Day 2. Rain. Solid, grey, vertical rain. And little response to it. No dramatic posturing, rushing or jostling in doorways. Locals and tourists, snug in a smorgasbord of artic-type weather gear, ran with it. Without running. We walked to Laugardalslaug public pool. Twenty minutes along an office lined road into a neighbourhood of grey, pebble-dashed chunky residential buildings with open garden areas. Scattered bikes and BBQs.
I learned the pool rules during my summer research: shoes off outside the changing room; naked showering with important areas for suds highlighted in posters; cozzy back on and out.
I hadn’t realised two shower inspectors would sit in a booth opposite the open shower. Minutes later, after asking a few, nerve generated (did I pass muster on the sudster?) clarification questions answered with charm and politeness; “Er, you can take your towel if you want but it is raining outside”, we were basking in a steaming geothermal pool. The now light rain peppering our faces.
That evening we discovered ‘happy hour(s)’ in the Bravo bar on Laugavegur.
Day 3. The sun was out. We had a plan. A trip to Videy Island. Would you just look at this:
Mount Esja beginning to reveal unimaginable strength and beauty. And Videy Island that thin slice of mustardy coloured land laid out in front of her (although we didn’t realise it at the time). A walk around the headland to find the ferry port.
No words really. An Icelandic director’s house next to the Sigurjon Olafsson Museum and artwork to graze en route. Heavy haulage action I could only dream of talking to Connor about. And a short wait for the ferry across to the island.
Postscript. In writing these posts I keep coming back to the composer Olafur Arnalds.
He apparently refused to translate Georg’s poem because it would lose some of its beauty.