Italy has its Pizzas while England has pubs when it comes to social activities. On the contrary, the pools in the Iceland meets the socialization needs of the residence with a lot of precision. The outdoor West End Pool in the capital city of Reykjavik was extremely busy on the snowy February afternoon. Steam steadily rose from the hot tubs after the Iceland’s vast geothermal network hit it.
The air was full of laughter and chatting. This center is indeed the meeting point for the Iceland dwellers. These pools are critical to the happiness in the Iceland, especially when dealing with a country that has minimal daylight in the gray winter that is long.
The natural surroundings of the Iceland can be desolate and harsh even though they are stunning. With the rainbow, sleet, and snow wildly present in the wind during this winter season. The population of the Island is close to 332,000 people and is centered around Reykjavik, hunkers, and they spend most of their time indoors as they wait out for the pool time.
The only places you can find outdoors are in the hot tubs and pools that dot the country. You will find at least one of them in each neighborhood. Most tourists like gathering at the famous Blue Lagoon within the region. However, locals are readily available in the nearby community pools. The unique culture has drawn a lot of interest from Iceland University researchers including folklorist Valdimar Hafstein.
The irony is that the Island is among the top three happiest countries in the world despite the harsh climatic conditions. According to Hafstein and other researchers, these pools are the greatest reason behind the happiness.
Hafstein goes ahead to explain that these communal pool and geothermal heat are essential for anyone who looks at wellness and health not just as a matter of being free from diseases and physical health but also considers the social and mental aspects. The people feel good at the pools and know their neighbors well courtesy of these meeting points. “You will have a homely feeling while there and the place creates a good vibe.” Says Hafstein.
The Island switched from the traditional coal-powered heat to geothermal in the 1950’s and 60’s. This switch enables the residence to harness the volcanic activity power of the Iceland. The infrastructure that came as a result of this switch allowed the formation of these communal pools, and they have been highly effective when it comes to breaking down any social barriers.
The pools present a liberating point where everyone is at ease of talking to the others. Chatting is among the major activities at the pool and people from all walks of life get there. However, the tubs also have some rules. You are not allowed to discuss issues that are too personal while at the pool. You should also take a thorough shower before getting into the pool and afterward because the Icelanders take the hygiene of the pool with the seriousness it deserves. Each individual is free to create his own schedule for visiting the pool.