Yesterday was Melbourne’s ninth day in a row with temperatures above 32 degrees. At midnight last night, the temp was a record-breaking (and sleep-hampering) 29 degrees – and all I could picture was this fjordside pool in Iceland, where I swam last August.
It’s in a sleepy little village called Hofsos in the northwest of the country, nicely off the tourist trail, and I drove by it around 8pm one night, en route to my accommodation (13km further along the peninsula). I’d already heard about the pool: it was built in 2010 thanks to donations from two local women frustrated at having nowhere to swim, and its magnificent design and siting seem to have captured the imagination of the country’s small population (photos of the pool appear in quite a few travel brochures).
I stopped in for prices and details, and despite running late for my B&B check-in and dinner reservation, the lure of that pool with that view proved too great. The complex closed at 9pm, so for an hour I hung out in the hot-pot with the locals who were busy debriefing each other on their day (a hot-pot is like a spa, without the bubbles, and it’s filled with warm geothermal water), and swam in the gloriously uncrowded pool with near-infinity views. Heaven.
So yes, Melbourne, I’m over the heat. I would rather be in Hofsos. And dammit, I need an answer to the question posed in a newspaper headline yesterday: ‘Who stole autumn?’ Please give it back.