Monday, February 06, 2012

The Blue Lagoon, part I

The Blue Lagoon is an otherworldly place: a pool of apparently blue water, situated in the middle of a lava field. The steam-wreathed Svartsengi power station that looms above it might come as a shock to some, but it makes for a great contrast, and in fact without the power station there would be no Blue Lagoon. 

The power station turbines are driven by steam from boreholes which also produce a quantity of mineral-rich geothermal seawater which runs off into the lava field around the station. The original Blue Lagoon formed naturally when the run-off collected in holes and crevasses in the lava. This natural hot pool was discovered by power station staff and started attracting guests. Eventually it was fenced off, changing facilities were built and it  became a popular place for tourists to visit. 

Eventually the old pool was closed and a new and safer pool area was prepared farther away from the power station and the water was piped there. At the same time, a larger facility was built, comprising a spa, restaurant, café and conference rooms. There is also a shop selling Blue Lagoon cosmetics, souvenirs and Icelandic designer clothing.

At night the power station gives a fantastic science fiction feel to the scene:

Exposure Time: 30.000 s
Aperture: f/25.0
ISO Equiv.: 100
Metering Mode: matrix
Focus: Manual

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