Visit to the Blue Lagoon
Partipants arriving from Scandinavia and France on the afternoon of Wednesday 5th January will be taken by coach directly from the airport terminal for a visit to the Blue Lagoon. The visit includes bathing and light refreshments. A coach will also be provided from Hotel Saga to convey participants who arrive earlier. The visit must be booked beforehand with Islandia and costs 55 Euros. Don't forget your swimsuits!
The Blue Lagoon is the unused water from a power plant that exploits geothermally heated steam to generate electricity. But, environmentalists, don't let that stop you paying it a visit. It is well worth it. It consists of a large pool of steamy hot water, of an intense milky blue colour, set, as if naturally occurring, amidst a stunning landscape of moss bedecked lava. The owners have installed comfortable, modern changing facilities, a shop selling Blue Lagoon cosmetics and a cafeteria. Even if you don't go in the water it is worth the visit. An aerial view of the Blue Lagoon, with bathers, was part of the exhibition "Earth from Above" by the photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, comprising remarkable photographs of spots around the world taken from the air.
Reception in the town hall
The mayor of Reykjavik will invite all participants and accompanying members to a reception in Reykjavik Town Hall on Thursday evening, 18:30 h, January 6th, 2005. This building, in an eclectic style, is at the north end of Reykjavik's lake, Tjörnin. Constructed around 1990 it was at first highly controversial, dominating and somewhat out of character with the houses on the west shore of the lake and, perhaps more pointedly, dwarfing the state buildings Althingi and Domkirkja. But the denizens of Reykjavik have come to accept it. Its site, on the water's edge, celebrates the close relationship of Reykjavik to Tjörnin and its population of ducks and geese. In this town of many cafes it has one, with a nice view over Tjörnin, and visitors may survey in one of the public areas a large relief model of Iceland.
The congress dinner will take place at the restaurant Kaffi Reykjavik on the evening of Saturday 8th January. Tickets should preferably be bought beforehand from Islandia, but will also be available at registration on the first congress day. The price is 44 Euros.
The building housing Kaffi Reykjavík dates from 1863 and was originally a warehouse for sea mail. The sea was then much closer but landfill and building developments have separated it from the shore. Nearby is the old harbour, the construction of which early in the 20th century was essential for the future of Reykjavik. Nowadays there are mainly only fishing vessels in Reykjavik harbour, the cargo vessels docking in the container harbour, one of the largest in Scandinavia, and situated further into the fjord.