Krosslaug

By Charlie Beckett

February 17, 2014

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Category: Swim

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This hot spring has been on the records in Iceland for about a thousand years. When Christianity was wending its bureaucratic way across this pagan land this place was selected as the baptismal site for west Iceland. Sensibly, the vikings didn’t want to dip in cold water so they chose this 40+ degree pool.

It’s east of Borganes on the western coast. You drive down a B road into a lovely valley full of geo-thermal steam and very rugged ponies [‘foal’ was on the menu at a nearby hotel and it’s very good].

It’s just 50 metres above the road in a grove of stunted birch trees. At this time of year with the temperatures never rising much above freezing it is encircled by grass magically transformed into frozen crystal blooms.

The low but very, very bright sun was shining full into the pool which had tiny shitake-style mushrooms growing in the deep green moss next to the source of the hot water. Bits of green slime were stirred up as we nestled in the soft warm water.

I am not remotely religious, but this is a holy spot. Liquid, warm spirituality of the natural kind.

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