After we boarded our bus on and began to make our way to the hot springs, our tour guide broke the bad news to us. Due to the weather, there was a high probability that the Northern Lights chase would be cancelled. It would be a game time decision but let’s be honest, bad weather all day with clouds men’s that the probability would very high. In fact, it might have been their polite way of just trying to break the news that it wasn’t going to happen.
We made our way to the geothermal hotsprings which consisted of both a set of manmade pools and then a natural geothermal hot springs right next to a lake. As part of the process of being able to enter into the super warm water, you must check in, grab a towel, head to the locker room and then butt naked. Not just butt naked cause you need to change into your swimsuit but rather butt naked and shower in front of everyone before heading into the water. Since the water is natural and doesn’t have chlorine, they want to make sure the water stays relatively clean and uncontaminated. As someone who was unaware of this, I was a little shocked when I realized the showers had no doors and faced the entire women’s locker room. But when in Iceland, you might as well do it.
So we stripped down, showered, then attempted to put on our swimsuits. Immediately following, we exited the building into the 30 F degree temperatures and immediate panicked at just how cold we were. 30 F is already cold but when you’re already wet and then entering the cold again, it is a terrible shock to the system. So we walked with a purpose (because you’re not allowed to run) to the closest pool of hot water we could find. We got there and immediately experienced the next shock to the system as we sat down in water 50-60 F hotter than the air around us.
We ended up hanging in the various pools for a bit of time and making friends with a group of older couples who were thoroughly enjoying running from pool to the lake next door and back. Have you seen those videos of people doing saunas and then jumping in snow then running back to the sauna? That’s what everyone thought would be fun to do. I, on the other hand, did not think it would be fun at all. So I stayed away from the lake. At one point, I got enough courage to run to the lake, dip my toe in and then immediately retreat in fear.
One of the things about these geothermal hot springs is that they make it a very enjoyable experience. There’s really nothing else around these except for the building. They do provide the ability for you to purchase wine and beer to drink while you’re sitting in the water. Also, there’s a building where you can purchase food while enjoying your stay there.
After we had enough of the heat, the water and our fingers were a new level of pruney, we made our way back into the locker rooms. Immediately after that, we packed up our belongings and got ready for dinner.