When we arrived half of Iceland had already parked their car and started walking up to the volcano.
The Norwegian army had decided to use the distraction to invade Iceland. Icelanders general reaction was a relieved: "finally!"
One person slipped on the ice and had to be rescued by the rescue squad. The Icelandic rescue squad has been working around the clock, marking the way, manning the area, making sure nobody kills themselves. They are all volunteers and financed by donations.
Totally does not look like we are all on a religious pilgrimage to sacrifice to the volcano....
It had only been a week, but the valley had already filled up with lava:
There have been hundreds of earthquakes in the last week. While most were, as usual for Iceland, under 3 on the Richter scale and not noticeable, we had enough big ones to feel the earth shaking several times a day. After a day or two, this had become common place and everyone stopped worrying about it. Except for me. Because I had to go to the dentist for a filling this week. I am already terrified of the dentist, the idea that an earthquake will hit while he is drilling into my teeth is a nightmare scenario. I guess someone told Morgunblaðið (Icelandic newspaper), because their cartoonist drew this:
It went well, or at least only was traumatizing the usual amount, without added earthquakes. The earthquakes is probably a sign of an impending volcanic eruption, something I am excited about, because I could see it from my living room window. Fingers crossed.
When I first came to Iceland in 2001 I did not like coffee. Then I discovered Swiss Mocca. Consisting of half hot chocolate, half coffee and topped with whipped cream it was my entry drug. In winter you can get a version with chili flakes from Te og Kaffi, the better Icelandic version of Starbucks.
No Swiss person I ever met had heard about this national drink of theirs. I did some investigations into European coffee drinks and think that the closest European drink is Vienna Coffee, a drink that outside of Vienna is often made by mixing espresso and chocolate, topping it with cream. I guess some Icelander who brought this drink to Iceland got their European mountain countries with strange German dialects mixed up. In Vienna itself, the only coffee you can get is a "Wiener Melange", an espresso topped with steamed milk AND milk foam (as a huge fan of milk foam, I loved this drink when I was in Vienna, it is 60% foam 40% coffee. I would have milk foam by itself).
So next time you order a coffee drink, good luck it really is the wild west out there....
So, I have been thinking about my online future for a bit and (after joining a year ago) will leave Facebook soon. Which means that the blog is going to be THE place for all my terrible opinions again. I will keep up the picture of the week, because I have a lot of pictures from travels left, and they closed my very short lived instagram (I think it got hacked). I am also going to make it a bit less REM centric and introduce a new regular series of cool German words (there are several). And of course there will be posts about politics and general snarkiness.
It is done! I recorded and mixed it myself. It has very bad lyrics (basically the first idea that came to mind and rhymed was good enough). The most basic of chord progressions is used (including only I, IV, V and iv) and a melody constructed around the base note of the chords, which is why the melody sounds like something you heard before. The bridge is fun though as are the key changes and I really like the background harmonies, even if it goes strangely "Sound of Music" in parts.
I recorded it with audacity, a program I never used before (it is really easy to use!) in my bedroom. Guitar and voice were recorded together, because I'm lazy and didn't want to deal with 5 tracks (I had three instead, main vocals and rhythm guitar, background vocals and finger picking and second background vocals). Because of this I couldn't use fancy effects on the guitar or voice, so I just cleaned up some background noise and added a reverb from the bridge onward. During the bridge you hear me tapping to count how long to wait for the background vocals to come in. This is the only attempt at keeping the tempo I made, so the whole thing is a bit wonky.