Sunday: Fortitude

Sunday morning dawned clear and bright, until I unzipped the yellow tent and discovered that the reality was a grey and miserable-looking day.
It was a slow start. I went to the N1 just down the street for juice and in the hope of finding a plastic plate and/or bowl – last year I brought one and it spent all its time on the back parcel shelf. This year I want to use one and don’t have it. Neither does the N1.
I had Weetos and Apple juice for breakfast and then went looking for Fortitude.
Yesterday, when driving around Egilsstadir, getting used to everything being the wrong way round, not knowing the speed limits and whether my lights were on (as according to the law, they must be), I didn’t notice that I had a reversing camera or that I had six gears.
First port of call was Reydarfjördur, where Fortitude was supposedly filmed. I say supposedly because I didn’t see a single thing I recognised – not the supermarket, not the police station, not Charlie Stoddart’s house. And it was so quiet! I’ve never really noticed Iceland being closed on Sundays – there was hardly a soul in Reydarfjördur. Nice fjord views and a very nice drive down – through a place called Fagridalur, which my limited Icelandic knows means Pretty Valley – although most of them are unless they’ve got an aluminium smelter or fish processing plant in them. Alright, Reydarfjördur does have a huge aluminium plant just out to its east but it doesn’t spoil the views.
The road carries on to Eskifjördur, via a magnificent viewpoint/picnic spot. On its east side is a little collection of cabins with lovely views and also the site of Iceland’s last public execution.
If you drive on up the mountain, there’s a third village – up a steep, winding road, up to the snowline and then through a most unexpected (although, admittedly marked on the map) 650m tunnel. A two-way tunnel wide enough for only one car. Oh, the fun reversing down a tunnel in the dark! The sort of industrial-looking tunnel where they could seal you off to die. Also, I had to figure out pretty quickly how my headlights worked – wasn’t expecting that in a place where the sun doesn’t set. I was so worried about going back through that tunnel that when I reached Neskaupsstadur I turned straight round and came back again. Also, it was cold and windy and again, not Fortitude.
I went back to Eskifjördur and went in the pool – overlooked by mountains on three sides. I spent an hour and a half in the hot pots before venturing into the lane pool, which wasn’t as cold as I’d expected.
It rained on the way back, so I got to try out the wipers too. I overtook two cars and I dodged lots of sheep in and around the road. I don’t think I’ve ever overtaken anything in the UK that wasn’t either stationary or on a dual carriageway/motorway.
Back in Egilsstadir, I found the big supermarket. It doesn’t have plastic cheese slices either (or plastic plates or bowls) but it does have sour cream stars and plain ordinary Milka. And when I’d eaten it, off I went to sit in the pool car park to borrow their free wifi to write and post this

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