23 May 2005


It has recently come to my attention that there is an undeniable link between swimming pools and hot-dog wagons here. There already are lots of hot-dog wagons here, but every pool, no matter how remotely located, has one hawking the wares outside. I asked an Icelandic woman about it yesterday, and she said, "Of course there's a hot-dog wagon outside. It's what you always get after swimming."

The new pool J and I went to on Friday was no exception to the hot-dog/pool pairing. It was the original Sundhöll of Reykjavík, located just behind the famous Hallgrímskirkja. It was built in 1937 before Icelandic independence, and still has a lot of original details. The locker rooms were all that "sanitary" style white ceramic tile and solid old doors with nice chrome fittings, and instead of a row of lockers, they were organized like mini dressing rooms, where the open locker door created the door to the cubicle. Each was even equipped with a mirror, stool, and hangers. No public nudity required to change out of your clothes here! (except when you get to the shower part... that is just as public as all the other pools)

It´s also now my favorite nuddpottur, with jets located below the seat level for calf massaging, and a panoramic view out across the northeastern part of the city. The pool itself was nothing special- the only inside pool here, and divided up in a way to make the lap swimming part less than the usually standard 25 meters. In the summer it must be an interesting destination though, with special gender-separated roof decks for sunning. I went up to the women´s side, and it was just a bunch of empty deck chairs on astroturf, surrounded by high plexiglass privacy screens.

Unfortunately, when we left the pool, it was late enough in the evening that the hot-dog wagon had closed. Better luck next time, I guess.

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