In 1627 the Algerians, which Icelanders believed to be Turks back then, attacked Iceland, including Grindavík, and took away with them slaves from here, 12 Icelanders and 3 Danes. These people were sold into slavery in Salé in Morocco.
This attack has always been called Tyrkjaránið or The Turkish abduction- even though it is now known that they were Algerians and some of them Moroccoans.
There were also attacks on Austfirðir - The Fjords in the East, where 110 Icelanders were abducted.
They also attacked Vestmannaeyjar - The Westman islands, and abducted 234 Icelanders, which they sold into slavery. 34 Icelanders were killed. These people were sold into slavery on what was called back then the Barbary Coast, which is now Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.
This took place on June 20th - July 19th 1627 in two seperate raids and 400 people were abducted, which is a big loss for a small nation.
Ca 30 of the abducted people, out of 400, were able to make it back to Iceland, one of the Guðrún Símonardóttir, Tyrkja-Gudda, who later got married to Hallgrímur Pétursson, a minister and our most revered hymn writer.
The only picture I add is of the window in the church in Grindavík, depicting the abduction.
As in every hamlet in Iceland there is a memorial for fishermen in Grindavik. It is called Vonin or The Hope, and shows a woman with two kids waiting and hoping for her husband to return back from sea. It is heartbreaking seeing this, as so many women lost their husbands at sea and so many children lost their father at sea. And many sons drowned with their fathers at sea.
The monument is made by the sculptor Ragnar Kjartansson and is located above the Saltfish museum, Saltfisksetrid.
Iceland is known for all kinds of geothermal water appearing in the country. The Blue Lagoon is a place where salty water is used to cure minds and skin :)
This rather big and popular pool could be a nice place for anyone: people stopping by in Iceland for a day or two, couples, or just simply tourists. It's one of the best Spas in the world.
This place is truly unique because so salty natural water is probably only in the Dead Sea and trust me, it's not so easy to wash the salt afterwards! :) Usually, the body milk is included to the spa but it's okay to take your own as well.
You may find sauna, massage, Blue Lagoon cosmetics shop, clinic and restaurant over there.
By the road leading to the Blue lagoon and Grindavík there is a parking lot with information signs and a lava cave with a ladder so you can walk down into it.
This whole area is a lava area and there is a volcano right next to the town of Grindavík. There is a small path for walking on the lava there by the cave and it is very important to stay on the path as lava is dangerous and it is very easy to get your feet stuck in it or fall in a hole hidden by moss.
Once while I visited there parents were letting their children run on the lava. My heart missed a beat as this is so dangerous.
This was the only place that I visited in Grindavik. It was a fairly easy journey from Reykjavik by bus and I have to say that when we set off there was not one flake of snow to be seen. En route it started to fall and by the team we arrived it was fairly heavy and the clear skies had disappeared.
The facilities available to visitors are good - and there is both a restaurant and a cafe. The complex offers the ability to hire towels, robes and swimming costumes - in addition they have a large shop which you must exit through. It is quite expense, and even their products at their duty free shop in Keflavik Airport are a little costly.
The changing facilities are very good and they have a wonderfully modern electronic locker system, and the space is comfortable and pleasant. There is a small cafe in the area just prior to entering the water and it is quite an enjoyable experience swimming in the salty blue waters and then coming inside. My visit was on a cold day and it was even more welcoming.
The Blue Lagoon is a big 'pool'. The water is between +37C and +39C all year long. There are several pots that have mask stuff in it. You can put something out and put it on your face.
This Blue Lagoon is really great. When I was there, the outside temperature was +2C. So, it was delightfull to be in it. :)
The ticket for entrance was in September 2007 ISK 1800 for an adult person.
This IS a must, I don't care if some people would call it a tourist trap (never heard so far though). After a whole day driving, it was like heaven to go to the warm water and just to be there, doing nothing.
There where a couple of wooden pots from which you could take the white "mud" as a mask to your face and body parts, let it dry and then rinse away. The minerals of the water itself are very healthy too.
The spot with a lot of steam coming from is a boiling pot! One could go as near as 4-5 meters but then the water was almost too hot in some places and you had to turn around quickly.
The entrance ticket costs appr. 15 euros per adult. Bring your own swimsuit, towel, bathrobe and slippers if you don't want to pay extra for the rent of those.
The feeling after going "home" from the Lagoon was unbeliavably relaxed and happy.
Some friends and I came across a cave that leads deep into the earth. We took our flashlights and explored for a bit. We walked / crawled / scooted back for about a half an hour, then decided we should head back out. I don't know how far back the cave leads. There were areas where you could see light from above; and snow had fallen through the cracks. I am sorry but I don't remember how to get there, we were in the Grindavik area when we came back to "civilization"
If anybody knows where this is, I would be happy for you to share this information.
The blue lagoon is a natural geothermal spa which was created by the run-off from the Svartsengi power plant, which pumps up the geothermally heated water from a full mile below the surface. After being used to generate heat, the excess is ejected into the lagoon. It's an absolute must see and is a very popular trip on the way to or back from the airport due to it's locality to rejkyavik airport.