Reykjavik, Iceland

Don't Get Kidnapped by Vikings

Yes, giants do exist and apparently they want you to buy their shit just like everyone else. The official path a traveler must take at Reykjavik airport upon landing takes you straight through a store filled with the smiling ancestors of tall blonde Vikings. We booked through Icelandic Airlines as it was the cheapest flight we could find. It also had a ten hour layover in this land of ice. We cleared customs and searched for our vouchers to a mini excursion on the island continent.

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa about 25 minutes from the airport. The light blue water contains both algae and silica naturally heated by the earth. After standing outside in what had to have been sub-freezing temperatures we finally located our transportation. A charter bus was filling with passengers all in anticipation of not dying from the cold. This was my thought anyway, not sure how humans can live in such a climate. And there goes a Viking in a tank top! 

The unbelievable efficient way in which The Blue Lagoon operates is astounding. Like cattle, prodded by smiles and branded with wristbands, we joined this cult one by one. Past the turnstile, down the hallway, we found the signs; women to the right, men to the left, or rather women here and men further down the hallway, both on the right. Public change rooms and showers was something I first experience in Germany when I was 18. For my fellow Americans who don’t know, this room divides those participating in the pool/park/spa and those either coming or going from this event.

After changing into my Iceland trunks I specifically packed to leave there, I entered into the pool/spa area. A few seconds later, Alisa emerged like a Venus trying to locate her cloud. “Pretty busy huh?” Eventually, out of pure necessity to preserve life, we threw our towels down on some un-ideal chairs and penguin-walked down the gentle slope and slipped into the warm water. As people covered their face in “mud,” we tested the boundaries of the “do not cross” limit rope which prevented dumb tourists from burning themselves in boiling water.

Water, juice and say what? ....Beer? Yes please! A simple tracking/payment solution is attached to your wristband relieving you of needing any cash or valuables in the swimming area. Very efficient and very relaxing. 

Empty plastic cups in hand, our stay was nearing its’ end, time to change back into traveling clothes and catch the bus.  Alisa muttered something about meeting up after changing and I agreed. In street clothes, I waited for her where we entered the changing rooms. And I waited. I waited 45 minutes thinking maybe the women’s changing room offered massages or special treatments the men’s did not. Good for her, treating herself like that. She works so hard. Still waiting. Finally, I succumbed to the idea that she had already left the area and walked passed the turnstile towards the exit. Not sure if I can get back in once I’m out. Here we go. No Alisa. Damn! Beers are how much? Okay, okay I’ll pay the tab/fine. Still waiting.

I finally see her across the resort, hard not to. She’s the only fully dressed person in the pool area. Yep, rockin the jeans and sweatshirt next to the tranquil blue waters of the Blue Lagoon. I should have yelled, or practiced my Jedi mind communication more. Either way she was gone as quickly as she appeared. Twenty minutes later a man is shouting to the crowd of newly arriving cattle. ‘Him?” “Him?” “Anybody named Him?” I’m a Him. I mean a lot of us here are, probably a good 50%. Wait, what? I’m Him, I said. “I mean I’m Jim!” “Good, good, good. Boy are you in trouble!” Alisa was behind this. He led me through the herd of patiently waiting cattle to the familiar hallway leading to the changing room entrances. Inside a public room, I found a woman who before she noticed me resembled my love. After her face turned in my direction, all the demons in hell rose beneath this geothermal hole in the earth and focused their fury on me.

I approached cautiously and slowly out of pure love instinct. “How was your massage?” “What took you so long?” “Get lost?” All fuel to the fire, which physically was being reflected in her eyes. I apologized to the nuns she knocked down on our way through the store in which we had to pass through in order to leave the Blue Lagoon. I hope they understood my language or at least the message in my eyes. Still need to work on that. I followed the fast walking flame in front of me, catching sparks and putting out fires as they started.

Surprisingly the seats of the bus were fireproof and eventually she realized I had not been taken against my will by the Vikings. I was safe, she was safe. Not sure about the nuns. This was the start of our European summer vacation. I’m sure she has a way different account of events that day.


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