cl)15.740
Fluorine (F)0,18
Total Soluble Chemicals25,800 mg/kg

We give it a try


Cafeteria for non-bathers, pre-bathers and post-bathers

I made the circuit of the perimeter (only a small part was open), took several  mud baths and several turns under the waterfall. The water temperature varied from slightly cool to extremely hot.

The source of it all--The geothermal power plant

The Harpa, performing arts center, Reykjavik

This beautiful building with a glass facade just received a prestigious architecture award

Bæjarins beztu pylsur--Reykjavik's popular hot dog stand

The most amazing thing about Iceland is not it's beautiful glaciers and volcanoes...The most amazing thing is that the Prime Minister is in the phone book 
And that the most popular restaurant in Reykjavik is a hot dog stand. Airline brochure 
It is believed that the majority of Icelanders have eaten hot dogs from Bæjarins beztu pylsur, in operation since 1939.

Roman likes his! Moe & I liked ours, too.

The National Museum of Iceland

This wonderful museum tells the story of Iceland's history in interesting exhibits. I photographed only one exhibit--the exhibit on sliver work.

Silverwork is an age-old tradition in Iceland.

 Most silversiths were largely self-taught. some went abroad--generally to Denmark--for training and returned home with their journeyman's certificate. 

 The traditional Icelandic Upphlutur costume is worn with a cap and tassel. A cylindrical silver ornament--a skúfhólkur--sits between the tassel and the cap.

Manskúfhólkur hanging in a mobile

Silver cutlery was not commonly seen in ordinary Icelandic home, but many people owned a treasured silver spoon.

Filigree was a common type of ornament in medieval Iceland. Some of the silver was gold plated.

Engraving is the craft of cutting or scratching patterns or lettering into a smooth metal surface

The spiral staircase in the hotel looked silvery too

Farewell Dinner

We bid farewell to our OAT Icelandic guide Tryggvi and our fearless coach driver Ingvi.
Tryggvi and Ingvi

Our fellow travelers

Tryggvi explains Eyjafjallajökull

The March 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, although relatively small for volcanic eruptions, caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe.

Tryggvi had pronounced the name of this and other volcanoes repeatedly and still we couldn't say the names!

Women love a man in full leathers

Ingvi left the bus at home and came to dinner on his motorcycle. We bid him good-by afterwards

Thus we all departed for new adventures. Moe and I loved Iceland and its people. We hope to return soon.

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