13 January 2006


This morning we woke up to the biggest overnight snowfall I’ve seen since moving here, which on a Boston/Vermont scale is pretty minimal- maybe 6 or 7 inches. They keep it fun here though, by only plowing the biggest of the big roads. For all those Boston readers, imagine if they plowed 495 and the Pike, but ignored Mass Ave, Boylston Street, and Storrow Drive. Spiffy!

So, driving to work is kind of like being in a cross-country ski race. Everyone’s got their wheels in the double-track, and if you want to pass, you have to get out of the grooves and over the humps of snow in between. The only difference is that you can’t yell, “track” and expect the person in front of you to get out of the way (I really hope there are some x-c ski racers among my readers who know what the heck I’m talking about here).

They’re generally more casual about cleaning off the cars here too, it seems. I saw one woman who had cleared so little of the car, looked like she was driving her own personal snowdrift. Her headlights glowed weakly through the snow stuck to the headlights, and the cake on top of her car was spiraling little snow-vortices behind her. Everyone was still soldiering on as usual though, although maybe a little slower. I guess there just aren’t enough people here to warrant making a big deal of snow. When I consider that there are probably more commuters on the road during a Boston morning than the entire population of Iceland, it makes sense that they can’t be bothered for the few thousand peopel going anywhere on a Reykjavík morning.

It’s actually snowed almost every day this past week, and I’ve been constantly distracted by the fast moving clouds and flash-snowstorms that spring up without warning. Five minutes after a perfectly sunny patch is over us, the snow whirls in and it’s impossible to see the lamps in the parking lot just below my window at work. Keep this in mind, potential visitors to Iceland. I’m not joking about the speed of weather changes. It really is that fast, so bring that waterproof jacket and drive smart if you’re out in the country.

Ship sighting: After Faxaflóahafnir listed it on the website as departing for several days, J and I finally saw Engey RE1 in the outer harbor at about 7:45 last night. It managed to sneak out to sea in the half-hour interim between snowsqualls, so we could track the progress out into the black for a little while before it was swallowed in swirling snow.

1 comment:

Great mama said...

"Glöggt er gests augað!" Your view of Iceland is so refreshing.
As to clearing roads here in Iceland take into consideration how fast the weather changes - the snow might all be gone within the next few hours. But if it continues to pile up (which it sometimes does) then there is the danger of getting a big storm and it will all shift and then it will become difficult to get around.
Then in the end they will start to clear side roads as well.

Sjáumst eftir helgi,