One of the greatest things about Iceland is all of the natural hot springs and heated pools. Practically every town has a heated public pool. I think Reykjavik has about half a dozen. And I love nothing more than being in hot water when it’s cold outside.
I’m actually rather embarrassed that it’s taken us this long, but last weekend we finally managed to get out and make it our local pool. And it was fantastic. They do have two indoor pools, but outside they have a 50m lap pool, seven “hot pots”, a steam bath and three water slides.
One of the hot pots is quite shallow and great for kids with a mini water slide and a couple of goofy-looking fountains. It maintains a comfortable temperature of 38-40C, which is about 100-104F. They also provide arm floaties.
A was happy in the kiddie pool for about five minutes before he decided he wanted to go on one of the bigger slides. The walk between pools was incredibly brisk, so we hurried while trying not to run. The FREEZING COLD and rather steep metal stairs with diamond plating were a bit of a shock to the feet, I must say!
But the yellow slide was wide and not too steep and provided decent momentum and a nice big splash at the bottom…for me anyway. ;) Daddy did take him on the even bigger white slide, but they couldn’t get much speed going for some reason, so they went back to the smaller one, and we eventually let A tackle the slippery metal stairs on his own.
We spent several hours alternating between pools, pots and slides. I even tried the 42-44C hot pot, which is 107-111F, and it was almost painful. I could feel my skin prickling underwater and momentarily thought, hmmm, I wonder if this isn’t the greatest thing for high blood pressure. But it was still wonderfully relaxing.
All the local families looked a lot like ours: dark-haired dad with a blonde mom and kids. The skies were clear and blue with a view of the snowy mountains in the distance. And the sun was starting to set when we left. All in all it was a lovely afternoon. We’ll definitely have to make a point of returning more regularly.
Oh, and it’s good to note, if it’s your first visit to a pool in Iceland, that you are required to get completely naked in the gender-specific changing rooms and shower in front of everyone. They even have a little sign encouraging you to get all the right spots. So leave your self-consciousness at the door.