The Naked Truth About Iceland (AH)

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alexandra-dlAdam and Eve pranced around the Garden of Eden in all their naked glory. Lucky them.

In Iceland for practical reasons coats and wool sweaters adorn the human body but the stigma of the birthday suit in public is non-existent. I love the freedom that being bare exudes.

My country, Puerto Rico, is so hot being naked seems to be the only relief from sticky sweat drenched clothing, yet prudishness prevails and men’s machismo make a naked swim among guy friends an uncomfortable and irritable occasion.

In Iceland before entering the thermal pools, everyone of the same sex showers together.

It is lovely to see moms with their teenagers and toddlers gossiping and washing together.

Men having business matters settled as they freshen up their privates or bumping into the mayor in the buff is a common occurrence.

You can easily tell who the tourists are as they hold on to their towels for dear life and then strategically place their soap and shampoo when the towel is eventually dropped.

Although some get into the spirit of the state of undress.

I remember one particular time when a young American woman was taking her clothes off to change into her bathing suit right next to the hot spring in the view of everyone just as everyone else was doing.

Her mother gasped, “What are you doing!?” “Relax mom! People here are way more liberal!” she belted.

There is even a holiday that needs undressing. Some locals brave the cold and take a naked roll in the fresh morning dew on Midsummer Day to celebrate the solstice.

That’s my type of commemoration.

Alexandra Hertell – alexandrahertell@gmail.com

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.