We used to love visiting what has become known worldwide as the Blue lagoon of Iceland. The very same lagoon the journalists at National Geographic deemed to be worthy as a world wonder. Which led us to wonder if those same journalists had not traveled the world much.
You see, describing a pool of waste-water from a geothermal plant as a world wonder is totally beyond us and we think it belittles true world wonders as the Amazon rain forest, the Himalayas or the arctic regions to name but a few. Man wonder perhaps but world wonder hardly.
We also wonder why Nat Geo does not even care to mention the almost identical lagoon at Myvatn area in the North of Iceland. Myvatn Nature Baths would be called the Blue lagoon too if it were not an exclusive trademark of the more popular one in the South. All we found on the Nat Geo site about Myvatn Nature Baths was a photo session depicting the „Ten Least Crowded Places In The World.
But for better or worse, the Myvatn Nature Baths is also a large pool filled by warm waste-water from a nearby geothermal plant and has, more or less, the exact same qualities as the water in the Blue lagoon.
But what makes the Northern one better is the fact that it has much grander views from the lagoon over the Myvatn lake and lava area, secondly it is much less expensive, thirdly it is not pretending to be some grand-pampering factory for the rich and lastly, the steam baths here are quite unique for the fact that the steam inside rises directly up from the resource rich ground. Hundred per cent natural.
At the Blue lagoon everything is state of the art. There is a fancy restaurant and a spa center apart from the very professionally designed Blue lagoon store but the view consists of your fellow bathers and the energy plant nearby. At Myvatn Nature Baths everything is pretty basic and laid back and industrial buildings at some distance away. There is even quite a view over to the very lovely Myvatn lake. Guess which we like more. And when will Nat Geo give the latter one a world wonder status?
Note: when we say waste water we do not mean it is dirty or polluted but the fact that the hot pools are byproduct of energy production at the nearby plants. This is the part freshwater, part seawater that lies deep beneath and is pumped up to create steam for turbines making electricity and also used in part to heat freshwater. What is left is just spilled on the nearest ground and due to a chemical reaction far below the water is silica-rich thus creating those weird looking blue lagoons.Tweet
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