Thursday, April 29, 2010

Icelandic Hot Baths

I´ve come to learn that the way you survive the chilling winds in Iceland is to take a dip in the numerous hot baths that are in virtually every city you come to. We´ve been to the standard city swimming pools (which are heated to about 29 degrees C and have hot tubs at about 40+ degrees C). We´ve been to some natural hot springs that were kind of out in the middle of no where, and were pretty much just holes in the ground. And (most recently) the nature baths up in Mývatn, which are also known as the ''Blue Lagoon of the North.''

Standard procedure of entering these hot baths goes as follows (except the one that was in the middle of no where):

- pay at the desk (usually somewhere around 300-500 kroners)
- go into the changing rooms. undress. shower (without your swimsuit on), making sure to wash every part of you (and just in case you´re not sure if you´ve gotten everything, there is a sign with red shading that indicates the ''hot spots'' you should be washing)
- then you run as fast as you can from the door of the changing room to the pool (because it´s really cold)
- then you just relax and sit until you can´t sit in the heat and water anymore.Once you get out of the hot tubs, have gotten dressed and are wandering around in what was, just a few hours prior, a chill-to-the-bone-freezing-cold wind in what was already a fairly cold city, isn´t quite as bad. The wind isn´t as noticeable, and the nip in the air hardly feels like its there. Needless to say, every town we come to we look for the hot baths, and we are good to go.

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