64.9631° N, 19.0208° W: Iceland

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Iceland is known for having the most beautiful women and the most barren lands.

As we drove down a long, winding road the landscape seemed strikingly dark from the absence of trees and prevalence of the rocky terrain. As we road on we got glimpses of blue shores meeting small coastal towns.

We were headed for the well known hot spring, Blue Lagoon. My family and I were on our way home from France, but thought the stop would be well worth it. The hot springs are known to be healing, and we envisioned it being a rejuvenating experience for my 80-year-old grandma.

She declined to go in the water. Instead she passed our time at the hot spring sipping tea in the cafe.

As my grandma headed for the cafe, my mom and I split ways with my step dad Randal to head to our respective changing rooms. The springs require that you rinse in the shower prior to entering.

Regardless of any familiarity with the female body, nothing prepares you for entering an expansive, tile-floored room filed with hundreds of naked women of all shapes and sizes. My mom and I awkwardly squeezed through the room, trying our best not to bag slap naked bodies with the totes hanging off our shoulders.

After enduring the scene of the changing room, we strolled out in bathing suits covered by white robes to meet up with Randal (I’m not sure how he faired in the locker room, but I definitely wasn’t thinking about asking)

The three of us headed outside towards the large lagoon, ready to immerse ourselves in nature’s bath. We found ourselves traveling through Iceland in the summer, and as the name suggests it wasn’t exactly warm. We quickly took off our robes and entered the spring, minimizing time spent in direct contact with the brisk air.

The spring was warm and instantly soothing. We waded through the icy blue colored waters to the bar floating bar, taking advantage of the free drinks that came with our entry fee. My mom and I also took the time to try the mud from the spring as a face mask. I can’t speak specifically to how healing the spring was, but I cannot deny that it was relaxing.

Our brief trip didn’t allow for too much adventuring, but it was a pretty incredible, and still vivid, memory. I can already picture myself returning to Iceland with an overstuffed backpack and  a huge smile on my face, ready to explore the volcanoes and mountains the island nation has to offer.