Walking up this white snowy mountain I couldn’t imagine that I would be lying in a hot river on this same snowy mountain.
But it was true! I would!
After walking for about an hour we got to the top and I saw steam coming up from out of the earth. We were alarmed by the guide because the water was smoking hot and would burn on your skin through your clothes. At one point it could get to you because it came out of the earth and spat against a stone. The whole area was smelling like rotten fish, dirty air that I’d rather didn’t inhale….but ofcourse I had to..
Bathing in a Snowy Landscape – Iceland
We walked on a bit and there was a stream. I saw a man walking there, he was only wearing a swimsuit, he had a red body and was carrying a photocamera with him. It was unbelievable.. Every where you look you see snow…exept where the man was walking in the stream. There you saw a summer display of someone enjoying the water and weather. When I came closer I saw two other tourists in the stream, they were lying in there enjoying the hot water. I could see that they were hot 🙂 The guide of those two was the man with the camera, our guide started to talk to him in Icelandic language and he told him it was to hot upstream.
Bathing in a Snowy Landscape
First we did go upstream. I saw a couple of wooden fences, they were put in a cross so you had 4 places to use out of sight and when lucky out of the wind to undress yourself. I saw the clothes of the people in the water on of the fences. We stopped at the last one, where the water was the hottest. A lady from our group had already taken of her shoes and her pants and was standing in the hot water stream… She soon found out it was too hot and got out, barefooted on the snow…and got in again.. and out.. After a couple of times she went downstream and got in there and could stay in.
A bit more down stream, so away from the hotspring, the water in the stream got mixed with the cold ice water so the temperature was good for us, good for bathing in wintertime!
I was standing there in my winterclothing. I had eaten something, after hiking up I got hungry. Because I was not doing much I got cold and totally couldn’t imagine getting out of my clothes and into the stream. Your brains can’t really cope with the contradiction of being in a cold snowy winterlandscape and getting out of your clothes to get into a river… It’s just not done like that.. And so I wanted to keep on my mittens and winter hat.
I couldn’t imagine going in….seeing only snow!
Bathing in a snowy landscape
But after some of our group got into the water and were enjoying themselfes I went to the wooden fence and started to undress. I knew the water was warm…I had put my finger in there to be sure ofcourse. It was as if putting your hand into a warm bath in your bathroom. After undressing I got my wintercoat back on against the cold wind and walked into the hot stream.
I did and I loved it!! Hot Spring – Iceland
Soon my feet were used to the hot water and I placed my on the side of the stream. I sat down and slowly got into the hot water. Pooring hot water over my body to get in further. After adjusting to it I got in deeper. The stream is shallow but at some parts you can get your whole body in there. What a great experience!! I think I was in for about an hour, enjoying the heat and the cold view.
How surrealistic… I saw the hot stream….and on both sides white walls of snow. And where ever I looked I saw snow..
Bathing in a snowy landscape – Iceland
I think this is the biggest contradiction I have ever seen….and experienced!! Being in a snowy white landscape, in the cold…but getting out of your clothes and lay down in hot natural water!!
Walking back down it was already getting dark as it gets dark around 4pm – 5pm in Januari so we got this display of the sun!
I just had a great day!!
Want to read more about my Iceland adventures?
Twilight on Solheimajokul Glacier
Best Hamburger of Reykjavik
My Roadtrip in Iceland
Adventurous Walk in Thingvelllir NP
Or can I inspire you to go camping in Sweden?
Camping in Sweden – Allemansratten