The Sun Never Sets on This Party in Iceland

“We lived for many years in a remote nook of the Utah desert where we developed a taste for isolated places and geological oddities. So Iceland was the perfect place for us,” says Mark Sundeen, writer for the New York Times Travel. It’s the longest day of the year in Iceland, and Sundeen and his companions have an amazing trip ahead of them in the article Iceland’s Ring Road: The Ultimate Road Trip.

“The week ahead promises us 168 hours of uninterrupted daylight in which to drive the Ring Road around Iceland. Though it’s not a particularly long distance, I already sense that seven days will be about half as long as I would have hoped for. And so we have bolted straight from the airport to the nearby Blue Lagoon.

Here, the phosphorescent saltwater, the bright and flat Atlantic sky and the backdrop of industrial smokestacks give the place an otherworldly feel, which is as it should be: the lagoon is entirely man-made. Icelanders generate power geothermally, boring into the ground for the steam that spins the turbines as it blasts toward the surface; then they recapture that steam as water, pump it to a soaking pond, and charge 20 bucks a head. We are the first to arrive, in the early morning, and by noon the place is packed with Europeans, Japanese and Americans. We crawl between steam cave and hot pot, smeared in a gray silica mud bath.

After an afternoon of poking around dirt roads and sulfur pits and making our way to a lonely lighthouse atop windy sea cliffs, we checked into a guesthouse in Reykjavik and went straight to bed. Two-thirds of the country’s nearly 300,000 people live in and around this harbor city, and with its famous night life we figured we should rest up before our first drinking binge.”