Friday, November 11, 2005

Winter in Reykjavík

I will try to write a little about the wintertime here in Iceland (with a little bit of geography included!):

With the island of Iceland being situated in the midst of the Atlantic ocean, half way between North-America and Europe, winter here is not as harsh as people might expect from how far north on the globe we are. We have the benefit of The Gulf Stream bringing warm sea from the Gulf of Mexico up to our shores, bringing the warmth with it that makes life bearable here. If it was to change or stop flowing, this island would become inhabitable. So thats one more reason we have to be worried about global warming along with spillage being dropped into the oceans, changing the way things are supposed to be.

Right now the temperature here in the south of Iceland swings around the 0°C degrees, just mild weather, sun sometimes shining but for ever shorter periods every day, the way that our globe, the Earth, changes the position of it´s axis in relation to it´s revolving round the sun, until 21st December, when that relation starts changing back again. Sometimes it rains heavily, sometimes it´s has snowed a bit during the night, but that snow will soon melt during the day. You have to be careful driving to work as the roads might be slippery in the early morning, later in the day that is a problem no more. The north is getting a bit more snow, as it stayes colder there, even so the weather is relatively mild.

It´s the increasing darkness that mostly gets people down. And without much snow it´s even darker, that´s why some people will welcome a snowy spell, not to mention the skiers! We try to find ways not to be too much affected and find little things to cheer us up. We light candles, watch television and read lots and lots of books at this time of year. And we start looking forward and preparing for Christmas, the celebration of the light of Christ coming into the world, which for nations living this far north, having to endure darkness during these weeks and months, gives an added meaning to this event.

It´s not until January that we will be getting real snow, and then very often here in the south it will not stay very long, but melt into a dirty wet heaps, only to be frosen again during the next spell of frost, making the roads very slippery and pavements hard to walk on, with frosty ridges of frozen dirty snow to climb for those who venture to go for a walk on them. Which of course is everybody that doesn´t own a car. That´s maybe why Icelanders rank so high on the lists of carowners per capita in the world.

This kind of weather will continue until April, - ach, I´m being overly optimistic here, like always in spring, thinking it´s here a month too early. To tell the truth, it will not really be here until May. That´s when this woman will be very happy to see all the leaves budding on trees and bushes once again and the first flowers sticking their heads out of the soil!


A Hairy Snail said...

Interesting. I was under the impression though that there'd be a lot of snow in Iceland. An image that's there in the head, refuses to go even after seeing pictures of the volcanoes and such.

Good to see you back.

Dirk the Feeble said...

Wow, I LOVE that first picture.

Mo'a said...

I was so happy to find your blog,"Icelandic Artists" when I was looking for info on Brian Pilkington. I have read every word in all your blogs :) I love them and have learned a lot about my country.
I am Icelandic living in the US. I would be so happy, if you would take a look at my blog. On December 11, there will be a surprice on my blog. I bet you know what that will be, it has something to do with the number 13 :)

Greta said...

Melchizedek, the name of my island of course gives you a very cold impression...
Armaedes, so do I!
Mo´a, I was so happy to see your comment and that you like my blog so much.:) Yes, I think I know what your surprise will be, something to do with the yule....!
I want very much to ask you please to edit you profile so I can see the name of your blog and have a look at it too...:(

Greta said...

Mo´a. being Icelandic, you might enhoy this link:

Mo'a said...

I have edited my profile, ready for your visit and that of other bloggers :)
You are right and the first one is coming on December the 12th :)