The five parkruns of Christmas, almost

December 2016

The Christmas period seemed to be one long whirl of parkruns, one after the other. The first was on Christmas Eve. England felt incredibly warm after Iceland, even though everyone else was shivering and complaining about the cold. It seemed odd to be getting up at the crack of dawn and actually seeing pink skies instead of darkness too.  Continue reading The five parkruns of Christmas, almost

The last Icelandic saga

22 December 2016

Our time in Iceland was coming to a close. We hadn’t got back from our aurora watching adventure until the early hours of the morning and it was tempting to sleep in and have a late breakfast. The lure of one more run and walk in the snow was stronger though. Bleary eyed we stepped out of the hotel into the icy air. In any other country this would have been the crack of dawn. In Iceland though daybreak was still four hours or so away. Continue reading The last Icelandic saga

More snow and Aurora hunting

21 November 2016

Almost as soon as we got amongst the buildings the snow began to fall again. At first it was a mere sprinkling, pretty and soft as swansdown on our faces. Close to the bus station beside a trianglular park with a Christmas tree and some horse scuplptures we found the Icelandic Penis Museum. It seemed a strange topic for a museum but we didn’t really have the time or energy left to investigate further than the window. Continue reading More snow and Aurora hunting

Footprints to nowhere

21 December 2016

By the time we had our feet on the snowy ground once more clouds had moved in covering every last vestige of blue. In Iceland it seems the weather can change in a moment. Those clouds seem to spring up from nowhere and disappear again as quickly. Sadly these didn’t look like disappearing any time soon. An inky blackness hung over the woodland trail making me sure snow would soon follow. Gingerly we crunched our way along the trail towards the trees. Sure enough, a few flakes began to fall.  Continue reading Footprints to nowhere

A panoramic pearl and a pool filled with gold

21 December 2016

After a well earned and rather delicious cup of coffee in the cafe at Perlan it was time to go back outside again, this time onto the rooftop walkway. First we had to pile back on all the layers we’d stripped off when we were in the cafe. Obviously, this took quite some time. You would not believe the number of clothes you need to go outside in an Icelandic winter. No wonder everything seems to happen in slow motion here. Then it was through a fairly reluctant revolving door that took Commando’s muscle power to budge it. Perhaps it was frozen? Continue reading A panoramic pearl and a pool filled with gold

Icy water, woodland trails and a hidden pearl

21 December 2016

By the time Commando got back from his run I’d had my smelly shower and was feeling much warmer. My leggings, hung over the back of a chair by the radiator with my coat, had even dried out. There’d been another heavy snow fall when he was out running but, apart from the problem of breathing in his snow covered buff (a kind of runner’s neck scarf come face protector if you were wondering) and cold hands, he survived with few problems and his trail shoes coped admirably with the snow. Continue reading Icy water, woodland trails and a hidden pearl

a snowy walk in the dark

21 December 2016

Yesterday afternoon the snow got heavier and heavier and the wind stronger. Just as we were beginning to panic about the prospect of a two to three hour trip in a boat to see the aurora (or probably not given the snow clouds), Commando got a text to say the trip was cancelled. Winds of almost seventy miles an hour were the problem. To be honest it was a relief more than a disappointment. We’d already resigned ourselves to not seeing the aurora through the thick snow cloud. The trip was rebooked for tonight, with no guarantee the weather would be any better.  Continue reading a snowy walk in the dark

The colours of Reykjavik

20 December 2016

The Icelandic daybreak we’d been anticipating since midday when we’d stood by the Saga Museum and seen pink clouds in the sky seemed to be a bit of a mirage. There was certainly more light than there had been when we set out but, an hour after the sky first began to get lighter, the sun appeared to have stalled on the horizon and risen no further, leaving us in a kind of perpetual dawn. It was a strange state of affairs but at least we could now see the colours of Reykjavik. Continue reading The colours of Reykjavik

Perpetual dawn

20 December 2016

Walking away from the sea with its threatening looking clouds, we headed towards the rosy light of the breaking dawn. We’d seen a tower of some kind between the houses and curiosity made this our next aim. With no real idea where we were or what we were heading towards we followed a trail of interesting graffiti upwards. The tower disappeared and reappeared as we wove and turned until, finally, it revealed itself as a church. Continue reading Perpetual dawn

The land of the midday moon

20 December 2016

Iceland, the most sparsely populated country in Europe, is often dubbed the land of the midnight sun because, during the summer, the sun barely sets. In winter of course, it’s a different story. Sunlight is a rare and fleeting thing. Even after a slightly disconcerting shower in sulphurous water, a leisurely breakfast and a great deal of Google Map exploring, it was still as dark as midnight when we left the hotel just after eleven this morning and the moon was the brightest thing in the sky. Continue reading The land of the midday moon