There are two words Americans aren’t used to seeing together: winter and swimming. One of the big things in Iceland are thermal pools due to all the geothermal energy in the area. It’s a part of everyday life here. Today’s weather was 43 degrees Fahrenheit, so a bit above freezing. Yet, it was actually really nice being in the water. It was super warm, surprisingly. At first, I started to do laps, but then I realized just how out of shape I was and ended up shelving that idea. No pictures were allowed at the pool even though it was a public pool because before you enter the pool, you enter the locker room and shower completely naked. It was a little scary at first, but I just followed all the other people at the pool. There were three separate pools: a lap pool, a hot tub, and the regular play pool. Attached to the regular play pool there were multiple slides. The big slide had a really cool northern lights feel in the middle of the slide which caught me by surprise at first.
After the pool, I went walking back to the Shopping Street. I wanted to try one cafe in particular, Svarta Kaffid, which is famous for their soup. They do the Panera bread bowl soup thing, except their soup was really really good. I’m always at a loss for how to actually eat the bowl though, so I has some trouble with that. I also managed to sneak Wifi from the tour place next door by peeking through the window from my seat.
I went to the coffee shop after that. This is a coffee shop I had seen many times before on my walks to and from the Shopping Street area. At first, I just sat around and charged my phone, but then I realized I was leaving tomorrow and I needed to get souvenirs. I had already gone around looking at the wool products, but they were all pretty expensive and I told myself if I ate the nice meal yesterday I wouldn’t buy the $100 wool sweaters I saw. This also included the blankets which were just as expensive. I did get some wool though which will be nice for my knitting when I actually get back to the States. While in the coffee shop, I had an epiphany. I decided to get a pack of Brennivin which is an Icelandic spirit. They call it schnapps here, but I read online that the meaning of that is different in the US. It’s pretty good even though its a bit strong for me, so I have to drink it pretty slowly.
Anyway, I got a pack of the airplane bottles since I won’t be getting a checked bag for the rest of my trip. Only four of the six bottles fit in my zip-loc bag, so I’m currently working on drinking the other two. I then went back to the coffee shop and had a hot chocolate to spend some of my Icelandic money. I do collect foreign money though, just I tend to prefer coins over bills. For example, I have at least one of each type of yen coin from my time in Japan. I also got an Icelandic hotdog since who knows the next time I’ll be back.
Today was a pretty good day overall. The pool was pretty inexpensive as far as things go. It’s 900 ISK for a day pass which is around $9.00 (a little less). My total was 1800 ISK because I needed a swimsuit and towel, but if you have your own, you get a really great deal. Tomorrow, I leave for Helsinki in the morning, so here’s to a safe flight and hope that I continue to have some good adventures.