Week Twenty-One – Icelandic Swimming

Yes I know that’s two in the same week. The trouble is I’ve got 52 things to get through, so I’d be daft not to write up something I’ve never done, when the opportunity arises.

When we decided to go back to Iceland we were clear we wanted to go to the Blue Lagoon again. The trouble is, like everything else, it’s stonkingly expensive. We’ve already been on the Golden Circle Tour and seen whales so something had to give. Besides we always like to try and do something local, and in Iceland public swimming baths are somewhere everybody goes.


We made it there on a bus (go us) and negotiated our way through reception. We knew it would be interesting when I’d done some pre-holiday research. In Iceland the swimming pools aren’t treated with chlorine so you have to be really clean. You are met with posters showing you exactly where to clean yourself, and have to shower communally (as my daughters’ would say, “butt naked”) with an attendant looking on to check you are doing it properly. Sometimes being British is a curse – talk about uncomfortable. I had no clothes on when the attendant decided to chat to me about where to put the towels. Excruciating.

The pool itself is huge with several sections for swimming and playing indoors and out. It’s geo-thermally heated so absolutely glorious. Hotpots surround the edge heated to different temperatures (as high as 42 degrees), both fresh and salt water. Beautiful Icelanders sunbathed in shorts and bikinis (it was absolutely chuffing freezing but I heard one of them say “I just love the sun”).

Icelanders go swimming four or five times a week so clearly don’t get as mortified by washing naked as we did. Hathersage will be a doddle after this.

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