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  • The Anonymous Hungry Hippopotamus

Land of Fire and Ice: Nurture

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Now onto the "nurture" part of my trip to Iceland. Iceland is a wonderful place to slow down and care for oneself. Like the balance between fire and ice, I found internal balance during my visit by taking advantage of the many opportunities to be still and appreciate this country's unique offerings.


The Sky Lagoon

The Sky Lagoon is a new, geothermal spa nestled in a cliff, and only 15 minutes from the Reykjavik city center. The Sky Lagoon opened in 2021 and has since become a place of restoration for Icelanders and tourists alike.

The Sky Lagoon is located on the edge of the North Atlantic with an infinity-edge that makes the lagoon appear to merge with the ocean.

The change in the color of water in the picture above, is the demarcation between the Sky Lagoon waters and the ocean. You can walk right to the edge of the wall and see the warm waters from the Sky Lagoon spill over into the North Atlantic Ocean, while also watching the ocean waves crash against the barrier wall between the two.


The Sky Lagoon offers what they call "The Ritual." This is a seven-step process meant to maximize the benefits of the lagoon.

"Step One: Slow Down.

Ease into the lagoon's healing waters."

This is the cave tunnel through which you enter the lagoon's warm, soothing waters.

"Step Two: Cool Down.

Take a cold plunge to boost your happiness."

This step was difficult because the temperatures outside were already a frigid, 37 or so degrees Fahrenheit. Intentionally choosing to be even colder took some coaxing and a long, internal pep talk.

"Step Three: Relax with a View.

Feel the sauna's heat work its magic while enjoying the breathtaking ocean."

The floor-to-ceiling windows of the sauna overlook the North Atlantic Ocean with views of the Reykjavik Harbor. Sky Lagoon representatives say that these are the largest windows in all of Iceland. If you come to visit, I would recommend timing your trip with the sunset, which can be as early as 3:30 pm during the winter months, and as late as 11:30 pm during the summer.

"Step Four: Refresh Your Senses.

Enjoy a breath of cold fog mist to recharge and revitalize."

"Step Five: Renew Yourself.

Improve how you feel, inside and out, with our Sky Body Scrub."

The scrub is made of Icelandic salt, coconut and sesame oil and leaves your skin feeling incredibly soft and supple.

"Step Six: Clear Your Senses.

[In the steam room] Inhale and let the steam unleash the hydrating power of the Sky Body Scrub."

"Step Seven: Rinse.

Take a shower."

The waters flowing from the waterfall shower are naturally heated by the hot springs.

"Step Seven [continued]: Recollect.

Enjoy one final soak in the lagoon's healing water."

I chose to do that with a glass of wine which I purchased from the in-lagoon, water bar. This was a beautiful and relaxing experience.


Hallgrimskirkja Church sits at the top of the hill in downtown Reykjavik. I include it in this "nurture" section because it is a quiet and peaceful place for prayer, meditation, and self reflection.

Dominating the Reykjavik skyline, Hallgrimskirkja Church is the tallest building in the city and took more than 40 years to build.

The jagged columns on both sides were inspired by the world-renowned, Reynisfjara black sand beach, which I shared about in my previous post. If you missed it, go back and check it out. Reynisfjara was easily one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.

Look up and you will see the majestic, vaulted ceiling and the nearly, floor-to-tower windows.

Hallgrimskirkja Church is home to Iceland’s largest pipe organ which measures 50 feet tall, has 72 stops and 5,275 pipes. In its entirety, the organ weighs a whopping 25 tons.


The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon was named by National Geographic as one of the 25 wonders of the world. It is considered to have regenerative qualities because the water is rich in silica, algae and sulfur. The geothermal water is 70% ocean water and 30% freshwater and is heated naturally by lava fields 6,500 feet below the earth's surface where the water is 464⁰F. By the time it reaches the surface, it has collected minerals and cooled to 100⁰F, a temperature perfect for a relaxing soak.


The contrasts at the Blue Lagoon are amazing. You have the juxtaposition of ...

...the black lava, dating from the year 1226, with the azure, blue waters and...

...the cold Icelandic breeze with the warmth of the natural hot springs, creating steam that envelopes you from every side.

The Blue Lagoon has famously, mineral-rich waters, which you can languish in up to your neck. Avoid getting the water in your hair at all costs however. In fact, the Lagoon suggests that you coat your hair in conditioner and tie it up before entering the waters. Even without submerging yourself completely, you can feel all your tension melt away.


My time in Iceland brought me to a new level of relaxation and self reflection and caused a positive shift in my inner and outer being.

Stay tuned, because next up is the "nourish" portion of my time in Iceland.


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