We’re very sorry to say we don’t know the poem you’re referring to. We are, however, very familiar with the showering protocols of Iceland’s public swimming pools.
At every swimming pool, you’ll see signs reminding you in several languages that you must shower – in the nude! with soap! – prior to putting on your swimsuit and jumping into the pool. The signs even include diagrams highlighting the body parts to focus on when lathering up: Hair, underarms, genitals/backside, and feet.
The reason is twofold. First, it’s just basic decency to wash yourself properly before stewing in hot water with other people. Secondly, the more everyone practices proper pool hygiene, the fewer chemicals are needed in the public swimming pools. It’s a win-win!
Icelanders have been going to the swimming pool on the regular since before they could walk. That means they’re very accustomed to being in the presence of bodies of all shapes and sizes. Nobody’s sizing anybody else up, they’re just focused on washing themselves so they can hit the hot tub.
If you’re less accustomed to communal shower situations, most public pools around the country have at least one private shower stall available.
We’re people pleasers here at Iceland Review, and since we couldn’t provide the poem your tour guide mentioned, we’ve whipped up this rhyme instead:
So you’re visiting Iceland and want to go swim?
Then there’s something important you must do with vim.
First find a locker and take it all off.
Doff your shirt, pants and undies; and let down your quaff.
Now on to the shower, to wash all your bits;
from your head to your toes, and don’t forget your armpits.
Pay no attention to others, it’s not about looking cool.
You’re just getting clean so you can jump in the pool.
Finally, pull on your suit – nudity be gone!
You’re clean and you’re dressed, so go get your swim on.