This is the 4th and final day in Iceland aka Friday last week. Working on the assumption that you haven’t really experienced a city if you haven’t worked out there, on Friday we decide to go to the gym. We ask three different people in our hotel where the nearest gym is and they direct us to a place called Laugardalslaug, which is 10-15 minutes on the bus from the city centre where we’re staying. This means that either there is only one gym in Reykjavik or our hotel has a deal with Laugardalslaug.
Anyway, I’m not complaining because this is actually the best gym I’ve ever been to in my life. I want to die there. This is not a figure of speech; I literally want to leave my last breath on that gym floor and then I want to be cremated and I want to have my ashes spread in the free weights area (24%), outdoor swimming pool (24%), showers (24%) and changing rooms (24%). And I want one of the Personal Trainers to snort the remaining 4%.
But before that, here’s some more about the gym. “Laugardalslaug” refers to the whole sports complex that the gym is part of. This includes an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor swimming pool, spa, football stadium, God knows what else, I can’t see, as I’ve mentioned everything is steamy and blurred in Iceland. The gym itself is called World Class I think and the website is here: http://www.worldclass.is/
Unfortunately it’s in Icelandic so I don’t know what they’re banging on about and it really upsets me that I don’t have any readers from Iceland who could help me with this, as it’s now one of my favourite countries. Which reminds me – so many people read this. Do you not have any contacts in Iceland? If you do, can you please force them to read this blog / become my friend / adopt me? Thank you.
Anyway, back to the gym and here’s what happens there:
- We walk in and pay a day fee and I have a picture taken of my eyes and from then on I can go through the various doors by scanning my eye. I can’t think of something more exciting that’s happened to me in the last 11 years
- We head to the changing rooms (walking past the hairdresser’s, various shops on the way) and the changing rooms are as big as the postcode of London that I currently live in. Shockingly, they are also clean and the toilets don’t smell of piss, as I have come to expect from my current gym (any of the sites) in central London
- When we get changed and get to the gym floor (approximately 340 times bigger than my London one) we see that it’s very busy (in the middle of the day on a Friday), but not so busy that it’s annoying – because it’s so big. There is a great mix of people: young women, older women, muscle guys, normal guys, older men, everyone. I guess that this actually is the only gym in Reykjavik so everyone must go there. I am also particularly impressed by the complete lack of Brazilian male escorts in World Class gym, which surely is the biggest, most powerful and highly esteemed social group in central London, against all logic (this is a whole different topic actually – why are male prostitutes so respected and admired in London? Maybe I should write / rant about this one day)
- They have every machine imaginable x 5. Living in Iceland and working out in that gym, surely must leave you with no option but to have the body of a Greek statue. Only better of course, because they were a bit skinny let’s face it
- I’m not going to claim that everyone looks amazing of course, but I fall in love at least 6 times in that place. I distinctly remember two Personal Trainers working there who have an unbeatable combination of Personal Trainer body, masculine symmetrical square-jawed Northern European face, Icelandic-sky grey-coloured eyes and the skin tone of somebody who hasn’t seen the sun this decade
- After the gym workout we decide to try the outdoor swimming pool, which is once again steaming hot and in perfect contrast to the freezing weather around
- Then we go back and spend some time in the steam room and then it’s time to have a shower and think about leaving (about 3 hours after we got there). The showers are big and communal and I actually don’t have a problem having a communal shower there because the whole atmosphere is not cruisy and pervy and disgusting. Again, I think that my perspective of what to expect is slightly spoilt by central London behaviour, where I’d rather drive a convertible car with the roof down through a car wash on a daily basis to clean myself than have a shower in communal facilities
Leaving the gym in a state of controlled ecstasy (is this called zen?) I discuss with Scott whether it might be worth joining a really expensive and upmarket gym in London, in order to enjoy a similar experience on a daily basis. Then we decide that there simply aren’t any gyms in London that could offer this, and this is mainly down to lack of space rather than anything else. Even if I went to Third Space which is (I think) the most expensive gym in London I don’t think they’d have two Olympic size pools, a gym taking up 3 very large floors, 17,500 weight machines and a wide selection of Viking-blooded Alpha males with impeccable facial bone structure and grey eyes. So in conclusion, crappy ___ ___ gym will have to do.
Finally then, tomorrow, the last installment of Iceland (i.e. gay bars in) and the start of the Best Looking Reader 2007 competition.
Oh yeah and finally finally, here are some more pictures that I’ve got:
The knitting group I talked about on Monday
A glorious display of Ben & Jerry's
I want somebody to seriously try to claim that white isn't the most perfect colour that nature created (apart from when chocolate is involved in which case brown edges ahead)
I have 1 song by Emilie Simon and I've played it 4 times
I have 3 songs by Eminem and I've played them 7 times
I have 2 songs by Emma Bunton and I've played them 49 times