Another of those “you had to be there” travel stories and this time it comes from Iceland. That magnificent island country that most backpackers in Europe forget about as they’re too busy inter-railing round the mainland. We had booked onto a Golden Circle tour. I was with about 6 or 7 travel buddies and after doing the epic Gulfoss Waterfall, the Great Geysir and Pingvellir, talk turned to the Blue Lagoon…
The Blue Lagoon is a thermally heated pool which is popular for tourists to Iceland. However when we were at Gullfoss it was lunchtime and after the waterfall we sat down to some soup and a bite to eat. Things weren’t cheap in Iceland and I must admit my budget was very tight. You’ll find out that so were my pink pants…
Over lunch at Gulfoss, Skin (Ian) one of my travel buddies and fellow Northern Ireland football fan (and a guy who has done a hell of a lot of travelling himself) happened to say “I hope you’ve all remembered your swimming trunks”, yet myself, despite having two bags with me that day had forgotten to pack a pair of swimming trunks. I toyed with the idea of just going in wearing my boxer shorts. I was a really cheap ass traveller for most of the time, so this seemed the logical thing to do. However my only boxer shorts were plain grey, white or light blue and I dare say the staff manning the doors would have banned me “penis alert” or “dark pubic hair alert” may well have meant I was banned from visiting one of the top sights in Iceland. So I took no risks. The only option I had left now was to buy a pair of swimming trunks at Gulfoss. But they were all too dear.
I wasn’t prepared to pay £20 for a pair of swimming trunks. Even the thought of paying that nowadays repulses me as I’ve done a weekend in China for less! So I went searching the shop at Gulfoss for alternatives. And there it was – a pair of female pink pants. Yes – women’s underwear. They weren’t even swimming trunks, but at least they weren’t white boxer shorts which might get me banned. I reckoned that I get more positive attention and laugh ability for wearing pink women’s pants than I would for wearing see through boxers, so I parted with my £4 (or so) and bought them.
A few of the lads said “you might have bought them, but there’s no way you will wear those into the Blue Lagoon”. Well there is. I’m a cheapskate, and comedy always comes before money. On arrival at the Blue Lagoon we all paid our entrance fee and went to the changing rooms. On went the pink pants. Tight, compact and hardly hiding the bulge but at least I was in.
I should point out that these pants…
1. Were pink
2. Were tight
3. Were pants, NOT for swimming
4. Said “I love Iceland” on them
5. Were for ladies
6. Looked “slightly” homosexual
In I went, raising a few eyebrows from other swimmers and getting all sorts of strange looks. My mates were just laughing.
We stayed enjoying the thermally heated pools for about an hour and a half – a really cool way to relax on your travels and highly recommended. Even better if you spice it up by wearing a pair of pink ladies pants. I have worn the pink pants only a few times since, but only at home. It is fitting that this was their one and only public appearance. You could argue they couldn’t have got a better place in the world to go on display. I loved it and wasn’t at all embarrassed by the pink ladies pants. My travel blog had only just begun when this happened – it was back in 2007 and my have I been to a hell of a lot of places since, I went one step further than the pink pants incident though as I got naked in Antarctica. I have no idea whether these comedy swimming moments are over for me or not. Time will tell. Safe travels my friends…