Sónar, glacier walk, graduation and more

Some time has passed since my last ‘real’ blog article. This must mean I have been busy! Of course Ayla arrived in Reykjavík on the 8th of February. She’s still here but today is her last day. Tomorrow she’s going to fly back to the Netherlands. Because I was going to language classes three times a week and because I needed to work a bit, we didn’t go on a bigger trip together. However, we did do a lot of nice things: we went to The Laundromat Cafe, Tíu Dropar, Góði hirðirinn (a big secondhand store), the photography museum and Kolaportið (the flea market), to name a few. On the first night we went to the lights festival in Reykjavík with a very nice couchsurfer from Norway. Ayla joined language class and the board game evening in Bíó Paradís. Also, Northern lights were out almost every night during the first week!

On Thursday the 13th of February the three day festival Sónar started. The whole festival took place inside Harpa, with five different stages. We quickly noticed that the festival was going to be filled with nice surprises. On Thursday the best acts were: Ryuichi Sakamoto & Taylor Deupree (minimal) and Hermigervill (quirky, happy electronic music). On Friday the highlights were: Bonobo, Kiasmos (side project of Ólafur Arnalds) and Berndsen (super weird and energetic music). On Saturday I liked: Daphni (side project of Caribou), FM Belfast (we stayed for a short time but it was so happy!) and Trentemøller (great show). It was really nice to see Harpa so full of life during the festival and I’ve been enjoying every minute of Sónar basically. 😀

The only downside to it was that by the time we got home on Saturday evening it was around 2.30 and we had to get up at 7.00 again, because we had booked a ten-hour glacier tour the next day, lol. I got a bit stressed by the idea of not a lot of sleep and doing something that is a little bit scary for me (because I thought sleep deprivation, natural born clumsiness, ice and heights might not be the best combination). However the trip went really well and we’ve had an amazing day! The weather was great, the view was great, crampons are great (I need those things in daily life!), company was great, guide was great and so on and so on. You probably already saw the pictures, otherwise have a look here. It gives an amazing feeling to walk on a thick layer of ice, and luckily crampons really do their work. Also the guide told us interesting facts about glaciers and how much can be learned from them about climate changes. I can really recommend this trip, because it’s quite a unique experience.

This week Ayla went to the Westfjords and I spent some time working and learning Icelandic. Actually I saw Ayla again at my ‘level 1 graduation party’ at The Tin Can Factory last Thursday. I got a diploma and this means that I’ve spent 60 hours learning Icelandic so far.

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Teacher and me 🙂 (The Tin Can Factory)

I’ve decided to take a small break from official courses now, and start with a little bit of self-study the coming weeks. Maybe I’ll start a course again at the end of April.

This evening we’re going out to dinner at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant and tomorrow morning Ayla takes an early flight back! To me it is pretty amazing how Ayla has been doing like a thousand things and more during her two weeks in Iceland, but I guess she needs to write a blog about that herself! 🙂

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Pictures glacier walk

Unfortunately I don’t have time to write a decent blog article right now, but I do want to show some pictures I took during the glacier walk on Sunday. We went on a tour to Sólheimajökull, but more about this trip soon. 🙂 Also, my computer is fixed, so I started working again today. The computer repair service was quite expensive and I did lose some valuable programs (like photo editing software…), but it’s a good thing that I have my laptop back. 🙂

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Northern lights

Yesterday evening there were some great Northern lights out in Reykjavík. Even with the blocking city lights they were very strong. It was pretty amazing to see, and I didn’t have to go on a trip or anything to have a look at them. When the lights were the brightest I just wanted to look at the sky and didn’t feel like focusing on taking pictures. 🙂

Also, till the 15th of February there is a winter lights festival in town, with some weird and artsy installations. I think it’s nice. And Ayla is coming today and she will stay for two weeks! I’m really looking forward to meeting her. She will join language classes, board game evenings and maybe a visit to the knitting club? We might go on a road trip to Snæfellsnes too!

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Hallgrímskirkja by night

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New friends

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Northern lights

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Northern lights

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Artsy installation