We were on another bus, rumbling past more moss and lava, the local FM radio station piddling from the speakers. The smell of sulphur sneaked through the windows as Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson argued over whose Girl she was. That tedious spoken-word part in the middle never fails to make me shudder.

PAUL:  Michael, we’re not going to fight about this okay?

MICHAEL:  Paul, I think I told you, I’m a lover, not a fighter.

SHAUNA:  La la la! I don’t want to know!

PAUL:  I’ve heard it all before, Michael. She told me that I’m her forever lover, you know, don’t you remember?

MICHAEL:  Well, after loving me, she said she couldn’t love another.

PAUL:  Is that what she said?

MICHAEL:  Yes, she said it, you keep dreaming.

SHAUNA:  Lisa Marie said it too, and look what happened there.

Then Hall and Oates warned that Private eyes! Are watching you! It was strangely comforting, knowing no matter which weird country you ended up in on this planet, FM radio would always have Islands In The Stream and announcers with fat ballsy voices.

Soon we arrived at the Blue Lagoon, which is basically a huge geothermal spa, full of white mud and all manner of healing minerals and algae. We stood at the edge shivering in our cozzies and looked across the milky aquamarine water, steam curling around our feet. The lagoon seemed plonked in the middle of nowhere, hugged by piles of lava rocks with dark hills beyond. Since it was only 10 am the place was near empty and eerily quiet. Oce we got in… heaven! The water was around 36°C and felt like liquid velvet. It’s an amazing sensation. Imagine floating on your back… eyes closed, water slurping at your ears, toes and fingertips licked by the cold air above, your mind dissolving in the steam… until your sister grabs your foot and muses, “If you were to fart in here, it really wouldn’t matter, would it? All that sulphur…”

We departed with wrinkly fingers and crappy hair for a Golden Circle sightseeing tour. This covers the most popular touristy spots – the honkin’ huge Gullfoss waterfall, great vomiting hot springs at Geyser, a volcano crater, and a bit of þingvellir. I usually avoid being herded around on a bus, but we had such a tiny amount of time and money. It was more than enough to make you hunger for more and wonder which bank to rob to finance a return visit.


About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

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21 thoughts on “Steamy

  1. The Icelanders are brilliant market makers. What other nation could convince tourists to pay a monopoly airline in order to arrive and then pay some more money to bathe in the effluents of a power plant?

    Granted, it’s a great place to visit. I’ve had great times there. But the Blue Lagoon is pretty typical of the drill, which is to suck a lot of your cash in order to prop up the economy.

    Additionally, the Blue Lagoon is not just a hot tub, it’s a sauce tub. Upon arrival, I saw two people scrumping through the steam. My buddy found the inactive massage seats and, being too cheap to spring for messages or mud of our own, we began reaching in the crevices to pull out the fine silica sand and rub it on our faces.

    A couple of English girls joined us. “It burns! Oh my god! It burns!” one exclaimed before breaking out into a full laugh. “I’ve found the mother lode here!”

    She pulled out a fist full of mud and proudly displayed it for her new friends. A loaf of nasty, string and possibly nether-regionly hair was all I saw nestled gently in her proud palms.

  2. Girl,

    Don’t think that just because you’ve post-dated your entry you will escape the wrath of a musically caring South Carolinian. To listen to Michael Jackson, “post-Sgt Pepper” Paul McCartney and Hall and Oates (unless they are tied to a post and being whipped), all in one day, is too much for anyone to endure, even in a foreign land. On behalf of the USA, I hereby apologize for Jackson, Hall and Oates.

    Please continue the travelogue. It’s wonderful.


  3. Hate to be a real spoilsport, and peppermint aero bars are really yummy, but they’re made by Nestle. Could you all eat peppermint crisps instead? Besides, think of all those bubbles in the aero bar – do you really think you’re getting your money’s worth? They weigh half as much as other chocolate bars. Anyway, my issue with Nestle is that they promote baby formula in 3rd world countries without enough education on how to prepare it, sterilise the bottles, ensure the water is clean and safe etc. Have a look at Babies die because of it. So (sorry people) but could you boycott Nestle?

  4. Scotty – Too true. But I quite enjoyed handing over my cash and bathing in effluent. I’ve always been a sucker… heh.

    Denise – But I didn’t mention Aero Bars in this entry! Fair enough when you mentioned it on the entry where I did mention Aero Bars. But now, I feel twice as guilty.

    Luckily, the end our trip coincided with me giving up Crappy Chocolate again, I’m now limited to one small dark Green & Blacks organic non-evil corporation chocolate per week 🙂

    Kim – Apology accepted 😛 I didn’t realise I’d put the wrong date on the entry. Took me so freaking long to write it that it was past midnight and I was confused.

    Is anyone there?

  5. I love your photos, particularly the park bench next to the crater and the angry, angry sky over the unassuming, happy bathers in the Blue Lagoon.

    Aero bars used to be made by Rowntree and then Nestle bought them. So unfair. I thought they tasted much better when they were Rowntree. Other candies that used to be Rowntree but are now Nestle include Smarties, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, Mackintosh Toffee. These were my very favourites as a child, but now they’re Nestle. Poo.

  6. Fabulous photos!

    The whole Nestlé baby formula thing is misunderstood, by the way, by people looking for a corporation to be angry towards. I’d advise people to listen to both sides before giving up on some of the best chocolate going.

  7. oh megami, i SO agree… nestle chocolate is just plain bland. smarties ain’t what they used to be. vale rowntree!
    but i dunno why i can’t resist peppermint aero bars! i think it’s because the mint makes them refreshing! so i can fool myself into believing i just cleaned my teeth NOT eaten chocolate. mwahhaa.

    and david, i ate an entire ten pack of snack size aero’s while in iceland, so it really is time to quit. hehe.

  8. mmm, looks inviting, sounds inviting, now just have to scrabble up enough money and time to head over there! Just like my plans on travelling the world 🙂

  9. Really enjoying your blog! I will second the apology for Wacko Jacko as well as the rest of the Jacksons except for maybe Janet.

    But Kim, didn’t you mean “post Abbey Road” McCartney?

  10. As I was reading I could not stop smiling. I opened the photographs, one by one, and my jaw dropped and stayed open…
    Brilliant Pictures, Ms. Shauny. (And the writing is always top notch, so no need to point out the obvious, I guess… oops I just did it again…)
    : )

  11. þingvellir? I bet you never thought you’d use a thorn in a real word.

    Which reminds me… [switching into tedious uncle mode] did you know that ‘þe’ is an archaic spelling of the definite article (‘the’), and that when you see ‘Ye Olde Shite Shoppe’ that the ‘ye’ is just ‘the’ (þe) as spelled by printers who didn’t have thorns in their kits (ouch) and so approximated the thorn with a ‘y’?

    Or something like that. It may have been a very tedious dream.

    I could go for an Aero bar with a cup of tea right about now (funk soul brother).

  12. One of my favorite things about the UK were Wispamints. Much better than the Aero mint bars. I’ve no idea who made them, though I don’t think it was Nestle.

    I too love the pictures!

  13. i was hesitant about the blue lagoon, everyone said it was sooooooo commercial and touristy. But we went in january and it was just magical, it was snowing while we were there and we could never see more than three or four feet in front of us. Spooky and magical! and your photos are lovely. Mine are all just white-out!

  14. Sorry to go on about Nestle twice Shauny, I was just worried that no one would read the previous comment because we’d moved on to the next entry.

    I am no Martyr, it tears me apart that Nestle chocolate is discounted much more regularly than Cadbury at our local Woollies. And cos they do Cookies and Cream and no one else does ‘cept Hershey’s (icko). And after reading your last entry, I bought a peppermint aero (and it was good, if full of bubbles) before I was reminded (by the packaging) Nestle made them.

    And I don’t know the ins and outs of it all – probably Nestle are now much better than they were. They have a pretty good self defense website. But I’m still avoiding them.

    Anyway, you know what I really miss from the UK – Plain Potato Hula Hoops. Yummo!

  15. Commercial and touristy? Of course it is. The country needs to make money, right? But just because something is commercial and touristy doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. (As Faith happily found out!) 🙂

    Take the CN Tower. That’s super commercial and touristy. And it’s a racket as well…the cost of going to the top is just stupid. But local or tourist, the view is the same. Breathtaking. You have to go up there when you come to Toronto, and if you live here, you should go up there every few years or so. So amazing. I haven’t been in ages and now I get to take my son!

  16. no worries denise 🙂 i’ve seen those hula hoops you speak of, but have been too afraid to try them. i think i have enough addictions as it is…

    and well said, megami… tho i wish i had the same sentiments for Telstra Tower back home in Canberra! bwahahhaa.

  17. You know, the latest addition to your wishlist is only shipped in the US. Wonder if that’s in reference to any plans you’re making? hmmmm…? 😉 Succint description of Iceland there.

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