Lovely Sunday

I love Sundays, it’s a day to just take it easy and relax to store energy for the week to come. If it’s a rainy day it’s a day to lay on the couch, watch movies and enjoy life. But if you’re lucky enough and get sunshine on a Sunday, being outside is almost a must.

Since we were lucky enough to have a Sunday with a beautiful blue sky and a lot of sunshine we took the Jeep and went for a short Sunday drive in the valley above Akureyri. It was the perfect day for a drive! The sun made the snow sparkle like a million diamonds and the snow was perfect to drive in. It was a perfect Sunday, I want more like it now that winter is slowly changing into spring. 10259724_445363068899680_6597879011202920342_nSorry about the bad quality of the picture, but we of course forgot the camera so this one is taken with my phone.

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Cut off from the world

On Wednesday last week it started snowing here, and it snowed and snowed for days. I of course Love snow, so for me this wasn’t a problem, also we have big cars so snow doesn’t really stop us 😉 But many people thought it was a bit much, and they want the snow gone now. Unfortunately for them I think winter will be here for at least one more month, if not more! So while spring is coming to the rest of Europe, we’re having snowstorms and full on winter!

The only problem I saw with the snow, and what they called the “snowstorm”, was that we were cut off from the rest of the country. All roads going to and from Akureyri were closed for days, which meant no transports of any kind could get here. So we haven’t gotten any mail since Wednesday and no news papers until this morning. On days like that you’re very happy you have internet, so that you can follow what’s happening in the rest of the country and the world.

Akureyri, the beautiful winter wonderland

Akureyri, the beautiful winter wonderland

The best part about all that snow was how beautiful Akureyri got, covered in a thick white blanket. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Beauty

At the moment the rain is washing away all the lovely snow that fell just a few days ago, turning the town grey and dull. It’s funny how big of a difference the snow makes. When there’s a layer of snow covering the ground the town looks so much more beautiful and it doesn’t feel as dark. But then when the snow starts melting and reveals the dark ground under it, the town looks duller and not as enchanting.

This winter hasn’t been as I expected, we’ve had too little snow, and way too much rain for my taste. The snow that falls only gets to stay for a few short days before it’s replaced with rain and ice. But I shouldn’t complain too much, we’ve still had snow! Last winter when we were in Reykjavík, we had one or two days of snow, that was it. This is a big improvement compared to that. Still a bit of a disappointment, since they had winter and snow from September until May here in the north last year, with a lot more snow then now and a lot less rain! Of course that’s what I was expecting when moving here, but every winter is different I guess.

Since we had such a bad winter last year in the South, we went on a lot of day trips outside of town with our Jeep, to find some snow. This year we haven’t been on a real winter trip with the Super Jeep yet. The plan is to go on a Þórrablót trip at the end of this month or next month. Even if I don’t like the Þórrablót food, I’m still looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to driving out of town and up into the mountains and the silence, where you get the great feeling of total freedom!

One of the main reason why we haven’t been on a Jeep trip this winter, is because Doddi has been working a lot, driving tourist. He was gone for most of January, and he got to see some amazing things, and I’m so jalousie of him 🙂 He got to go in to an ice cave, which is something I’ve never done but really want to do! Now I’ve made him promise to take me there later so I can experience all the amazing things he saw!

Seljalandsfoss, a place I've been to, but never during the winter.

Seljalandsfoss, a place I’ve been to, but never during the winter.

Seljalandsfoss, it's a waterfall that is beautiful both in the summer and winter time.

Seljalandsfoss, it’s a waterfall that is beautiful both in the summer and winter time.

I've been to Jökulsárlón a few times, and each time it's completely different.

I’ve been to Jökulsárlón a few times, and each time it’s completely different.

Ice on the beach, close to Jökulsárlón.

Ice on the beach, close to Jökulsárlón.

Ice on the beach, close to Jökulsárlón.

Ice on the beach, close to Jökulsárlón.

Ice on the beach, close to Jökulsárlón.

Ice on the beach, close to Jökulsárlón.

Ice cave

Ice cave

All of these lovely pictures are taken by Doddi, and sent to me while he was still on the road. For each picture I looked at I got more and more jalousie of him 😉

Almost makes me wish I could work in the tourist businesses myself, and get to visit all of these beautiful places.

Behind the clouds

Today I saw the sun for the first time in what feels like weeks! I had almost forgotten what it looks like.

For the last few weeks the sky here has been constantly covered in a thick layer of clouds. It has turned our beautiful town into something gray and boring, especially since the clouds have given us a lot of rain instead of snow. Hopefully this will all change now.

This morning I came out to a car covered in a thin layer of snow, which is always a nice thing to see, and now the sun is shining on us. This is so much better than the rain! So please give us more snow and more sun, because that’s what we like!

Sunrise over Akureyri, in November 2013

Sunrise over Akureyri, in November 2013

Sliding around

Winter here in Akureyri seem to come and go. We’ve had quite a lot of snow a few times, but then it always melts away again leaving the roads all covered in horribly slipper ice. Most Icelanders (at least the ones from the North) know how to drive in snow and all of these other conditions that I’m just not used to. When ever it snows in the South of Sweden, which hasn’t been that often in the last few years, we first clear the roads and then we use salt on roads and side walks to melt away all the ice leaving the asphalt clear. But here in Akureyri they don’t use salt, so when all that melted snow turns into ice it becomes extremely slippery, and for someone like me who’s not used to it, it becomes very dangerous.

Because of the “bad” road conditions and my inexperience Doddi has been driving me to work for the last month or two. But now he’s going to drive tourists for two and a half weeks, leaving me here all alone. That means that I no longer have anyone to drive me to work, so I have to drive myself. Since “my” car, the little Golf, doesn’t have spiked tires and 4×4 its not really a suitable car to drive at the moment. Instead I’ve got our beloved Cherokee back! I love this car, and I’ve been waiting for so long to take him out of “storage”. Now I finally have him and its so much fun to get to drive him again.

"My" beloved car

“My” beloved car in his right element, lots of snow!

But I must admit that this is not the easiest car to drive, especially not when you’re used to a tiny car like the Golf. First of all its a lot bigger, both when it comes to size but also when it comes to engine 😉 It also handles differently from most cars I’ve driven. So it will probably take a few more days for me to really get used to driving this car. But it sure is fun!

Yule lads

You know that Christmas is right around the corner when the Icelandic Yule lads start showing up at Dimmuborgir. This weekend three of them were out greeting the tourists visiting Dimmuborgir, which is said to be their home. I’m still getting used to the Icelandic Christmas traditions and the Yule lads are one of those things that is completely new to me. In a few days all Icelandic kids will put their shoes in the windows before bed and waking up to find gifts in the shoes that a Yule lad has left for them during the night. Each night there is a different Yule lad coming to visit the houses and if the kids have been naughty the might find coal or a potato in the shoe instead of a gift.

The Yule Lad Giljagaur (Gully Gawk)

The Yule Lad Giljagaur (Gully Gawk) is the second one to “come to town” and will arrive on the 13th and he will hide in gullies to try to sneak into the cowshed to steal milk.

The Yule lad Gluggagægir (Window-Peep) comes on the 21th to peep through windows in search of something to steal.

The Yule lad Gluggagægir (Window-Peep) comes on the 21th to peep through windows in search of something to steal. This lad try to steal our car 😉 Good thing the keys weren’t in the car or he might have succeeded 🙂

On the 12th the first Yule lad makes his way to town and the first one to arrive is Stekkjarstaur (Sheep-Cote Clod). Unlike our Santa Clause the Icelandic Yule lads aren’t nice, but still they leave you gift so I’m not sure how that goes together to be honest 😉 But I still think it’s very nice that Iceland has kept this very old tradition, even if the gift part is fairly new I think. I guess the whole thing with the Yule lads were just to get children to behave during Christmas, if they didn’t the Yule lads would come down and scare them and steal things, and if the children had been very bad the Yule lads mother Grýla would eat them. It’s kind of a funny tale and it’s a tradition I will make my own.

The Yule lad Kertasníkir (Candle-Stealer) is the last one to "come to town" and will come for a visit on the 24th to try to steal our candles.

The Yule lad Kertasníkir (Candle-Stealer) is the last one to “come to town” and will come for a visit on the 24th to try to steal our candles. Here he’s warming by a nice fire.

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