Noel Santillan from New Jersey landed at Keflavik airport in Iceland, collected a car and set off on the 45 minute drive to his hotel in Laugavegur Street, Reykjavik.
Six hours later his sat-nav led him North to Laugarvegur Street in the town of Siglufjordur. He received a warm welcome from the locals so he decided to stay a few days and was put up in an hotel free of charge, shown the Herring Museum and treated to the local delicacy of putrefied shark.
On his way back he decided to visit the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa trusting his sat-nav yet again. This time he ended up in the small town of Grindavik which is where the spa’s HQ offices are. He walked into a staff meeting where they realised he was the tourist known as the lost American. They gave him a free pass to the spa and directions for how to get there.
So Icelandic people are obviously very hospitable to strangers and make me think again about adding Iceland to my list of Nordic countries to visit.
As for Mr Santillan his current whereabouts are a bit of a mystery (did his sat-nav guide him safely back to the airport?) which is sort of why I recognised the name of the town.
I’m a keen fan of Nordic noir and have watched all the scandi-TV thrillers, read most of the books, and even ventured into Finnish thrillers and lately Icelandic ones.
Last week I read “Snow Blind” by Ragnar Jónasson and this week am reading the follow-up, “Night Blind”. Both these Dark Iceland genre books are set in Siglufjördur, not a town I would expect to make the international news.
To round off the Icelandic theme I was scanning this week’s TV programme guide and what do we have this Saturday on BBC4 but a ten-part Icelandic thriller called Trapped. This is the most expensive programme ever made in Iceland and is in Danish and Icelandic with English sub-titles.
Guess where it was filmed? Yes in Siglufjördur (and Reykjavik). The plot is about being trapped in by a blizzard which is the same theme as Snow Blind – must be a coincidence?
FYI The temperature is zero or below for half the year with a high of about 9 degrees in mid-Summer so I’d definitely be wearing my Icelandic wool hoodie if I went there.
The Nordic store in Iceland where I bought it has just sent me an e-mail as I write this post (honestly) advising me that Easter eggs are now in stock. Apparently in Iceland they put written notes inside each egg which the family discuss and interpret.