Day 3: Power Plants and Naked Showers

We started the day early with breakfast at 7:40 am. Breakfast was a meal of toast with jam and Skyr, which quickly became a pretty typical meal every day. What is Skyr? It’s a type of cheese special to Iceland that looks and taste just like yogurt except it’s even lighter. After the meal, we piled into the big bus and then we were off the see Hellisheidi, Iceland’s newest geothermal plant.

Sorry to say but I didn’t retain much during the whole tour. I was just super tired and it was a bit hard to hear and understand the tour guide. I had a small argument with another GREENer about whether our tour guide looked like Wilson Fisk from Daredevil or Gru from Despicable Me. I think he totally looks like Gru, but besides that point, I had a nice time looking at all the facilities and equipment. One thing I like about Iceland is that everything is so modern and clean, even their power plants. They don’t like people wearing shoes inside homes and some buildings. Otherwise, the volcanic ash gets everywhere and apparently that is a problem here.

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Our tour guide looks like Gru from Despicable Me. You see it right?

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We had an energy economics class at Reykjavik University before heading over to Ellidavar hydropower plant. Ellidavar is the oldest hydro power plant in Iceland. It’s not in use at the moment because there’s a leak in the penstock, but it only closed last year and it’s fully operational. Everything looked very vintage. I was super tempted to go push some levers and buttons.

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Hey! Look who’s back to give us another tour!

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You know you want to go push those buttons

After that we went to the swimming pool. In Iceland, everybody has to go shower beforehand so they’ll be all clean when they go into the pools. They don’t want dirty people in their non-chlorinated pools. No diseases allowed! Here’s the catch:  everybody showers together naked (of course separated by genders). We were all pretty nervous about this part, but I was warned beforehand so I was prepared. Pardon my American sensibilities-I’m still not fully comfortable with nudity-but I put my game face on and hey, it wasn’t too bad! I tried my best not to look like the scared, clueless American I am, and I think I succeeded somewhat. The swimming pool was pretty nice and big. Icelanders loooooove swimming. It’s their time to socialize, gossip, and relax. I went into a steam room and was only able to endure it for 7 minutes, but I stayed quite awhile in their hot tubs.

For dinner, we went to Kex, which was this pretty hip bar and hostel place. I was disappointed there wasn’t much food, but I still had a pretty good time and the atmosphere was cool. There were even two punching bags in the room, serving as decoration. We played some games like musical chairs and limbo. In Iceland, twenty is the legal drinking age, so some of the people got pretty drunk and started hitting the punching bag and doing pull ups using the ceiling struts. Who knew drunk people liked to work out so much? We put on some dance music, and I had a fun time doing stupid dance moves with my new friends India and Christine. It was a long, busy day, and I’m happy to have ended the night in this way.

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