Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring means strike!

Last week I wrote about my previous long trip to the East but what have I been actually up to in the past two weeks? Nature, that's pretty much the big word. I've been on so many trips and field trips lately that I've grown kind of tired of my outdoor clothes and am glad for just wearing my normal clothing again. :D

Last week we went on Monday to the wettest field trip with the school I've ever been to. It was just pouring like out of buckets and we had to go to the Reykjanes peninsula here. It wasn't that special actually....just a lot of rain and curse words (from us students). Last friday I was then asked to join some friends for some hiking in the Þingvellir National Park again. Two friends had a guest and a two-week exchange student here so we decided to show them some great Icelandic nature (one of the guests actually had been an exchange student here two years ago). Since spring had finally found its way to Iceland in the last week we had great luck with the weather and it was really warm, clear blue sky and no wind at all. Perfect day therefore! While hiking we actually saw the paw prints of an arctic fox in the snow (here are no other "dog" animals like that living here). We had a great hike for 2-3 hours there and headed then to Gulfoss to show one of your guests. And after that we treated ourselves for some relaxing in the natural hot spring Hrunalaug again. The guests were excited about that one! On the way there we saw how the nature was waking up here, everything started to slowly turn green and new life was starting everywhere. I've even spotted flowers in Reykjavík.
We finished the day with eating at our favorite place in Selfoss where I have been already 4 times in the past 4 weeks...This whole trip sounds short but we were actually gone for 12 hours and all of us were dead tired when coming home again. It was a great day. :)
On Saturday I actually managed to go partying!! Until 4am like the Icelanders! I had a lot of fun with my friends but my knee didn't appreciate the jumping around. Sunday I enjoyed the beautiful spring weather (plus 8 degrees and clear blue sky) with a housemate and her cousin. Reykjavík is quite beautiful in the spring. Monday there was another field trip with the school and this time we had much more luck with the weather. We went to the inactive volcano right outside of Reykjavík called Búrfell. We had to hike a short walk there and then we were left just to run loose around the volcano. It's actually quite funny how a group of 20-27 year old students (we were about 25 people) just got excited like little kids and starting exploring every little cave and stone there and climbed up to the highest peaks. It was obvious that we all enjoyed it.  Especially playing with the rocks that are so light that they actually float on water instead of sinking.  Meanwhile the teacher took a short nap on the hills. I just love it how you only have to drive for 10min outside of Reykjavik and you are on a volcano and have beautiful scenery. :)
Tuesday I was again on the Golden Circle route which makes it now the 4th for me on it. My housemate wanted to show her cousin the things there and I was asked to join. We took a small detour to a summerhouse village where the Búrafoss waterfall is hiding. I hope that was the name of it. It's a very small but cute waterfall with deep blue water which makes it look quite surreal. We also ended our day at Hrunalaug and at the awesome food place in Selfoss. And yesterday I was so lucky to see one of my favorite bands here again live, Árstiđir. The first band I saw here live and now I'm a big fan of them.

In the Búrfell volcano area
On another note: Iceland is striking. Iceland's economy is still not doing great and people are not happy with their salaries. The high school teachers have been now the 3rd week on strike and the university threatens to strike here during the exam period from April 25h to May 10th. We will next week know if the university strikes or not but most likely it will since the high school teachers are still on strike. This means for us students no exams during that time and that they will be postponed but many of us leave right after the 10th of May, including me and that is actually bad news for us since we won't get the credits. So I'll actually be trying to get a letter from the student office saying that because of the strike I was never able to participate in the exams. I already have a flight booked for home and I'd love to stay longer here but I don't want to have wasted the money for this ticket, work is waiting for me and I'm attending a wedding in the end of May. So not a good timing at all. If the strike happens it gives me time to travel around the island, which is great, but only if my home university doesn't bitch at me for coming home without hardly any credits. :D
The volcano itself
The seamen to the Vestmannaeyar Islands were striking last weekend too. And the airports here are threatening with strike too for the month of April which I hope doesn't happen or lasts only one day because I have a friend coming to visit me in April and she's supposed to leave on one of the days of the strike. And another friend is coming in the first days of May and in the worst case scenario the strike could be still on then. The nurses and elementary school teachers are going on strike in the fall... So let's hope for the university to strike but not for the airports.
And I finished my sweater! After almost two months, a lot of yarn and curse words I finished it. It feels great to have accomplished something like that and it fits like a glove actually. I'm also incredibly stubborn but have no patience.
This is it. I've been pretty much only outside all the time. :P

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