“Viltu skötu?”

Today at work we all went out together for lunch to eat “Skata”. I had never even heard of this dish before, so when they said this was something I needed to try since it’s an Icelandic tradition to eat this on the day before Christmas, I decided to tag along. That was a HUGE mistake. Just the smell of this fish made me want to turn in the door and run to safety. I guess the reason it smells so bad is because it’s rotten fish, so when you think about it I kind of makes sense. What I don’t understand is how some people can really like it.

Doddi had of course warned me that it would be bad, but I had no idea it would be this bad. Many people had warned me about “Hákarl” (shark) but I did try that and it was far from as bad as I thought. “Hákarl” isn’t something I enjoy, but I could still eat it. “Skata” was a lot worse! But even if the smell wasn’t inviting I did try it, and it doesn’t taste as bad as it smell, but it’s still quite horrible and I will never ever eat it again.

Skata. (Picture is borrowed)

Skata. (Picture is borrowed)

Instead of eating “Skata” I had some “Saltfiskur”, which is just salted fish. But sitting in the smell from the “Skata” and eat was not pleasant, and I had a hard time finishing my food. I felt like my “Saltfiskur” started to take taste form the “Skata” smell.

The worst part is that now my clothes and hair and everything smells, so I can’t get away from it. All I want to do right now is to go home and take a long hot shower and wash everything that I’m wearing, but I still have to finish my working day.

Next year when I get invited to this I will without a doubt say NO! I’ve learned from my mistake 😉

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Up and down

When we lived in Reykjavík last year we didn’t have much of a winter, it just didn’t want to get very cold so that resulted in very little snow. Up in the north on the other hand winter came as early as September with snow and cold weather.

So when we moved to Akureyri I was expecting a “real” winter with cold weather and loads and loads of snow! It has snowed quite a lot here, but for some reason the temperature keeps going up and down. This week we’ve had days when it’s been very cold and then days like today when it’s 6-7°C outside. I can’t seem to get used to this, having it cold one day and warm the other, it’s just so weird and at times uncomfortable. At home we keep turning up and down our radiators, as the weather shifts.

So this isn’t really what I was expecting when I moved here. I wanted winter to come in October-November something, with snow and cold-ish. But the snow keeps falling only to melt away again a few days later. Some days the ground is just covered in ice, like this morning when I almost needed skates to get to and from the car.

But winter here isn’t all bad, we do have days which are just perfect!

View from Vaðlaheiði

View from Vaðlaheiði, isn’t it beautiful?

Sunset at Vaðlaheiði

Sunset at Vaðlaheiði

I’m the Grinch

Winter is here and soon so is Christmas. For me this will be the first Christmas I spend in Iceland, so I’m looking forward to it! Icelanders are kind of famous for loving Christmas. They put up a LOT of lights and decorations and they start a bit too early for my taste. Since it’s a bit dark during the winter I do enjoy lights and all that, but I still feel like they start a bit too early. It’s only the middle of November now and still there are quite a few which have put up their lights. Why does Christmas preparations have to start so early? Are they afraid they won’t make it in time? I don’t want to start putting up light and other decorations until the beginning of December, or I might get tired of it before Christmas is even here. So this year I’m a bit of a Grinch 😉 Or maybe I’m always a bit of a Grinch, I’m not sure. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Christmas, but at the same time I think people make too much out of it. they start earlier and earlier for every year. I mean the stores start selling Christmas things as early as middle of October. But I guess I just need to get used to it. I mean there are a lot of good things too about it. One good thing about everybody putting up lights is of course that it’s less dark, and that’s always a good thing. Since we have snow now it does feel a little bit like Christmas is on it’s way 😉

At Dimmuborgir the Icelandic Yule lads have started to come out and greet the tourist. I think this is a very nice tradition. But since they’re not suppose to come until 13 days before Christmas, I think it’s a little early to start showing up at Dimmuborgir now. But I will for sure go visit them in a few weeks or so, since I’ve never seen them before.

Icelandic Yule lad Gáttaþefur

Icelandic Yule lad Gáttaþefur

Where did the inspiration go?

As we entered a new year one of my New Years resolutions was to try to be more active on my blog. But for some reason the inspiration seem to have left me. It’s not because I don’t have anything to share, we have done a few things which I would like to show you, but every time I sit down by my computer and try to write something my head goes empty and I can’t seem to put together a single sentence. So instead of writing I just sit there staring at the empty screen until I feel like pulling my hair. After a while I close the computer thinking that maybe I just need to do something else and then later on my inspiration will be back. But instead of ten coming back to my computer I do my very best to avoid it as much as I possibly can. So the screen stays empty and the blog stays quiet. As the days pass by I start feeling bad about avoiding the blog so I once again sit down and try to come up with something to write and once again the whole thing ends with me pulling my hair. It’s a bad circle and today I decided to stop it and just write what ever comes up in my head and this was the result.

I do hope that you won’t give up on me, I do have a lot to tell you and I’m trying my best to find a way to write it all down. So stay tuned and hopefully soon you will get to hear all about my latest adventures such as my first trip to a glacier and what it’s like to loose a tire on your way up a glacier 😉

Sweden or Iceland?

Since winter is here, and has been her for a while now, I’m of course expecting snow and lots of it. But for some reason the snow just don’t want to fall here. The mountains surrounding Reykjavík are all white from a nice cover of snow, but here in town it never seems to want to stay for very long. Since this is Iceland there should be snow, shouldn’t there?

As most of you know I grew up in Sweden, and during my childhood we always had nice cold winters with snow and all of that. But as I grew older the snow became less and less for every year, at least that’s how I saw it.

Snow in Sweden, (picture is borrowed)

Snow in Sweden, (picture is borrowed)

Last winter there was close to no snow at all in the south of Sweden, which was very disappointing to both Doddi and me. We both felt like winter never really came. This year when we’re no longer in Sweden they are having huge problems with too much snow! How is this possible? Is it just because we’re not there anymore that the weather gods decided to give them a lot of snow? 🙂 One do wonder sometimes 😉 Since we’ll be celebrating Christmas with my family in Sweden I’m of course hoping that all of this snow will stay until then, not sure everybody agrees with me about this. There are so many who doesn’t seem to enjoy snow, well to all of them I can only say; if you don’t like snow, then move further south or stop complaining! 🙂 I’m at least hoping for a very white Christmas back home!!!

Since there’s still a few more weeks to go before Christmas arrives all my fingers and toes are crossed in hopes of there coming a LOT of snow here in Reykjavík any day now!

Preparations

When I left Sweden to move to Iceland I of course knew that it would be very different to live here. I had to prepare myself for a lot of changes. One of them was the weather. I knew that winters here would probably be different from the winters I’m now used to in the south of Sweden. It of course does happen that we get snow, but it’s not as common anymore, and if we do get snow it never stays for very long. So coming here I was of course prepared for it to be colder than what I’m used to and for there to be more snow, this was also something I was looking forward to 😉 What I wasn’t expecting was the wind. This is the second storm I get to experience since I came, and I must say, I don’t like it. Sitting in my apartment listening to the wind makes me feel like the windows might blow away at any minute. And worst part of it all is that we don’t even get any snow! In the north of Iceland it has snowed, but we still have nothing here L So it’s just this horrible wind. How do you get used to that?

The bus driver from hell ;)

Ever since I can remember I have disliked traveling by bus. One of the reasons for it is that I have a tendency to get “car sick” and it happens a lot more frequently when I’m in a bus. So if I have the option I prefer traveling by car. It’s so much more convenient. But at times you don’t have the option so then I guess it’s good that you can take the bus.

Since I came to Iceland I have traveled by bus, between Reykjavik and Akureyri twice. The first time was when I first came here, I landed in Akureyri and since Doddi was in Reykjavik I had to take the bus there to be with him. That bus trip when kind of okay. The bus driver did seem a bit confused at times, and it was super cold in the bus, but other than that it was fine. Second time was last Friday when Doddi and I were going to Akureyri for a family thing, and since we were going to take Doddi’s Jeep with us from Akureyri to have in Reykjavik, we didn’t really have any other choice than to take the bus. This bus ride was NOT as comfortable as the first one. First of all we got a lot older bus, and a bus driver that probably never had driven that bus. Which meant that every time he switched gears you could feel it, and he had huge problems finding the right gears. In the beginning I was feeling a bit sorry for him, but thought that he would soon get the hang of it. But I was wrong. We went the whole way with him never learning the bus and at times Doddi just wanted to go up to him and ask if he could drive the bus instead 😉 Am sure he would have done a better job. As bad as this was was still not the worst part of our trip. During the long drives between Reykjavik and Akureyri they of course do a few stops, most of them are just for 5 minutes or so, but there is one were the bus stops for 20 minutes or something so that people can get off the bus to go to the bathroom and get something to eat. The bus driver normally announces this in the speakers to let people know for how long he’s stopping there. This bus driver said nothing, but since Doddi has taken this bus a few times before he of course knew about this so we just went off the bus and went inside to get something to eat. We order our food and then went sit down by the window so that we can see the bus, while we wait for our food. Doddi goes to the bathroom and when he comes back he looks out the window and what does he see? Not the bus… The bus is gone, and he has left us behind! And we are hours away from Akureyri. How could this happen you ask, well the bus driver is suppose to always check the bus that everybody who’s suppose to be on the bus really is there. For some reason our bus driver didn’t do that this time, and so he had just driven away with us still waiting for our food. Luckily Doddis sister works for the bus company so we called her and she got in contact with the bus driver and told him that he had left some of his passengers behind. So he had to turn the bus around and come back and get us. While we’re standing there waiting for the bus to come back I see a man I recognized from the bus, and it turned out he had been left behind too.

Even if the bus ride wasn’t very pleasant we did get to Akureyri in the end, and we did get our food, even if we had to eat it in the bus 😉 All well that ends well I guess!

To all of you Iceland travelers, if you ever go by bus between the cities here, please remember this story and be careful, you do NOT want to be left behind 😉