Posts Tagged ‘Photography’
Ottawa has over 110cm of snow so far this season. It has been very exciting after 8 years in Vancouver.December 28, 2013
Ten things about Iceland:
1. People in Iceland were really sweet. They speak English and it’s not your run-of-the-mill attempt. Full conversations were had with no one stumbling over their words – unless I was trying to say….
2. Icelandic place names are difficult. Remember the volcano that disrupted air travel in Europe? I saw it. I tried to say it. It is not alone in the long word category.
3. Icelandic air does a great deal where they allow a European layover of up to a week, free of charge. Side note: It was cheaper for us to fly to Iceland than to Newfoundland. The fact that I can’t find a flight to Edmonton for under $500 these days is indicative of air travel prices in Canada.
4. Vegetarians beware. Meat is everywhere on menus. Fish and lamb appear to be the most common – for good reasons (surrounded by water, covered in sheep). We cooked for ourselves quite a lot and had to be careful not to come home with horse meat. We did manage to try minke whale, dried fish, lagoustines, oversmoked lamb, and other more standard fare. Orgle tried hakarl (fermented poisonous Greenland shark). It stunk of ammonia in a vile way.
5. It is a beautiful country. It really is amazing to think of all that grows out of what is essentially lava rock. And lava rock comes in different colours and formations.
6. I miss outdoor hot pools. I wish they were here. Unfortunately, there is not a seemingly endless amount of hot water bubbling under the surface – making outdoor heated pools prohibitively expensive.
7. I pride myself in finding nice, affordable places to stay and in Reykjavik that was no different. We had a cute little studio apartment right in the heart of the city at Ranargata 23.
8. I’m not good with time changes. My sleep patterns there were not good and my lack of even dozing on the plane set me back as well. Maybe between Newfoundland, Australia and Iceland, my body clock has been all over the place these last few months.
9. It’s true: Greenland is ice and Iceland is green. Yes, if you’ve gone through my Jokulsarlon pictures, you’ll see lots of ice, but that was just one place in over a week of visiting. In fact, during the time we were there, the weather was colder in Alberta. It did snow, very lightly and very briefly, one day – but it wasn’t even a dusting.
10. There is a Big Lebowski-themed bar in Reykjavik.
Alas, the only disappointment may have been the cloud coverage nightly. No northern lights were seen.
What a gorgeous country. I don’t think my pictures did it justice. Neither did the fog we drove through on the way to Jokulsarlon. So worth it. Will recap the trip later, but for now, pictures.
The list starts below the photos. You knew there would be photos.
1. Just over 2 weeks is not enough.
2. It’s not cool when your partner gets upgraded to executive class and you’re left in the middle seat between two strangers for 15 hours. Don’t ask about this, Orgle is done talking about it. It sucked.
5. At first dining out seemed more expensive. The price of a beer or an entrée* was more than I expected, but without tip and having tax included, it was pretty much comparable and easier to calculate. Big fan.
*6. An entrée is an appetizer.
7. There are very few major differences in terminology. When I was trying to go shopping, mall is something different. Gas station seems to be “servo”. At first I wouldn’t say anything when I walked into a store because I didn’t know how to answer the question, “How you gettin’ on?”
8. I heard about all the dangerous things in Australia. The snakes and the spiders and the sharks… but the most dangerous thing appears to be motor vehicles. There are dead kangaroos on the road everywhere. I didn’t see any of the others.
9. It’s beautiful. I think in terms of pure beauty, the Sunshine Coast and the Barossa Valley were my favourites. We travelled the Great Ocean Road in pretty miserable conditions. I’m sure it’s a sight when not so grey outside.
10. Orgle’s mom is a wonderful cook and one night she cooked up some Moreton Bay bugs. A trip highlight for sure.
11. The trip lowlight was hurting my neck again. The middle economy seat coming over followed by a bumpy flight to Melbourne really put me out. It was the worst it has ever been. I don’t know how Orgle has the patience to deal with me sometimes.
12. AFL. It’s ironic that I’m putting out this post on the day of the Grand Final between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks. At the start of the season I decided to be a fan of the Fremantle Dockers. Against some odds, they actually made it to the playoffs and through the first round of games. It was one of many I watched on the TV there. Even made it out to see a Brisbane Lions game in person. It’s a dynamic sport that I wish could find an audience here – not just because of the tight shorts and sleeveless shirts.
13. In an Instagram photo I posted of Adelaide, I said: Adelaide is the Edmonton of Australia. People make snide remarks about it but when you ask when they were last there, they’ve never been. As well, it’s bigger than most people think. I thought it was a really pleasant city, surrounded by gorgeous grape-growing regions and the ocean (so it that respect, not Edmonton).
14. Aussies love Utes. See Wikipedia. I always thought they were called a trucar. (Like a mix of the words truck and car which appears to not work as well when typed, leading me to believe I just made up that term as a kid.)
15. I watched 7 movies on the flight to and from Australia. The one I liked the most was “Safety not Guaranteed“. I really enjoyed it. (It has 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I am not alone.) The other movies I watched were: Five Year Engagement, The Avengers, Moonrise Kingdom, One Week, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Ghost. I also watched 8 episodes of Modern Family and most of 500 Days of Summer played as I did word puzzles.
16. Orgle’s friends seem cool. Yesterday I added a bunch of them to my Facebook. Most accepted the request. Maybe we can convince some to visit here sometime?
17. The other strange Aussie animal I really liked is the Echidna. They are way cute. After I say this, most people say, “what’s an echidna?”
18. Possums, however, get the big thumbs down. Creepy buggers.
19. I also don’t get cricket. Orgle says it’s a thing because what else are you going to do in hot, humid summers? I suggested surfing. He agreed.
20. Home auctioning seemed to be a big thing. It was hard to get a handle on real estate prices in Melbourne because of it. It was less of a thing in the small towns we went to. Seeing one hundred year old homes in the Barossa for $500K had me rethinking my life plan.
21. I’m now committed to convincing my parents to get chickens. Orgle’s mom has some. It seems to be working out for all involved.
22. Orgle’s dog is getting old. I don’t know if she will be around next time we visit. It makes me sad because I see how his face lights up around dogs. It’s only a matter of time, and finding a pet-friendly rental, before we have our own.
23. Is Australia like Canada? Yes and no. I would say there are probably more US-Canada connections but due to geography, that makes sense. But it’s not dissimilar. You can see that the origins were similar. I’m sure I annoyed many Australians with A. The way that I pronounce Australia with all the full syllables in it and B. My constant comparing of the two countries.
24. I will go back. Tasmania is on the list, so is Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Don’t tell the Aussies, but I’d like to see some of New Zealand too if I’m in that neck of the woods. However, first I have to find a job and save up money.
I’m sure that’s what my next blog post will be all about.