Dan has done a super job of organising our Christmas holiday. I forget that travel used to be a stressful thing for me; remembering what times flights departed, which terminal we had to go to, how do we transfer to accommodation, what on earth are we going to do with our time? Since we moved to Canada and I declared Dan responsible for organising it all it’s been wonderful. Mwahahahaha. He does sometimes leave things for me to organise, like dinner tonight. On Christmas Day. When things are closed. Thankfully Restaurant Reykjavik is open, and their special buffet is only twice the normal price (at 119 000 ISK that’s about A$120 each) so we can eat dinner tonight but no dinner Thursday or Friday. Tonight’s Northern Lights tour has just been cancelled (damn!) so we have the whole evening free to spend at the buffet, which I thought splendid and Dan quipped, “Of course you’d like that.”
We got a coach (Reykjavik Excursions) first to the bus terminal (minibus) then to the Blue Lagoon (giant tour bus), somewhere between the city and the airport. I tried to fall asleep, as it was 5 am Toronto time. Dan was taking GoPro video of the sun rising. A couple a conversation in French behind us the entire 45 min bus ride. When the woman said, “C’est ça! C’est ici,” I opened my eyes. We were there. The ground outside, which looked like white sand on rocky dunes, was black molten rock dusted with snow.
The spa was set up to churn the tourists through, like a factory with people shouting in all different languages. We hadn’t bought tickets (just the bus had been pre-booked) but got in quickly anyway. It didn’t take long for us to figure out how the electronic writs bands worked for the lockers: if you find an open locker and close the door a nearby interface beeps a 5 second count down in which if you swipe your wrist band it locks the door and only your wrist band can swipe to open it again. If we’d turned around we would’ve seen instructions behind us. It was funny how different tourists behave so differently: all the Asian tourists ignore the bustle and just do their own thing, the British tourists diligently followed the signs: You must shower without bathers before entering the lagoon. They had showers with doors for those people shy of communal showers, or who didn’t explore the change room first. Still scarred from High School P.E. change room homophobic jeers I ran through with my eyes shut.
Their were a lot of Japanese and Chinese tourists, and not surprisingly almost all the girls were caking the white-grey mud onto their faces. It made me think of my Chinese step family. Every year I visit I have to tell my aunties, “No, you don’t look older. You still look great.” Cultural obsessions with youthful looks and wonderful skin make for funny sights as you float by. I had to stop myself yelling, “It’s a SEA MONSTER!” when a woman with a blue mud mask dotted with black bits of volcanic rock sediment waded past us, her wet blond hair half matted. She really did look like a villain. We quickly discovered that all the girls huddled around the edge had found the entry point for the fresh, hot water being piped into the pools.
We have still yet to go to Japan to see the snow monkeys but I reckon today’s visit to the Blue Lagoon was similar: humans are just like monkeys but less hairy. There was a poolside bar in which most of the younger humans were queueing up to get a plastic cup of beer (while wading in a volcanic pool). Lots of heterosexual couples were wading together, snuggling up. Dan was being silly with his GoPro – having brought a water cover. All it needed were children screaming and people grooming each other and it would be just like Perth Zoo’s baboon enclosure.