Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is the world’s largest man-made geothermal mineral bath and listed in National Geographic as one of the world’s Twenty-Five Wonders.Many people travel to Iceland in January in hopes of seeing the Northern Lights, but we have good friends who went last January and didn’t see a single streak of midnight light, so Alan and I were happy to go in August, when the thermostat doesn’t dip so low and the daylight hours are luxuriously long. Iceland in August is unforgettable, and among the dozens of delights we enjoyed, savoring a day lulling in the legendary Blue Lagoon was right up there at the top. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most visited attractions, and people come from all over the world to enjoy the ambience and healing waters. How does it work? Well, the lagoon is filled with sea water channeled from over a mile underground, past a volcanic lava flow that super-heats it to a searing 464°F. The water is used to generate power at the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station and then cooled to 100°F. before being pumped into the lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is built into a black basaltic lava field that’s thought to be 800 years old and looks natural (for a moonscape) as well as ethereal. The pools contain 9 million liters of water, which are circulated through the baths and then discarded, completely renewing the lagoon every 40 hours. The result is an enormous “spa” with luxuriously warm waters rich with algae and mineral deposits like sulfur and silica (which gives the water it’s beautiful, milky-blue color). If you’re squeamish about modesty (like I am), you can relax. The changing rooms are divided by gender, and everybody wears a bathing suit. Each person is given a fluffy, white, warm bathrobe (hanging on left) for wearing before and after entering the pool, which was comforting even in August! Complimentary silica-mud is distributed if you want to try a face mask, and refreshments are available at their swim up bar in the pool. There’s also a fresh-water drinking fountain in the pool if you feel dehydrated. There are walkways around the lagoon, although lava is sharp, so you’d need shoes and warm wraps before attempting a hike. Now, perhaps some of you who find this post are researching Iceland and are considering a visit to the Blue Lagoon. I hope you go and love it! However, there may be others who won’t. Either way, I’d like to share that there is a place even more restful and wonderful than the Blue Lagoon, and that’s the spiritual rest that Jesus offers: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). That doesn’t mean we never work anymore, but that does mean that we don’t “work” in order to obtain our salvation! Jesus has provided for us through his death on the cross, so we can stop trying to be “perfect.” Mud baths are unnecessary; we can be washed clean through His cleansing power!Instead of trying to “work” our way to heaven, we need to completely relax. Jesus died for us. He is our healing water, and He will hold us up. He provides clean, white robes for us! He gives us the pure water of life to drink. All we have to do is believe: “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28-29).“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest” (Hebrews 4:9-11).
(Photo Credits: Two of the photos I used appear on multiple sites, and I couldn’t trace it back to the original photographer to ask permission. However, I’m going to link them back to the most likely options I found:
The rest are mine, taken on our trip last August.)