Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source and has been used, from the earliest of times, for bathing and washing. At Sæberg HI Hostel it is utilised in a sustainable or excessive manner.
The first living organism was born in the water. Human foetus needs water to grow. Up to 60% of the human adult body is made by water. We belong to water and we like it, in all its shapes and forms. If you don‘t agree, just think. There are people who like rain. Others who like snow, which is nothing but iced water. People who like sun and warm weather, probably also like going to the beach, near the water. People that like hiking love when they find a mountain, a river or lake with clear, pure spring water. And I bet everyone would be happy to find a geothermal hot tubs in the hostel in which they are going to stay during a roadtrip in Iceland.
Sæberg HI Hostel - a sustainable hostel
In Sæberg HI Hostel there are two hot tubs next to each other, right in front of the ocean. The good news is that to heat them up there is no need to use fossil fuels, just the natural geothermal energy. Basically, the water from glaciers, lakes and rain soaks down through deep fissures, pooling on or near pockets of magma. Because of that, the water heats up and returns to the surface.
Geothermal energy in Iceland
Geothermal energy is the fortune of Iceland, since 66% of the houses are heated by it. The five major geothermal power plants of the country also produce a little over 26% of the electricity used and the 75,5% is still produced by renewable resources. Sæberg HI Hostel is part of this group, using the national grid for its electricity. Geothermal energy is also used for heating the hostel, cottages and to supply all the hot water. And, of course, for the hot tubs in front of the ocean.
I visited Sæberg during the spring, even though in Iceland the coming of summer had already been, on the 25th of April. The tradition comes from the ancient Icelandic populations who used to divide the year in only two seasons. Someone told me that sometimes, while Icelandic people celebrates summer, it was actually snowing outside. In fact, that day it didn‘t feel like summer at all, especially for an Italian visitor like me.
Photo: Hanna Rausk Åkermark Instagram
Relaxing and living in the moment
Despite the cold weather, I decided to try the hot pot anyway. Or perhaps because of the cold. The first steps inside the hot pot felt like walking in the clouds, not to say in heaven. Sitting in there, with all the body surrounded by the warm water, it felt refreshing. Relaxing for sure, but it also renewed the mind and the spirit. For me, it was nothing like laying on a couch and staring at a white wall and thinking about life, or future, or past. It was more about living the present. It was pleasant to feel the warm water on the body, the cold wind hitting the face and the beautiful view. All of this cannot distract you from where you are and what you are doing. In Iceland and at Sæberg I felt exactly there, enjoying the moment. In Iceland, and at Saeberg, I felt alive.
Iris Andreoni comes from Italy, she studied literature and her dream is to become a journalist.
She is passionate about the environment and sustainability and living in Iceland gave her a lot of hints to talk about this topic.