The Naked Truth

16 01 2013

I would be remiss to not talk about Iceland’s pools and the Pre-Shower! Now that I am back, I had to readjust to the procedures.
Low levels of chlorine at Iceland’s pools means there’s no nasty bleach-like smell while you bathe. But to keep them clean, high levels of hygiene is required, meaning you have to wash yourself naked before getting in.
Yes, naked.
It’s not up for debate. And if you’re not sure where exactly you’re supposed to be scrubbing, you can always refer to the classic Icelandic Naked Androgynous Diagram, as pictured here.

Just to be sure you get the message!

Just to be sure you get the message!

This comes as a surprise to most tourists, who wouldn’t dare bare their bottoms in front of others, never mind soap their genitalia in a shower-room full of strangers. Icelanders, on the other hand, have no such hang-ups about the human body, and happily stroll around starkers in the changing-rooms while the visitors dart about with strategically-held bottles of shampoo and towels. And if you live here a while, you get used to it and it a way it is very liberating!

The thing to remember is this: the only person who cares what you look like naked is…. YOU.

Nearly all the pools are open-air (except Ísafjörður), and relaxing in a 40°C “hot-pot” while the snow falls gently on your face is a wonderful feeling, making all that public nudity worth it in the end.

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