20 November 2006


Last night as I got home from the James Bond movie, the clouds that had been hovering on the horizon finally swept over and the snow started to fly. The wind kicked up too, and soon the view outside the window was completely white. I snuggled beneath my duvet and listened to the wind and the prickling of the flakes on the panes, safe in my feather nest for a cozy sleep.

The next morning I woke as the day was just getting bright, to the clear voices of children and the scrape of a shovel. The snow had stopped but the wind still pulled snow-tornadoes from the lawn outside, and the sky was low and murky. A few hours later I laced up my hiking boots and waded out the door too meet a friend downtown. As I've probably mentioned before, they're not much for shoveling and plowing here, so I was trekking through shin-deep snow on the sidewalk, occasionally stepping out to the road where the drifts got high.

Along the way, I detoured through the cemetery to take photos of the magically transformed landscape. In spite of the wind, the pine trees were still snow-laden, and the metalwork railings had been traced with blown snow. Everywhere was confectionary sugar, cakes of snow perched atop fenceposts, and a few single tracks of footprints. On the other side of the cemetery, people were digging out cars and frolicking on the wide, frozen expanse of Tjornin, making enormous snowballs and snow angels. I may no longer be a kid but I still get giddy feelings about a fresh snowstorm like this and the fresh dampness of the air afterwards.

Further in town, the cafes were quiet but the hill at Arnarholl was sprinkled with sledding kids. I love that downtown is sledding ground here. After lunching, I headed seawards, where the gulls in the water were being flung around by the enthusiastic sea, and the wind made for a treadmill-like flying condition, as they flapped and flapped with no forward progress. The clouds to the north were moody and low, but the weather remained storm-free and strangely warm after the days of frigidness.

After an inspection of the harbor and the ships in town, a scratch behind the ears of a self-important short white dog, I made my way home through the blue light of dusk, admiring the light-effects on the tidy houses and the snappy use of color that makes Reykjavik what it is. A good Sunday.


Christian said...

Indeed we had much fun making a snowman, since it had been ages ago :) (see the link).

I'm from the Netherlands and we're not really used to get a lot of snow, usually only once during the whole winter and then just 10cm or so.

Too bad I'm leaving the land within a week already :( But hey, the past four months were just fantastic, so I've got loads of nice stuff to think back to :)

ECS said...

nice snowman! I didn't see it in person but I noticed some kids had made a HUGE snowball that was in the middle of Tjörnin last night. As for your departure... you'll just have to come back and visit! The flight's not far from Holland.

Christian said...

You are right, it isn't. I am in fact thinking about coming back. Maybe then I'll even stay a bit longer than this time.