Thursday, 29 December 2011

Iceland

I love my snowboots. My feet have so been so warm and dry in all this snow. the only problem with them is when I sink deeper than my knees. Would it have been possible to get thigh-high snowboots?

I love my new camera too. It takes amazing pictures and makes it all so easy. Even in the dark (which it is most of the time here) I don't need a tripod - it just focuses and then remembers what the image looks like whilst it does the long exposure thing. So I'm not getting any blurry photos. Wowee.

I haven't seen the Northern Lights yet, as each evening so far the trip out of the city to see them has been cancelled. It only runs when there's a good chance of seeing them. But I have plenty of time left yet.

What have I done so far? Well, yesterday morning I went outdoor swimming in the pool next to the hostel. I started by sitting in the first hot pot I came to as my bare feet were freezing fast as I walked over the icy ground the 2 metres to the pool. It was so warm. There was even a floating chess set bobbing about on it, so I suppose people really do spend hours in them.

I stayed in this hot pot until it was infiltrated by young children having a snowball fight. The Icelandic version of water polo perhaps? Then I switched to the main swimming pool which was cooler, but still a good temperature. I couldn't see how big the pool was because it was dark and the rising steam made it really misty. So visibility was down to about zero. I kept swimming round corners and bends and discovering more and more pool. Or maybe I was just swimming in tight circles and thought I was discovering new bits. At one point I swam under a bridge and discovered an elderly people's exercise class going on in one of the lanes.

Once I'd had enough of swimming I sat in a different hot pot - one with bends, corners and alcoves and watched the sun beginning to rise through the fir trees. It got slightly above the horizon which is about the best to be hoped for at this time of year. It gets light around 11am and is dark again well before 5pm.

Í've also been drinking lots of good coffee whilst I've been here. I think Icelandic coffee is second only to Dutch coffee. It's dark and strong and doesn't come in a bucket. Last time I was here I discovered a new little coffee shop called Cafe Haiti. It's run by a woman who is one of only two Haitians in Iceland. She imports the coffee from Haiti and roasts it herself. When I got home I wrote a review of it on Trip Advisor. The first day I was here I saw an advert for Cafe Haiti in one of the free tourist papers. It was quoting a customer who said they'd gone to Cafe Haiti because of a review they'd read on Trip Advisor and it really was as good as the review said. I've since seen the same ad in several other places. As far as I'm aware I'm the only person who's written a review on Trip Advisor so I must be the reviewer the advert is referring to. Does this make me famous? Or at least semi-famous? Even though no-one knows who I am. I'm glad my review (if it is mine - I will have to check when I'm not paying for internet) has done her some good. I've been back today and she is now in bigger premises.

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