Saturday, September 10, 2016
Pools and hot pots are an integral part of the Icelandic culture. Almost every town has a pool with hot pots, mostly outdoors, and people of all ages go and spend part of their day there talking, playing, drinking the free coffee and tea some provide, and swimming or just relaxing in naturally hot water.
One of my favorite memories is visiting the pools in Arkureyri on a hot (for Iceland) Saturday afternoon and being among several hundred people swimming in the two pools or hanging out in the five hot pots or going down the water slides. It featured an indoor pool that connected to the outdoor. Another day we sat in hot pots (OK, Gail swam in the pool too) when it was about 50 degrees and raining.
We did not go to the Blue Lagoon, putting us in company of about 10% of the tourists in Iceland. Most of the pools cost a few bucks and as you can see are generally not crowded. The Blue Lagoon costs about $40 ($10 just to go in to look) and you wait in line to get in. I later read in the geology book of Iceland that we picked up, that it's actually discharged water from a geothermal power plant that has so much silica in it that after several years clogged the porous rock and began pooling.