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Category Archives: iceland

Sigur Rós’s first feature length documentary film gets a full length release on YouTube. Heima is the first full length DVD to be put hosted on YouTube.

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LaugardalurI´m sad to say that we´ll be leaving Iceland tomorrow morning. Over the last few days we´ve been to the opera, eaten more lamb, visited Alþingi (the site of the planet´s first parliament), slept more than one should, ate a breadful of goulash, watched tv. A few words that spring to mind when describing Iceland are pong, steam, smoked, bad driving, hot dogs, carpetless…

We´re not heading directly home. We are spending New Year with Marc and Linda, don´t know where yet.

Christmas is celebrated on 24th December here in Iceland. Merry Christmas to folk back in the UK, not that you´ll be reading this because you´ll be stuffing your face with turkey sandwiches and mince pies.

We arrived in Iceland at 2.30am on the 24th. I´m sure the captain of the plane was flying blind. It was the longest descent I have experienced. The engine power was cut in half, it was pitch black outside and the wind shook the plane from side to side as if it were in a rough ocean. After 10 minutes we could see lights some street lights 500 metres below, which meant the runway was not far. The captain must have misjudged or was tricked by the weather, a normal thing in Iceland, for he stepped on the gas again, engaging full thrust, and up we went for a second approach. To cut this short, we landed with a thud, swaying, passengers almost in applause, but grounded and safe at last. Phew! We were in Iceland.

Christmas Eve

We awoke around 1pm, ate some breakfast and I met the Steinunn´s sister´s family before heading out to drop off presents to Steinunn´s family and friends in and around Reykjavik. In Iceland all life outside your own designated family stops at 6pm. Wherever you are at 6pm, you must reside for the rest of the evening. It is the law. Do not move. Do not pass go. Stop.

We made it back to Sigrún´s house in good time. Phew! Proceedings didn´t start until 8pm. It´s relaxed in this household, just the way I like it. Lamb, cooked in red wine, was served up with caramelised potatoes and carrots. Yum! This is how lamb should be cooked unlike the years old Icelandic tradition of ruining perfectly good tasting lamb. People here pay good money for tarnished lamb. The lamb flavour is smoked out and replaced with a, um, smoked flavour. Why? There´s no need anymore. Freezers exist if one wishes to preserve meat. Sorry, enough of my ungrateful, righteous whining.

Senior, a.k.a. Bj, won a wine raffle at his place of work. Handy for us as very good wine was drunk during and after the meal. Takk re martin.

After the meal, presents were opened. This went on for hours but was fun nonetheless. Every one of the family was happy with the presents we gave, especially Kolbjörn, who got very excited about Eragon.

I´ll write more a little later.

Gunnar Helder ThorvaldssonSteinunn will be pleased. On second thoughts, she probably won’t care that Iceland won its first European 2008 qualifier game against Northern Ireland. I’m sure her nephew, Kolbjörn, was watching though, as I spoke to him the other day via Skype for the first time. His first question was whether I liked football. I think I disappointed him by saying “not really” followed by a feeble “I watch internationals though”, a poor attempt at redeeming myself in his eyes.

I’m watching England vs Andorra at the mo via the new Telewest cable box. The picture is crystal clear compared to the shoddy reception of the rooftop aerial. We have about 40 channels, including BBC 3 and 4, more4, FilmFour and Sky One, plus 2MB broadband. All for £20 per month. Read my previous entry about why I switched and the savings I’m making. And by the way, it’s 2-0 to England right now.

This morning, Steinunn took the bus to Glasgow Airport and flew to Iceland to see her friends and family. On Saturday she’s going to the wedding of a close friend. I’m sure she’ll spend some time relaxing in The Blue Lagoon. I can’t wait to go there one day.