Thursday, April 17, 2014

If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands!

Sorry, I've been lately rather busy and for some reason had no motivation to write anything. I had some deadlines with university and set a new record in writing an essay, 5 pages in 2.5 hours! I'm just great like that! ;) Or just a terrible procrastinator and work quite well under time pressure.......
Last week I was hanging out a lot with friends and went to see The Grand Budapest Hotel in the movies here. That movie was really amazing and beautiful. I loved everything about it. I will definitely watch it again. :)

And then for the last weekend it had been time to hit the road again and I was in Akureyri from Saturday until Monday with 3 friends. We left early in the morning and decided to take a detour over the fjords up North, not the Westfjords though. There were amazing landscapes already on the way, especially on the fjord and in the mainland right before Akureyri. We actually tried to find a natural hot spring and we found it but the greediness of the landowners had already taken over, and the area was fenced up. We then just opened the gate ourselves and went in anyway since nobody was there. The pools were cute but we tried them with our hands and figured they were not warm enough since they were right by the cold stormy sea. So we went back into the car and continued driving. :D After getting lost for 5min we found our way again and were around 7pm in Akureyri. So it had taken us actually 10 hours to get from Reykjavik to Akureyri, though we took detours and had many breaks. This town is actually the second largest city in Iceland after Reykjavík with 17'700 habitants. So now you can imagine when the second largest town is this small here how small everything else is. ;)
We had reserved a room in an 8 people mixed dorm and when we got there we were suddenly greeted with a "Moi! Kuulinko suomea?" from one of the bunkbeds, there was an Finnish acquintance from Reykjavík who had hitchhiked up to Akureyri. The world is truly small. We went then a bit to look at the city though the center seemed to be rather small but cute and had afterwards supper in a restaurant. After the supper half of us went to the bars and the other half fell straight into a coma in the hostel. Guess to which group I belonged? ;D
The next day we headed to Myvatn, the famous national park area about 95km away from Akureyri. I don't think there is any other place like that in the world actually. It really has an unique nature with huge craters, bubbling mudholes, a forest of trolls turned into stone called Dimmuborgir and Hverfell, a huge crater which apparently is the gateway to hell. We saw all of those things and it still felt like we had seen hardly anything at all. There was so much to discover and see. In the evening sun the area really looked like from another planet with the big lake, the huge craters around it and smoke rising from the mudholes. Something everybody should witness once in their lifetime. I'll definitely find my way up to Myvatn again. We ended the day with going to Jarðböðin, the "blue lagoon" of the north. It's much cheaper, 2000ISK for students and maybe even nicer. There were hardly any people in it except one or two Icelandic families with their little children spending a relaxing Sunday evening. The water was really hot but nice and it was clearer. The Blue Lagoon isn't really clear. It was so much fun being there with the sun setting slowly and everything looking blurry in the colors of yellow, orange, red and pink with the steam rising. The perfect ending to that day.
For the next day we had planned to go whale watching but were too lazy to get up at 7am to do that in  Dalvík and there was none yet in Akureyri. So we decided to drive slowly back up through another fjord and made a stop in the town Siglufjörđur for a small hike and to buy lunch. It was a cute fisher town between the fjords with an amazing view to the ocean and fjords. From there we then continued our home journey on the fjords, sometimes just having a steep fall right next to us by the car and hills were you drove on top of it and weren't sure until you were on top if the road really continues on the other side or if somebody just had pulled a prank and you'd fall down a fjord. ;)  We were then quite early around 9pm at home and I fell into a coma at home. It was overall once again a great trip with great friends. :)

Other news: Strike is cancelled, I actually do have to study now and write exams...booo. No ring road trip for me then. :( 
Other news again: I still got it in me, I haven't become a complete softy! I thought I had lost my ability to make myself a home somewhere new but I was wrong, ha! I've fallen now more and more in love with Iceland and wish I could stay here at least another 6 months or years actually but my life back home is calling me back and I was happy there too actually. But I know now for sure I should have come for a year, it's so hard to imagine me being back at home and I will definitely return to this country many many times during my life. But I'm happy about going back home too and seeing all my friends and everybody and I know that I'm even being missed by some people there. :) It's just bittersweet this whole thing. 
Lately I've also been only incredibly happy, just so content with the world and feel like everything will work out somehow for me in the future and that there are so many great things to come along in my life as long as I keep my mind open, appreciate the small things and make the best out of everything. Iceland has thought me again to know that there is so much out there in this world to see and explore, and that sometimes you just have to cry and show how you really feel. But yes, right now I'm just happy and today I just got the news that during my last 4 weeks here now I'll spend 3 weeks with 2 different visitors from home. I'm so excited about that! :)

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