The Blue Lagoon!

On our recent visit to Iceland, we had the opportunity to visit the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal SPA about 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik and located in the middle of a picturesque lava field and one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The warm waters are rich in minerals like silica and sulphur and has been know to help some people with skin diseases. The water averages between 98 and 102 degrees F and the water is renewed about every two days. The lagoon is fed by the water output from the nearby geothermal power plant.

The lagoon adheres to a strict code of hygiene and guests are required to shower before and after bathing in the lagoon. You can visit the lagoon by purchasing a pass and there are various levels of passes one can purchase, from the standard pass where you basically get admission to several other levels where you get a towel, bathrobe, sandals drinks, and meals. The costs range from 35 Euro for the basic to 172 Euro for the luxury which includes a private lounge and shower. If you just want to visit the lagoon and not partake of the water there is a visitor’s pass available for 10 Euro. If you do not want to take advantage of one of their packages they do have individual pricing for the use of a towel, robes, slippers, and even a bathing suit!

The morning we visited the lagoon the weather was raining and the temperature about 50 degrees F which created a heavy fog over the lagoon. We probably could not see 10 feet in front of us, but it did provide an awesome experience. In the lagoon you can apply a silicone mask to your face, visit a waterfall which provides one of the best neck massages I have ever received, visit the Sauna or Steam Room, or just enjoy the warm waters.

We actually had a meal with our package, but we were enjoying the waters so much we decided to enjoy the waters and eat somewhere later. There is a swim-up bar in the lagoon which sells drinks and snacks.

A visit to the Blue Lagoon is a must for anyone visiting Iceland. You need at least 3 hours in the waters when visiting. We arranged our transportation from our cruise ship with IGT Tours and was very satisfied with their service.

Where Has Your Plane Been?

Have you ever wondered where the aircraft you are flying on has been? Not that it probably makes any difference, sometimes t is nice to know the flight history of your aircraft. For example, my wife and I had a flight from DTW (Detroit)  to LHR (London Heathrow) a couple of weeks ago and I was wondered where the flight was coming from, if for no other reason just to see if it was on time. I use FlightView to monitor my trips and FlightView will provide the information as to where your aircraft is coming from as well as flight details, times, and tail number. Our aircraft was coming from LHR. In researching the history of our aircraft, which is fairly easy on FlightView, I found that the aircraft had flown from ATL to JNB (Johannesburg, South Africa) then JNB back to ATL, then ATL to LHR, and then LHR to DTW. FlightView has a free version and a paid version (which is fairly economical). So next time you are wondering where your aircraft came from, just look it up!

How Smooth is the North Atlantic?

We recently completed a North Atlantic cruise from London to Boston via Iceland. The first question that we seem to be asked is how “Rough” was the cruise …….. as the North Atlantic is known for its storms and rough waters!

Well our cruise was an exception …… we only had one day of “rough” waters …….. and that would be “rough” with little “r”! We did deviate our route slightly to the east of Greenland because of high winds and we did encounter 25 to 30 foot swells ……. which were very noticeable …….. but not overly uncomfortable for me! In addition to the pitch (movement aft to stern) of the ship due to the swells we had roll ( side to side) of about 3 degrees maximum. Our Captain said this was the smoothest crossing he has ever had in the North Atlantic!

I asked the Captain what was the maximum “roll” that our ship, The Brilliance of the Seas, could safely handle. To my surprise he said 42 degrees ………. which is a lot! The ship actually had to perform this roll during sea trials! No need to worry …….. most ships are now built with stabilizers which would prevent any severe roll! Our Captain also said the maximum roll for passenger comfort is about 7 degrees!

While it normally a bad sign when the sea sickness bags are placed on the stairs ……… it doesn’t always indicate a rough night ……. but better be prepared!

You Wore What on the Airplane?

Have you noticed that dress on recent flights has gone “south”? Remember when people would dress either in business dress or at least “smart casual” on flights? It seems now …….. anything goes ……. and I mean anything! I realize that the whole world has gone “casual” ………. from Church to business ……… but isn’t there a point where it just goes “too casual”?

I was amazed at the dress of passengers on a recent flight ……… and it was not just younger passengers ………. mature passengers had also joined the movement!

While there might be some passengers that look pretty good in their down scaled dress …….. there are others that just aren’t attractive in their tank tops and gym shorts!

Titanic Memories!

It’s a beautiful day in Cobh, Ireland. I’m sitting at the Rob Roy Pub having a Guinness. Ladies are walking along the streets in early 1900 period dresses. People are doing last minute shopping before the ship sails in a couple of hours. There is an air of excitement as the passengers prepare for the final leg of their transatlantic cruise.

Is it 1912 or 2014? The Titanic made its last stop in Cobh in 1912 prior to its final voyage. Her passengers were walking the streets of Cobh, doing last minute shopping and maybe a having a Guinness!

As I drink my Guinness at the Rob Roy Pub, I wonder who might have been sitting at this table in 1912: Where they on the Titanic? Did they die or survive? What where their last thoughts?

As we walk to our ship docked in Cobh, there is an air of excitement as we pass other women in 1900 dress ……….. is it 1912 or 2014?