Freeze, then Simmer at the Blue Lagoon Resort

Blue Lagoon Geothermal Pool at Night

I’m one of those guys who stands in trepidation at the edge of the pool, dreading the first 10 seconds of frigid water after making the plunge. When I was a kid, I would do that thing where you run to the edge, shuffle to a stop, reconsider, and then go through the process of building up the courage to make another jump. It’s not that I was afraid of the water, it’s just that being cold is one of my least favorite things on earth.

So the idea of an open-air pool in Iceland isn’t exactly at the top of my bucket list. Stripping out of a winter jacket, snow boots, ski hat, and gloves in order to dive into a swimming pool doesn’t strike me as my cup of tea.

Nonetheless, people seem to love coming to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon Resort. Geothermal activity keeps the water at a balmy 102F (39C), so it might not actually be all that bad. Even if the pool and steam keeps people nice and warm, Iceland’s unforgiving weather isn’t the least bit interested in your comfort. Bizarrely, you can be sweating in this sauna-like pool as snow falls on your face.

Blue Lagoon Geothermal Resort

Image: Blue Lagoon

The geothermal pool is the focus of the resort, with walkways, bridges, and pool-side sitting areas ringing the favorite hotpots. Why anybody would ever want to lounge poolside in arctic temperatures is beyond me.

While the stark difference between the air temperature and the water temperature is one of the allures of the resort, we can’t overlook the overall atmosphere. With crystalline blue waters, steam billowing off of the water’s surface, craggy rocks, and the haunting hues of the northern sky, the Blue Lagoon Resort will make you feel like you’re on another planet.

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