The pitfalls of social media. Instagram vs reality is a harsh truth we should all be aware of.
Be it gym goers with aspirational bodies, or beautiful landscapes of exotic countries, most social media users know by now that not everything is always as it seems. Filters alone will have an impact on anyone’s perception of the photograph’s subject.
It’s rare that the first shot you take will be the one that ends up online, and it’s rare a photographer includes every single aspect of a scene. You only need one clean corner of a bedroom to take a decent selfie, and you only need a decent angle to get a shot of a landscape without any ugly buildings in it.
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one such place. (I’d like to add that I’ve been and thought it was amazing and totally lives up to the hype, so this article is by no means having a go at the Blue Lagoon.)
However, like all Instagram vs reality pictures, the Blue Lagoon is not always as picturesque as social media might have you believe. It is, after all, a large pool turned tourist attraction, and like all swimming pools and tourist attractions, there is normally a building or two to go along with it.
Naturally, any building pictured next to the beautiful, steaming waters of the Blue Lagoon is not going to look as good as the geothermal pool itself.
It should also be noted that, contrary to popular belief, the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon are not naturally occurring. The lagoon is man-made, the water comes from the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi, and is renewed every two days.
The famous pale blue water is rich in minerals like silica and sulphur, averages 37-39 degrees Celsius (99-102 degrees Fahrenheit), and is believed to have medicinal qualities for the skin.
All of which comes at a cost, which could also be disappointing for some people. Visits start at around 64 euros, but can go up depending on what package you choose.
Some people were also surprised to find out that the lagoon is not in some faraway, remote location only accessible via a magical sleigh ride. Instead, it’s not far from Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. I know, right?!
Another fact about the Blue Lagoon, is that it’s incredibly popular. It attracted over a million visitors in 2017, so the chances of visiting the geothermal spa when it’s empty are slim. Instead, you’ll probably be sharing the pool with other tourists. Shock horror!
Earlier this year, it was reported that bars and restaurants in the country’s capital ran out of beer after 7,000 US soldiers descended on the city.
The troops were in town on their way to take part in the largest NATO military exercise since the Cold War, Trident Juncture 18, which was taking place in Norway throughout October and November this year.
Did they visit the Blue Lagoon? I don’t know, but they were certainly a blue platoon after the shortage of beer! Nice one, thanks.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.