I Can’t Get a Decent Shower in Reykjavik..

By Posted in - Big Trip & Europe & Iceland & X-Games on August 30th, 2010

The water is hot. Lava hot.

You can shower as long as you like.

So why can’t I get a decent shower in Reykjavik? Well it’s because I am either showering with a bunch of other naked women in a group shower – awesome- or I am being peeped on by a small grouping of 10 year old neighborhood boys.

The naked women? Huh? Ok, well the answer is simple. Reykjavik is known for it’s thermal water pools throughout the city. It is geo thermal water (heated by volcanic lava) that runs through these pools and it is AMAZING. Seriously, I am hooked on these pools. The issue is that before you get into a pool or a “hot pot” as the jacuzzi type is called, you have to shower first. They don’t use chlorine in the pools (or if they do it is very minimal) so everyone needs to be somewhat clean when they get in. I appreciate that everyone has to at least wash down first except like most public pools in the U.S., Iceland requires you do this wash down naked and in a group shower. Well that realization hit like a ton of bricks! I walked in to get into my swim suit and I was bombarded w/ nudity – all ages, all sizes, you name it. Then I read the signs. I still didn’t quite believe it. I mean, why do we have to be fully nude? Further more, would anyone know if I cheated and showered w/ my suit on? The answer is yes, because at the pool I went to they have a person staffed to watch the locker rooms and make sure you get naked and shower first. So you have to undress, shower naked with others (no curtains or anything like that), then walk back naked to your locker and put on your suit. Also for the record, people don’t just run in and out of the shower. They take their time and actually truly take a shower with soap, the whole 9 yards. After your group shower then you get to go to the pools.

Is it worth it? Yes, totally. In fact, I am going back tomorrow. The thermal pools are awesome! The hot pots are even better and the pool next to the campground has 6 different hot pots all set to different degrees of hot water. Lovely. On top of that they have 2 huge pools and a big water slide that goes from dark to light and has flashing lights in one part. All this for about $3. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me, at the campgrounds in California 3 bucks only gets you about 6 minutes of hot water.

Ok, so what is up with the peeping Tom’s you ask. Well today I got in the shower at the campground and noticed the ceiling was see-through. Actually the entire bathroom ceiling is. They made it this way to save on the electric bill. Makes sense. The only part that doesn’t make sense is the fact that the showers are built into a hill so you can actually walk right up to the see through roof. So today three 10 yr. olds decided to do just that. I was having a nice hot shower when what do i spy but 3 sets of eyes staring down at me. Huge smiles, mouths agape, I was horrified. So I yelled at the them and then sprayed water at the ceiling. Did they move? Nope. They had me trapped there. I grabbed my towel but it is hard to change when 3 kids are staring down at you from above, laughing and unflinching. You would think that as a kid, when you are caught peeping, by the person you are peeping on, that you would run away. Not these kids. Didn’t even flinch. So I told another girl in the bathroom and she went out and they left. Then I got dressed and I went out. I walked around and there they were headed back up to the roof. They spotted me and took off. I removed my flip flops and chased them through the campground screaming at them. It must’ve truly been a sight – soaking wet American girl screaming at a group of young boys while running without shoes and with a towel and various bathroom items, throughout the campground. One of them got caught up on a fence and I thought I had him but he still got away.

So I went back to the tent mad and with wet clothes (which sucks in 40 degree weather). I told Randy and I watched for them and sure enough about 10 mins later there they were right on the roof again. Randy ran over caught them red handed. He then took a bike that belonged to one of the kids. The other kids took off running. We walked him over to the office and told them we caught one of the peepers.

He was smart though. Refused to give his name and then gave a fake name and address for his mom. He never apologized and still refused to cooperate with all of this info even when we threatened to call the police. The office took his bike and said if he wanted it back he would have to come with his mom or dad to claim it. Then his tears started. I started to feel a bit bad about it. I mean, I can understand the excitement of being 10 years old and realizing this vast opportunity with your friends. But what I can’t understand is why he didn’t run away after I caught them and yelled at them when I was in the shower? They just stayed and stared. It was unnerving. Who does that? I mean what is with kids these days? Then to have the nerve to lie and give fake names after you are caught the second time. I don’t know. It’s weird. At that age I would’ve been terrified of adults yelling at me, especially when I knew I was wrong and got caught in the act.

I’m such a sucker, after he started crying I tried talking to him and telling him that I’m sure he’s a great kid, blah, blah but you can’t do things like this. He didn’t care. Later on he saw Randy again (turns out this kid lives in the neighborhood) and called him a sucker to his face.

I just hope his mom finds out.

So far showering+iceland = group nudity.

(Sorry, no pics for this post. It’s just a random, funny story that happened today. More cool pics of Iceland coming soon!)

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(6) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Brooke vs. the World -

    August 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Oh god, that’s crazy! I don’t think I could handle the group nudity one bit, but I’m so happy that you’re having a good time in Iceland! I can’t wait to read more! I’m so happy that it is all finally happening for you Beth! 🙂

  • Nick Laborde -

    August 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Hmm … I’m still picturing a bunch of women showering together … damn, reality just set in … probably not all the type of women I would enjoy seeing.
    .-= Nick Laborde´s last blog ..7 Harsh Realities And A Thieving Santa =-.

  • Anthony -

    August 30, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Wow, what an incredible story. I am so excited you are there! Loved your posts so far. Your photos are so vivid with incredible colors. Take a picture of the sunset at 11pm!

  • Camping in Iceland | beersandbeans.com -

    September 11, 2010 at 7:39 am

    […] – Laugardalslaug . We visited the pools a couple of times and we loved it aside from the group showering! After a day walking around the city, relaxing in the pools is […]

  • andi -

    May 29, 2011 at 6:44 am

    wow, your post just reinforced the prejudice about americans and their schizo-prudeness. enjoyed you other iceland posts, though!

    • Bethany -

      May 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

      I agree with you that Americans are definitely not used to public nudity. Not one bit and it is always interesting to see other cultures so free with it. I try my best to go along with the customs and sometimes I do wish I was more comfortable being naked in front of strangers. But the 3 boys peeping that is a totally different story. I don’t think it matters where you are from, I think when you catch someone spying on you naked and laughing and giggling it’s going to upset you and make you feel weird regardless. it’s just plain rude to point at and laugh at people whether they are clothed or not. But I do appreciate your comment and I know it’s a common trait between americans. 🙂@andi,