You may have noticed that other than a few holiday posts around Christmas, I haven’t posted much in the way of Iceland as a winter wonderland this year. And that’s because it hasn’t been. We had a tiny bit of snow around Christmas, but it’s been warm and drizzly most of the time.
But we’ve still tried to get out and do some wintry things. My hubby is now the Community Liaison Officer at the embassy, so he’s been organizing some fun events.
In January, we did some indoor ice skating at the Laugadalur sports complex next to the children’s zoo. It was fairly straight forward with a big rink and disco lights and music and a small snack bar. And they had a very unique skating aid for the little ones…no cute plastic penguins or seals to push around…instead they had what looked like a large unbent paperclip. But since it was metal, it slid on the ice easily enough and was very effective.
Last month we checked out the Keiluhöllin bowling lanes at another sports complex, and I must say that I really enjoyed the way it was set up. The scores were posted automatically, and there were comfy couches instead of booths or chairs, a full-sized bar and a restaurant that serves excellent pizza.
I suck at bowling anymore…my knee apparently no longer likes to hold my body weight, and my bowling fingers swell the next day. But it was still fun to get the family out with some embassy folks.
We got a little bit of snow a couple weeks ago and tried to make the best of it with a bit of sledding by our house. But it was so shallow with bits of grass popping up that it wasn’t that good. However, our luck certainly changed last weekend. Someone said we might get five to eight inches of snow in the evening…and we woke up to almost two feet of the white stuff…and broke a record for snowfall in the month of February.
The entire town came to a standstill. But it didn’t really matter since it was a beautiful clear Sunday. So I took A across the street and wandered around in the park, whose walking paths had been plowed before much of the roads in the city. N on the other hand was now snowed in with some friends at a cabin out of town and wondering if he’d be able to get home. But he did eventually.
This weekend was absolutely gorgeous as well, and the first real weekend after the new snow. Coincidentally our fabulous new CLO had planned a family ski day to a nearby ski hill called Bláfjöll, which is a convenient 30 minutes outside Reykjavik. Considering our last failed attempt at skiing in Akureyri last Easter, our first priority was putting A in the kids’ ski school.
I emailed with no reply, called with no answer, and finally called again to find out the school was full for that day. I was told there was a free instructor roaming the bunny slope that would show the kids the basics. Unfortunately he said he was busy the one time that we saw him. So we endeavored to teach A the basics on our own…without skis on our feet this time…and it was a whole different, and much more pleasant, experience.
He was in surprisingly good spirits considering that half of Iceland had turned up to ski, and we waited in line for 45 minutes to rent him a little pair of skis and poles. Last time they didn’t give him poles. And this time they said they would recommend against them. But considering how poorly our little control freak handled his lack of mobility last time, I figured he would appreciate at least being able to push himself forward.
So after we finally got him kitted out we spent another 45 minutes or so running up and down the bunny slope with him. And he did great. I was just happy that he gave it a second try and put some effort into it. He eventually got tired, so we called it a successful day and drove back to town for some tasty burgers, since there’s not much in the way of après–ski in Iceland.
But I can now say that I’m happy with our snowfall and can finally post some beautiful photos of our Icelandic winter wonderland!!