The plane touches down, galvanized rubber wheels, screaming resistance as they scratch against the track, sliding the concrete when the brakes are completely locked, reduces a main length to a controlled glide over the asphalt, the journey ends in a gentle taxi to the terminal.
The Blue Lagoon is one of the few things I know about Iceland. That and Eidur Gudjonnsson, an attacker for the time being, is about his trade with Spanish giants Barcelona, which is all over the flyer. He is also everywhere at the airport, a modern building with slippery clean lines and a sense of flow and efficiency: It only feels Scandinavian.
Outside, the Icelandic sky is well known low, an infinite mass of clouds that withstand the asphalted moisture that I cross – apparently immature, but more likely, just not to feel the rain, so soft it falls. We Scots have a word for days like these – Dreams : A word born of necessity, the only one in our vocabulary that conveys a sense of this – one day we see so often. In many ways, it is perfect, a word that summarizes not only the weather, but the feelings induced by the observer. To use it is to surrender all that it implies – listlessness, a delusion of senses that draws on the heartbreaks; a feeling that you have been here before nothing changes that this may never end. Dreich – rhymes with sorrow, ends with an "eech"; guttural, almost Yiddish, but clearly Scottish.
I find myself wondering as I guide the coach how many words Icelanders have for this. Just as eskimo has so many variations on snow, I wonder if native speakers can distinguish between this and say another cold gray day; where the sky looks smaller like a slate and may carry sporadic metallic appearance lines of white, or the odd patch of blue, a distant reminder of warmer cliffs, distant lands.
It is an international coach; a strange mixture of foreign languages and different accented Englishmen, all of which ask the same questions more or less. Nobody knows where we are heading: "a kind of spa", the sum of our collective knowledge. Nobody knows how long it takes to get there or if we get it back in time to the next leg of our plane. I'm struggling with a call to tell the driver to stop when we leave the terminal. "I just want to wait it out again," I will tell him. An American accent behind me, confidently, reassures my incomplete fear, or at least I am getting ridiculous to think of them; She is sure she tells her child that nobody would arrange something like this and let people miss the flights. It would be stupid. Of course, I'm more pessimistic than she, but suddenly it's too late: we're on a sweeping, curved piece of asphalt that leads away from the airport, from safety to Iceland.
Even this close to the airport, I can see that the landscape of Iceland is strange . Obviously, that's not something I've ever seen before. I feel that I have seen valuable little, so personal experience is not the best measure, but it goes beyond that. It's contrary to something I've ever imagined, maybe save for pictures spell while reading Frodo and Sam's journey to Mount Doom. It is all strange rock formations that cast lots of massively exciting volcanic spears, strongly emphasized against the gray uniform of the sky. In front of us, the road, almost deserted, stretches asphalt apparently; It feels strange that it floats on the cliffs, a temporary resident in this foreign environment. It is not fenced or off, and there are no comforting, soft-looking fields that adjoin it. Everything looks unforgivable, hard, apocalyptic – an impression only increased by the geysers of the steam rises at various points in the distance. Apparently, the American voice informs her child, they are the result of volcanic activity. Geothermal action.
Sigur Ross music plays from memory inside my head when I examine the scene; a connection I had not realized I had made – another thing I know from Iceland. Earlier, I had always affiliated with their lonely melancholy with another kind of visual gloom – the North Sea, standing on a nightclub, watching the headlights of an offshore oily, felt small and insignificant as a wave of wave pummeled the Scottish coastline below me. It told me that the music, with its compound language – Hope-ish, someone told me it was called. It affected something inside me that recognized loneliness and wilderness, provoked longing for indefinite. From what I can see through the window here, I know where it comes from – another insignificant small country in the great Atlantic, where people dream of bigger things, more fulfilling lives, but struggle to express the wish or what it means; Hence Hope-ish: a language of intellectual property.
The bus turns off at a juncture, and the driver takes care to make the turn perfect and does not go too fast, responsible for his charging despite missing traffic. We appear to be heading for one of these geysers of steam. There are some low buildings clustered around, close to one of them. The road flows over the rocks against it while we train bound with it.
We pull up a parking lot; more black asphalt to add to the cold apparently. The rain is a bit heavier now and splashes my face clearly as I get along with the rest of the group after both the trail and the group around a rock, which, according to the driver's instructions, the ticket in hand, ready for inspection.
The entrance to the lagoon is a turnkey affair: glass door, horizontal wooden slabs, several of the clean lines and the subtle sharpness of the airport. My ticket has been taken without ceremony, and I have been informed of the hall against the men's changing area, boots to be removed at the door thereof.
Ten minutes and a spa for the shower later I go outside and meet the lagoon. It is essentially a large, natural spa pool – a major tourist attraction here that stands for the crowds. There is no concrete shape for the pool, which increases its natural feeling. It has many hidden hooks where you can sit still, as well as the main bathing area where people float, swim and coat their faces in sulfur-heavy mud, which is said to be good for the skin. The narrower areas of the pool are crossed by wooden bridges, and there are indoor saunas built into a wall of cliff next to the lagoon. Next to this is a waterfall in which shining children push each other into the cascade. It's all civilized, sensible, non-British; The only thing that seems familiar is the group of football fans who stop on their way to or from something, their drunkenness and the amount of their songs draw a lot of nervous gaze. That they start singing in German gives me reason to be both cheerful and depressed-glad they are not my countrymen, terrified that they represent my gender, proclaim to follow a sport that I love expensive and color further on the already sulliered reputation.
There is a strong smell of sulfur throughout the lagoon and I have been warned not to put my head under the water, with the risk of drying out the hair next month or so. I choose to try the mud pack and then float around the pool for a while, enjoy the sensation, discover the different hotspots in the water, further evidence of the geothermals, although I suppose they might have been used by the man. But regardless of that, it's natural, what about the open air, the spectacular view of the landscape, sitting outside half-naked without worrying about it.
The whole experience is extremely comfortable, a welcome relief from the flight tensions, although the slight doubt to make it back in time still lingers. The driver told us that we had an hour and a half, so with 30 minutes left I left the pool, the skin shone with the water impact and the head back for change.
My paranoia about leaving late means I have time to explore the restaurant area before leaving – a mistake as it instantly creates hunger pangs, as the multi-currency water-driven menu informs me that I can not afford to saturate here. However, there is a take-away area where the most affordable item is a hot dog – a reminder of both home and my destination, as the hermetic hot dogs taste the same everywhere.
The coach flies us back to the airport, all along with plenty of time before our flight to browse the duty-free shops that flow through the congress in a blur of Bjork CD's, sophisticated chocolates, body products from the lagoon, all seemingly fresh and novel, rather than cheap and tawdry as they would have done, I had spent the three hours here.
The boarding of the plane comes and people form a proper queue at the gate, the building's flow, the lagoon's experience, seemingly relaxing enough to allow us to do without the usual stamped to be the first to board.
Take-off comes without the usual anxiety for me, the stress of the airport this morning since forgotten. I breathe safely instead of keeping it in fear and enjoying once the feeling of being whipped heavenly. Ahead of the shining continent in America, a place that is modern and impulsive. Behind me lies Scotland: older, traditional, more in their ways. Iceland is somewhere between the two on the edge of the Circle, which is connected with World War II – definitely a place to come back to with time to spend.
Iceland Air organizes free tours to Blue Lagoon at any stopover in Reykjavik between Glasgow and the United States, and also allows you to stay in the country for up to 7 days at no additional cost on the ticket.
Source by Philip Stott