The Winter Blues

We're one month into the new year already and so far the Northeast hasn't felt particularly wintry. Lately I've even found myself half wishing to be somewhere colder, or at least a little snowier. I didn't have this problem two years ago when I went to Iceland to research a story for Wend magazine. It was appropriately frigid during my time in the capital city. But before returning to Keflavik International Airport on my last day there, I made a short detour to a much warmer place that's practically become an obligatory stop for every visitor to Reykjavik: The Blue Lagoon.

Although the word lagoon is usually used in a tropical context, I suppose this popular geothermal spa, being a relatively shallow pool of water, technically isn't misnamed. What struck me about this quintessentially Icelandic attraction though, as much as the heat and the sense of calm that pervaded the whole complex, was the color. Even on an overcast day in February, the water seemed to glow, appearing a bright cyan or aqua against the drab surrounding landscape. Walking around after a dip in the famously therapeutic geothermal seawater, I snapped a handful of photographs that take me back to that day every time I look at them. Here's the set on Flickr.

The Blue Lagoon's 30 Euro entrance fee (about $39.40) isn't exactly inexpensive—especially when you add on another €5 for towel rental—but cheap holidays to Iceland do exist. Plan to travel in February or March and you'll get better fares and packages on Icelandair as well as lower hotel rates in Reykjavik. Sure, it'll be cold and dark, but spend enough time at a neighborhood bar, or better yet, a burger joint, and you're bound to meet a friendly Icelander or two.

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