The temperature fell to a refreshing minus 4 degrees C last night, and we woke to find that the fjord had partially frozen, and looked stunning in the sunshine. We’ve been in Iceland during the Summer, and not had weather as good as this! I don’t think we could ever tire of the view from the kitchen window.There’s no easy way of saying this though, during the week, Fáskrúðsfjörður smells of fish. There’s a fish processing plant at one end of town, and it starts up early when the trawlers come in. I’m not complaining – I like fish, and I know that Iceland’s economy depends on it, but in case you have a sensitive nose, you might want to be aware. We keep the window open at night, and on smelling the smell I did think, “blimey, that can’t be me surely?!” so it was a relief to find that it wasn’t.
After bacon sarnies for breakfast, cooked in Hóll cottage’s very cute kitchen, we decided that we’d explore the town and its surroundings today, having spent a long day in the car yesterday. We ambled through the streets, working our way towards the old harbour, and the wonderfully quirky Cafe Sumarlina. Unfortunately, both the museum and craft shop were still closed in April – most facilities start opening towards the end of May in Iceland, but there’s still plenty to see, such as the mast from an old French fishing ship, an old cauldron once used to melt whale liver, and stones in a streambed labelled with the names of every French fisherman who died whilst working these waters. Even the street names are written in French as well as Icelandic.
Back to the cottage for a pickled herring lunch – they never taste as good as they do in Iceland, before jumping in to Aurora (our hire car) and driving just a few miles up the road to the River Gilsa. I’d read that you could walk along the river, and then behind a waterfall, but whilst we found a track and several waterfalls, none looked safe enough to attempt walking behind without a swim beforehand, not really feasible in the cold. Still, the walk provided incredible views of the fjord and surrounding mountains.
On to the local Semkaup supermarket, which stocks just enough fresh food to make self catering viable without having to drive to Egilsstaðir, before making our way to the swimming pool and hot pot. For the equivalent of £4 each, we had the outdoor hot pot to ourselves. With a view of snow capped mountains, and then an amazing sunset, it was easy to ignore the fishy smell from the still operating factory.