Iceland
Moglet in

© Copyright Moglet 2011

20th September

Next morning we decided to fill in one of the gaps we’d left, and have a look at the whale museum.  Although not huge, it's a well thought out space that occupies two levels, and includes the reconstructed skeletons of numerous whales (all of which were ones found on local beaches by farmers etc, rather than the product of hunting).  We also passed the Icelandic Phallological Museum (that's a willy museum to you and me!) but Jason was disappointed
to find that it was closed :-)

As the washing machine room was now locked up, we had planned on only staying here the one night.  But we had a last minute change of plan and decided rather than drive on to Akureyri, we’d head over to the Cheese Tub instead!

Iceland has a very well established network of natural hot springs, or Hot Pots as they call them here.  Some are marked on road maps, others are listed in books you can buy, and most are signposted.

There’s also a huge amount of variation in what you’ll find - from naturally occurring pools on rocky beaches to steaming baths inside glaciers, sometimes hot water flows have been diverted into concreted bathing areas, other times have been left ‘au naturelle’, complete with moss and everything else!

What we were heading for was a man-made structure, taking advantage of a naturally occurring flow of hot water. Once a well had been drilled to pump out the hot water, it was diverted into a huge old metal tub that used to be used for making cheese!  It's big enough for maybe 6 or 8 people, fantastically warm and has great views out to sea.  There’s a thermally heated container that's been converted into a changing room, and a constantly flowing shower for you to have a wash before you get in - and contrary to what we’d been told by more than one person, swimsuits are definitely to be worn!  Technically the tub closed at 10pm but I imagine taking a dip on a frosty night, maybe a flask of hot chocolate on the side, while you sit back and watch the Northern Lights dancing above you, might be quite a pleasant evening :-)
Hot pots are generally free, although like many of them, this one asked for a donation to be placed in an honesty box. Considering the work that had gone in to creating the area, the fencing and decking surrounding it, the shower and changing room, ongoing maintenance etc, I think the few pounds they asked for was money very well spent.  A relaxing time was had by all :-)