Black sand beaches are fun. You can watch the glaciers melt away to nothing there. This is endlessly fascinating. Most Icelandic tourism is based around twinning this melting…
… with a bit of human heat…
Perhaps now you’re ready for the Beach of Blood?
Maybe you’re ready to go north?
You won’t be alone.
If we want to end global warming, we will have to resist it and discover cold.
Lagoons remind us that the “shore” is a zone made as much by the sea as by the earth.
And no place for humans. It is a dangerous place, where energies are not settled.
We can visit, but to live there? No, we’re too fragile. And yet, from them we draw life. No, not this one:That’s the effluent of a geothermal power plant, sexed up. Don’t be fooled.
The Blue Lagoon. A great place to dip into the waste water of a geothermal station.
You can lie on the beach and soak up the good vibes, too.
Very popular. There’s only room for a few.
And fish is served in the restaurant. Very pricey. On a cafeteria tray. And aren’t those IKEA dishes?
May I suggest a little drive to the North? Sigriðarstaðarós beckons, with a fine view north past the beached troll seals at the feet of Hvitserkur …
… to Skeljanes.
This is the real Blue Lagoon, right where the salmon swim out of the Húnafjörður into the Sigriðarstaðavatn, a lake by name but more like a fine estuarine lagoon full of young salmon going to sea and big ones flicking back. Make sure you keep your feet out of the water. Lift, good people, lift!
Munch some salmon, soak a little in the sun…
… it’s a good life. And for a power station, the ogre herself.
Friends, think blue.
Only nine years ago, Icelandic tourism was a simple thing: you drove around the country viewing the things Icelanders found interesting, and they served you coffee, put you up for the night, and cooked a lamb for you. An old bridge, for instance…
… and some smooching among the birches, the trees that helped to gain them a country.
Now, pain.In the waste water from a power plant. You, dear visitor, are an industry now. Iceland shows your face in a mirror.
Yet in the small towns now, far from Reykjavik, people are tired of us all; they want us to go away. In Grindavik, an old woman even rammed me with her shopping cart in the grocery store. “Fair enough,” I thought. But I remember the generosity and gratitude that began this madness…
… and trust it will continue.