Nerves in the blue lagoon, by Ramon Aymerich

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There are many reasons to visit Iceland. From sheep that are always in pairs and attack you when you drive on secondary roads to craters full of water in which to bathe, such as the Askja, glaciers, whales, colonies of puffins or the Highlands, that frozen desert that overwhelms with the sensation of loneliness and the conviction of being in the last corner of the planet.

The Blue Lagoon on a less crowded day

Third parties

But in reality, what never fails on the tourist circuits are the geyser (the Strokkur) and the Blue Lagoon. You can imagine the geyser. A lot of people crowded around waiting for the stream of boiling water to come out of the hole every five minutes. Contained emotion and an oh! of admiration when it is finished.

The Blue Lagoon is a pool of natural origin filled with water that comes from a lava field (although it first passes through a geothermal power plant). You enter the dressing room, take a shower, put on a bathrobe and slippers and then immerse yourself in a milky-looking, turquoise-blue liquid that is always at 37 degrees.

The Blue Lagoon has always been a place to observe the best clients of luxury tourism. There are Americans, large families from the Gulf countries, young couples from India, Russians (until the war in Ukraine came) and Chinese (who have returned after the pandemic). The latter stand out from the rest. They bathe without taking off their Rolex and talk on their cell phones even when the water reaches their chins.

Volcanic activity forces Iceland's luxury tourism symbol to close

This week, the company that manages the lagoon has closed it until November 16. The blame lies on the accumulation of magma under the soil of the Reykjanes peninsula, where the lagoon is located. The company warns that this is a “preventive” decision. There is no indication that the magma is approaching the surface, authorities say, even though the surrounding soil has swelled in recent days.

Reykjanes has accumulated 23,000 shocks since October 25. But that is nothing for Icelanders, accustomed to living among ash rain, gas emissions and, from time to time, an eruption. In any case, according to Vikurfrettir, the local newspaper, 40 tourists residing in the luxury complex that surrounds the lagoon left their rooms one day before closing. They declared themselves “terrified.”

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