Tourists Bathe In Tunnel Construction Run-Off - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Tourists Bathe In Tunnel Construction Run-Off

Published May 3, 2014

Main photo by
María Markúsdóttir

A group of tourists were photographed bathing in a creek, which was actually run-off from the nearby construction of Vaðlaheiði tunnel.

RÚV reports that construction workers for the tunnel found themselves in the position of having to act as lifeguards as well. About half a dozen tourists were spotted – and photographed – bathing in a steaming creek of water near the construction area.

While the heat of the water is a comfortable 40°C, it is not one of Iceland’s many natural geothermally-heated creeks and pools. Rather, it is run-off from the drilling of the Vaðlaheiði tunnel, near Akureyri. This water may feel nice to bathe in, but it is not considered healthy to bathe in, and is furthermore on private land.

The tourists in question were not arrested, nor charged admission for entry to the tunnel run-off, but were asked to leave. It is advised that those tourists who do spot steaming creeks or pools out in the Icelandic countryside be sure its source is, in fact, geothermal before bathing. Also, if the geothermal pool or creek is on private land, ask the landowners for permission to bathe – chances are they’ll say yes, but it’s polite to ask first anyway.

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