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Heatwave!

As many of you will have noted from my Flickr photos, the weather here has been amazing over the past 2-3 weeks and yesterday was a perfect gem in the string of beautiful days we’ve had here lately. We had record highs throughout the country – here in Reykjavík temps went up to 26.2 °C [79F], breaking the record of 24.8°C previously. At Þingvellir temps were 29.7°C, which was also a record and was HIGHER THAN IN THE ALGARVE in Portugal [pity the poor Nicelanders who spent tens of thousands of their hard-earned crowns to holiday there in the sun]. There was brilliant sunshine all day long and a deliciously warm wind, which hardly EVER happens here. Seriously – lately Iceland has been getting the best weather anywhere in Europe during the summers, IMHO … sufficiently warm and sunny to revel in the sun, yet free from the suffocating heat that the continent [and other places] have had to endure.*

I expect that every single person in Iceland who had the slightest possibility to skip out from work yesterday did so. You see, up here businesses close due to weather during the summers rather than in the winter [seriously] – warm and sunny days have traditionally been such a rarity here that every single one is precious. Personally I’ve just done the bare minimum in terms of work this week [EPI is on holiday and it’s pretty tempting to just hang out with him, rather than shut myself up in my little office to type away at the computer] and yesterday we headed to the pool. It was packed but we managed to scavenge a couple of sun benches and just lay there, belly-up, occasionally jumping in the pool to cool down – as opposed to warm up, as is usually the case. We picked the pool out on Seltjarnarnes this time around for our afternoon of leisure, which has gone through extensive renovations and which we have just rediscovered – it’s got amazing facilities now, several new hot pots, steam bath, big water slide, etc. not to mention free coffee and water poolside AND it’s in the neighbourhood.

It’s slightly cloudy today, a perfect day for a hike up on Mt. Esja across the bay, which we are planning for this afternoon. Coming up is the Verslunarmannahelgi weekend – the major drinkfest of the year, apart from New Year’s Eve, when almost everyone heads out to some outdoor festival or another. In our household it’s become tradition to stay in town because it’s so pleasant – the streets are virtually empty and you feel like you have the run of the city. Just great. Right now it’s a delightful 14°C [59F], sunrise was at 4.32 this morning, sunset due for 10.33 this evening.

* And we moan about the glaciers melting!

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  • Cassie July 31, 2008, 12:50 pm

    Ironic that I missed the heatwave, isn’t it? (But in some ways I’m actually glad of it.) So looking forward to seeing you, seeing for myself this gorgeous summer weather, and maybe that local pool….

  • andrea July 31, 2008, 2:33 pm

    Nice little vignette of summer in Iceland. Thanks!

  • Dorothy Gale July 31, 2008, 3:54 pm

    Keep it nice, we’re coming Tuesday!

    With global warming, we’ll soon all be huddled in the northern part of Groenland and go to Iceland for tropical vacations.

  • Bluegrass Mama July 31, 2008, 8:48 pm

    Ah, but did you get naked in the shower before you got into the pool?

  • alda July 31, 2008, 11:41 pm

    Cassie – that’s what you get for complaining about the heat! Anyway, I think there will be some heat left when you arrive. The forecast for the weekend is pretty good.

    andrea – don’t mention it!

    Dorothy Gale – heheh. Let’s hope not, though.

    Cat – what a question!! OF COURSE I did – in contrast to the group of British girls in the Laugardalslaug pool today, who all refused to wash their bits, despite being thus instructed. *grr*

  • Lucy August 1, 2008, 8:42 am

    You’ve stolen the Irish summer! Our weather has been incredibly bad all summer (flash flooding yesterday!) and I’ve noticed before that we tend to have the exact opposites

    So all I’m asking is that you give up a week or so of sun so that the entire country doesn’t go nuts.

  • alda August 1, 2008, 11:20 am

    Lucy – you’ll have to arm-wrestle me for it! 😉

  • Djaddi August 1, 2008, 12:23 pm

    Yeah, the feeling of a warm wind in Iceland is just.. Crazy!

    I love this weather :). And what’s that “work” thing again? I forget these days.

    The new hotpot at Seltjarnarneslaug is quite nice. Free coffee and water? That seems to be new!