and last but not least, the hot pots! that’s it for icelandic photos — back to our regular picturesque south next week! :)
so you ask, what’s the best part of so much hot water in iceland? definitely hot pots! :D
hot pots are pools heated by natural springs of geothermal water. sometimes they resemble big swimming pools, but more often than not, they’re just man-made ponds on a countryside hill, small and “rustic”. sometimes there’s a little hut for you to change, sometimes just the hole in the ground filled with steaming water. all you need to do is take your clothes off, have a wash and then soak to your heart’s content…
on our way back from the golden circle, we went by hrunalaug, a small pool featured in a number of guidebooks. you change and wash in a little side cabin, and in you go!
the feeling of being wrapped in warmth in the middle of a quiet hill, little bubbles sticking to your skin as you dip your toes in the black sand at the bottom of the pool… it’s just pure bliss. let me try to show you:
we had it all to ourselves for a while and it was easily the best part of the trip. i wish i could bottle this feeling, this simplicity, this magic.
did you know that iceland runs almost entirely on renewable energies, every single day? true story. between geothermal, hydropower and a little wind, the electricity generated is more than enough to power the whole country. the hot water also takes care of showers, heating houses, swimming pools and even the roads in winter. they still import oil for running vehicles and boats… but with the rise of electric cars, who knows? they might be 100% renewable in a few years, which is nothing short of amazing.
on a roadtrip in the island, we stopped in deildartunguhver to see one of the springs where the hot water comes from. it’s just a humble crack in some rocks… and yet, boiling water gushes upwards from it at the astonishing rate of 180 liters per second — the highest flow of any hot sprint in europe. whoa!
they pipe this water in a nearby facility and deliver it to households in a 65km radius. the leftovers get dumped on a nearby river, the steam making everything rather cinematic :)
the sulphur does make the water smell a bit like overcooked eggs, which is funny when you open the hot water tap, but one quickly forgets it after jumping on the shower. it’s lovely not having to wait for water to heat up — it’s instantaneous and super hot.
the best part of so much hot water? i’ll tell you in another post! :)
these are from a few weeks ago in the canal behind our house… it was quite magical to walk in the frozen ice and even beneath the bridges. definitely a new perspective, and only slightly scary!