The Pool for Drowning Women

This is a tale of two days. A long bus ride in one, short daylight in the other. Both days took place in one. Today. 

The tale features three intrepid Vermonters who woke early after a fitful sleep. They lounged around sipping coffee and eating pastries because they had plenty of time before their 9 a.m. bus tour was to arrive. They wandered downstairs at 8:55 am to find out that the bus had driven past three times for what was supposed to be an 8:30 pickup. Fortunately the bus came back for one last check and they were able to embark.

“Phew,” said the mommy, who was very glad to see that the bus was empty and that they hadn’t held any other people up. The bus drove for a few minutes then pulled into a huge terminal. The family had to transfer to the big bus which was full of people WAITING for them.

“Shit,” said the mommy.  

The tour pulled out of Reykjavik at 9:30 a.m. in total darkness. Over the course of the next 8 hours, the family made a number of peculiar findings and observations as they traversed 150 kilometers.

Our wonderful guide was Sir Blab-a-lot. He spoke nonstop about interesting and irrelevant things. We learned that, because of geothermal energy, his monthly heating bill is equal to the cost of a pizza.  We also learned that his sister and the bus driver once met in a geothermal pool. Most interestingly, we learned that the two tectonic plates comprising Iceland are moving apart at 2 centimeters per year.
We saw a geysir — an Icelandic word that spread elsewhere — erupt. The sudden puff startled the beejesus out of mommy. We noticed that the odd New Zealand chap on our tour was unphased and uninterested in everything and just chainsmoked in his shorts. 

We traveled to a waterfall and were under strict orders by our guide to watch our step, and the time. He would not tolerate tardiness back to the bus. At the last minute, mommy decided to pee which put her three minutes behind deadline. Sir Blab-a-lot was not amused, especially after the family had already held up the bus once. The New Zealand chap slept through it all — lifting his head briefly to say, “this guy never stops talking.”

The last stop was to see a grand vista, an area known for being the former center of Icelandic parliament, as well as the location of “the pool for drowning women.” 

Uncharacteristically, the guide did not elaborate on the pool or why the women were drowned in it. Mommy pushed him for answers, and he said that it was just a killing method of the time. 

“Like our electric chair?” Mommy said. 

“Yes,” answered. 


The sun set at 3:30 p.m. on our drive back to Reykjavik. The Kiwi slept. Sir Blab went on about the weather, and the books we should buy at the airport for our flights back to our homelands. He told us not to miss the city public pools, where every Icelander goes every day for a swim and a sauna. Upon hearing this information, the family decided upon its destination for the two days known as tomorrow. 


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