Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday´s Escapism

Monday have all time been hard to carry. Hard to bear. Hard.... just.... Hard.
That why this post is dedicated to all Monday haters.

This picture have been taken by the Blue lagoon, 25 km outside Reykjavik. This is a great place to go just to chill and relax and get ready to fight evil Mondays. I went there yesterday and that was amazing. This is very nice to escape from the city once in a while and if you look for escapism, this just perfect. The only thing is that you need to know when to go.

As you can guess this place is most likely a tourist magnet, and bathing in this blue water surrounded by a100 of Germans and 100 of Americans is not fun. Been there done that never again.

If you go to this place. You have to go after 17.00(5 pm)... no more tourists or just very few of them. Before this don´t even think to enjoy it. After 17.00 is just perfect... all the passing by passenger from the airport near by are gone (If you come from Europe and that you are on your way to America with Icelandair, you have a stop of several hours...and a lot of people just come to this place during their planes break).

The blend of the color of the lava field and the blue from the water, the geothermal plant near by make you feel that you are in an other planet or even that you are facing the end of the world.

This place is amazing, but i have to complain about one thing. They are becoming a bit too much internationally /Americanized oriented.
Let me explain.

The relationship that Icelanders have with their body is very simple. Nudity is not a problem. Especially between people of the same sex. Who cares we are all made according to the same "plan". If you take a shower in a pool in Iceland. Everyone is naked, and shower are open and absolutely no-one cares. You have to shower naked and to wash yourself actively.

I remember a very funny scene in the biggest swimming pool of Reykjavík a couple of year ago. It was a morning summer and i decided to go to the pool to swim a bit. When i went to the shower, naked, as usually, the place was full of American dads with their sons showering in their swimsuit. When i came, they turned the back of their children to me, trying to hide them and turned their back to me. They looked at me very pissed off and i could read in their eyes..."pervert". I didn´t care and started to take my shower, naked as i do usually. Then suddenly something wonderful happens. If i believed in miracle i would have gone all holly. The old grumpy man working in the locker room and shower of the guy, came to them and told them that they had to take off their swimsuit and shower naked because this is the rule in Iceland. He stood there and waited for them to take off their swimsuit. One by one they took it off. One by one. One by one he got them. If you are in Iceland you have to play by the rules!

My complains about Blue Lagoon is that, they are loosing their Icelandicness on this. The shower are now in and not practical cabin. You feel oppressed in it. This is just not Iceland.

To add to the problem, Blue Lagoon is the only place in Iceland where woman cannot be bare breast. A woman can be bare breast at every pool, every beach in Iceland but not in Blue Lagoon. All this to not shock international guest. Icelandic woman see their right being denied by foreigner visiting their country, and for economical reason. I think this is a shame. What´s next? forbidding gay people to hug in the lagoon, like other straight couple do?

I think that if you travel in a country. You have to play by the rules of the country. You try to adapt yourself and you don´t overcome the natural right of people in their own country because you feel offended. In the breast case, no one asked you to do it and if people want to do it, well this is their right. Because it´s alright here.

Unfortunately, the Blue Lagoon people doesn´t think the same and let the "international" rule them. What if suddenly, Iceland was full of tourist from Iran or Afganistan? Would they forbid the access to the Lagoon to woman ?

Nevertheless, Blue Lagoon is a very good place to go a good escapism. A place to go to take care of the body and to clean the mind.



art reproductions said...

This is a nice shot! I look forward to visiting Iceland oneday.

Tanya said...

Beautiful place to unwind for sure! I wouldn't want to be there during tourist time either, can't blame you!
And I agree about when visiting another country, you need to be aware of their customs/cultures and adapt. And if you are moving to another country, same thing. This is a peeve of mine, people who come to our country and won't assimilate to our culture/traditions.

Mo said...

It certainly looks like a beautiful place. It is so difficult when tourists come to partake in another culture and then want to change it.

babooshka said...

it's a stunning blue. You raised some interesting points in your post about living in another's country.

Landscape Photography Chester Tugwell said...

What a weird lanscape. I love your take on it.

Jean-Michel Dumont said...

I totally share your views. Thanks Virgile! - Je partage totalement ton point de vue!