Sue Ostler finds a cure for her hangover – and more – in the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik.

The 3.30am wake-up call in London before our flight to Iceland was grim. Have you ever found yourself booked on one of those 6.00am Easyjet flights? And wondered why the hell you’ve put yourself through it? You fall of bed and stumble to the airport with hornet’s nest hair and not a scrap of make-up. Then,when you get there, you see her, that meticulous, impeccable couture princess – read beeatch – tottering along with her Gucci bags and Louis Vuitton luggage and you just think, ‘Ugh!’

I can’t be a hundred percent sure, because the vodka induced hang-over state I was in rendered me numb, but I reckon I might have started some petty little fight with my partner Ed as we headed off – for no other reason other than I was sick as a dog. Many, many trains, planes and automobiles later, I was sprawled across my seat and feeling very sorry for myself, wondering if Iceland was even of this planet. “Are we there yet?” I whined over and over.

I was as green as Kermit and clutching the ubiquitous paper bag to my mouth for most of the trip. Luckily the plane was half empty (oddly enough there weren’t a lot of British tourists tripping off to make the most of the Icelandic winter.) Finally, we landed and wow – we were in Iceland. That icy air stung me like a Naomi Campbell slap. God I needed this.

Our tour coach, efficiently organized by Mr. Ed, was waiting for us at the airport. We chugged off to the Blue Lagoon, the jewel of Reykjavik – described as a geothermal wonderland – and it was. A series of natural hot pools of the brightest, most incredibly blue sea water set within a volcanic lava landscape that bubbled and steams like a crazy open air kettle.

I was in so desperately need of its famed restorative powers – could it really cure the worst British hangover known to woman? Apparently it did wonders for rickety bones and aching muscles, and God knows I had a few of those! Silica mud was also freely available – an essential part of the resort’s skin treatment facials. And there was no way I would be missing out on the burgeoning spa business that had sprung up around the lagoon – this was my wet dream come true. Literally.

You could get a massage while you flopped under the natural waterfall; a steam bath in the white mud walled caves; access to a sauna with a view of the lagoon; and various body rubs, wraps and massage from trained therapists. Where had this been all my life? Even just sitting and floating in the toasty warmth of the lagoon while the snow flakes drifted down around us was totally surreal. I was reborn. The whole experience left me feeling completely human again: clean, fresh, exhilarated and very aware that I owed it to myself to follow it up with a serious detox once I got back to London.

It was only when we ambled back into the coach and hit the winding mountainous road as we headed into town that I lapsed again. I had to race around to the side of our snazzy boutique hotel when we arrived and shove my head into a soggy plastic bag. What an auspicious beginning! Fortunately I recovered quickly enough to get under a power shower and get myself down to the main drag. Next thing I knew we had taken our seats in the Icelandic queen of electro pop’s bar.

Bjork’s favourite drinking spot was hip, happening and well hidden. We didn’t see her but, keep in mind she is quite tiny and may have been hiding under an ashtray. The locals didn’t seem to mind us being there – but to be fair, with his long hair and exotic looks, Ed probably could have passed for an Eskimo!

The next two days and nights passed in a blur of chilled vodka, river fresh salmon which tasted like nothing I’ve eaten before, tourist coaches sliding along icy roads, and packs of wild ponies with the happiest, shiniest eyes I’ve ever seen. Not to mention the shopping – quirky markets filled with all sorts of cheap and cheerful gems – the kinds of things you’d never find at home.

And there I was rugged up in a woollen burka and three scarves to try to stop my face from falling off. It was damn cold, but the food was real; the locals were friendly, if not a little indifferent and the scenery was simply exquisite. If you get a chance to visit Iceland, go for it. It may be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

Sue Ostler

About Sue Ostler

Sue Ostler is the associate publisher of "Rolling Stone" in Australia. She speaks on sex and relationships and hosts "Life in the Singles Lane" and "Vodka & Chocolate Therapy" singles seminars. She is the author of "Get Over It! "