30 June, Iceland – ‘All Over The Place – Europe, Part 2’
The Blue Lagoon is becoming the number one tourist destination here in Iceland, so you can’t really visit the country without acknowledging its existence in some way. It was accidentally created when a geothermal power plant was built nearby and the water they extracted began to gather and form mud lined pools in the lava. The white mud means the sunlight makes the water look bright blue and, seeing as the mud is so good for your skin, locals began to swim there. It wasn’t a great idea, as the bottom of the pools were full of jagged lava rock, so a complex was built to house the water, but there are now so many tourists descending on this luxurious swimming centre that the locals have become a bit sniffy about it and don’t tend to bother with the place so much.
Well, they can turn their noses up at me as much as they like, I think it’s awesome. Chris and I got showered and changed in the building alongside that resembles a futuristic 5 star spa (which I guess it is) and were then filmed getting into the water outside and commenting on the its bath-like temperature – all warmed by nature and fresh from the ground. Around the side of the lake are containers set into the stone with white silica mud that you can smear on yourself and leave for 5 to 10 minutes, so we made sure we did a bit of that on camera for comedy value.
Once we’d hopped out and dried off we made a quick stop a few miles away where the European and North American tectonic plates meet. There’s a bridge between them for the express purpose of running across so that you can say you crossed between Europe and America in 5 seconds. I can now say that.
The rest of the afternoon was spent driving around Reykjavik and its surrounding areas singing a song about the Icelanders’ belief in elves and how they live in the rocks, which causes all kinds of problems when they’re trying to build roads through famous elf sites. Chris was dressed as an elf and I was dressed as Elvis (the idea having been that I’d got the wrong end of the stick). We shot a lot of rocks, did a lot of very bad dancing and got a lot of funny looks from people driving past. All in a day’s work for us.