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In which YT holds forth about the fair city of Reykjavík

With all the excitement of the last several days I’d almost forgotten about my day job, at which I have been demonstrating rather poor performance lately [good thing I have a very understanding boss] since my extremely time consuming hobby [read: this blog] has been commanding ever-larger chunks of my time.

So seeing as how I’m scrambling to meet a deadline, plus the fact that the country is not in the process of collapsing around my ears – at least not today – I’m going to take this opportunity to post a link. It’s an interview with YT about Reykjavík over at The Blogger’s Guide, a web portal for city blogs which has just launched the World Blogging Challenge – a competition run in collaboration with Expedia to find the best city blog in the world.

They very kindly featured The Iceland Weather Report as their blog of the day on the day they launched the competition, which just happened to be on the day that the [ex-] PM was dropping his double bombshell about early elections and esophageal cancer, which is why I neglected to post anything about it at the time. Besides, I have also been a bit embarrassed to post this in light of all the nice things they write about me in the introduction. *blush*

Anyway: THE LINK

The competition, which is presently inviting entries, is very cool because you can actually win REAL prizes, as in USD 2,500 worth of travel. I mean, where else on the Intertubes are they actually offering REAL money [stellar offers notwithstanding] to bloggers?* So if you are blogging about a city, or know of someone who is, make sure you check out the contest.

IT’S BEEN SNOWING ALL DAY
I spent most of the day inside working my butt off, until the point where I could no longer continue, seeing as how my head was filled with the sorts of cobwebs that only fresh air can eliminate. I had been looking longingly out of my window at the big fluffy flakes coming down outside, so I wasted no time on putting on my snow gear and headed outside. There was only one destination that came to mind – the old Hólavallagarður cemetery [one of the largest – if not THE largest – woods in Reykjavík] which is always exquisitely beautiful after a snowfall. I took a few pics that I’ll try to post as soon as I have a few free moments. Right now we have 0°C [32F], the sun came up at 10.19 and went down at 5.03 pm. The days getting noticeably longer and lighter!

* Not to discount all you lovely, lovely readers who have sent in donations, all of which are VERY much appreciated … particularly as I’ve been needing to add more bandwidth to my account every couple of days for the last week or so!

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  • rb January 29, 2009, 4:37 am

    It snowed all day here too!!! We got a foot in all, about 30 cm I think. Crazy snow. Unfortunately it’s not as *warm* here in Buffalo as it is in Iceland. Lucky you, 32! how balmy!!!! Instead of hitting the cemetery, people here usually cross country ski through the city parks—it’s a little bewildering at first, but since the snow never melts I suppose one needs snow related hobbies to make it through winter 🙂

  • Ljósmynd DE January 29, 2009, 7:44 am

    The right stuff about Reykjavik at the right time, as the last riot stricken weeks seem to have raised some concerns over safety issues with some of the more uninitiated people , which I think is completely unfounded, unless you are a Icelandic policeman standing in front of the parliament at the wrong time.

  • gb January 29, 2009, 8:28 am

    so where is Iceland going ? increasing the whale harvesting,will only bring bad press , do Icelanders want the U.S.A. back at Keflavik(rent money was good). FYI-current government debt(U.S) per person 34,000,,,do you know Iceland stats…Peace , thanks

  • Rachael January 29, 2009, 11:13 am

    I really enjoyed reading your interview at The Blogger’s Guide 🙂 Yes, they were very complimentary about you – but rightfully so!

    I noticed the snow on the webcams yesterday – it looked beautiful. Made me want to leap on a plane to Reykjavík and come and play in the snow.

  • Frank Lynch January 29, 2009, 12:04 pm

    Came to your blog via an article in the Guardian newspaper. Very good, very interesting. Wish the phlegmatic Brits had the wit to surround the British parliament and force our useless MPs out! Still we live in hope. Keep up the good work.

    Frank.
    Scotland.

  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson January 29, 2009, 1:21 pm

    gb, Iceland provided the Keflavik base area for the US rent free, it was part of Iceland´s contribution to NATO.

  • Vikingisson January 29, 2009, 1:46 pm

    Snowy snowy snowy. And colder than thou. Just north of you rb so lake effect isn’t the issue, just cold that sometimes brings a ton ‘o snow.

    Don’t get upset when the whole country puts down the fair city of Reykjavík. it always happens during times like this. I live in one of those cities that is hated by everyone living elsewhere.

    I was feeling rather kreppa’ish last night so I whipped up some Icelandic pancakes and just mellowed out with some music. I had a smile when I went to sleep. But this is a new day so back to my personal kreppa.

  • Vikingisson January 29, 2009, 4:46 pm

    Alda, I just took a break and watched my daily 5 minutes (max) of news and what did I see on the CBC? I saw you giving an interview just now at 11:40 EST / 16:40 GMT. I missed part of it but it was interesting to finally hear your voice.

    “That was Alda from Reykjavík Iceland, a country that defines economic crisis”

    Can you come here and run for Prime Minister?…….

  • alda January 29, 2009, 5:11 pm

    Víkingsson – what an amazing coincidence! Yes, this came up last night, and today they informed me they wanted to try doing it via Skype and webcam. The sound was giving us trouble, though, so in the end I wound up talking on the phone but with the webcam on.

    And I’d prefer to be Governor-General, actually. 😉

  • John Hopkins January 29, 2009, 5:14 pm

    Hi Alda — I used to have a private server in Finland, but after instabilities with that really disrupted online life, I shifted to godaddy where I’ve been for 2 years now — very stable, cheap, plenty of bandwidth and storage (I do a lot of photo, audio, and video work (lots from Iceland, btw go to the travelog and do a search) and you can have it on a Linux server… It can be incredibly frustrating to have bad hosting which directly impacts your livelyhood…
    Keep up the good work!

  • Vikingisson January 29, 2009, 6:08 pm

    It was indeed a pleasure and a surprise to turn on the t.v. and see you Alda especially given my self imposed limits of t.v. watching. The sound and video wasn’t bad at all considering the home brew setup. BTW, if you ever want a VoIP line I have my own PBX here. While I was in Iceland I enjoyed perfect reception and nearly free calls back to Canada. The bandwidth and latency between here and Iceland is excellent.

    Perhaps it might be that being first to fall will allow Iceland to be early to recover once the dominoes start to fall in a big way. Much of this is a made in Iceland problem but is certainly accelerated by what started in the U.S. and is now infecting the planet.

  • RK in Los Angeles January 30, 2009, 1:48 am

    Alda – I was wondering if you had managed to translate two infamous words/concepts from the kreppa. (I tried looking on the site but since the blog is in English and I don’t know the translation, its pretty hopeless.)

    The two words Im looking for are: (Drumroll…) Óráðsíumenn/maður, and útrásarvíkingur.

    Very nice interview and Im so rooting for you for the bloggies. Crossing fingers…

  • birch January 30, 2009, 4:35 am

    Alda,

    Just wanted to drop a line to say that I’m new to your blog, and I love it! I came across it when I was voting for the bloggies…I’m an Icelandophile so I immediately visited your site (and voted for you, of course).

    Keep up the lovely work in Niceland (what a fantastic nickname!). I’ve only been once, as a last-minute add-on to my honeymoon, and I’ve been chomping at the bit to go back ever since. The landscape is bewitching. I do have a pretty edenic spot living in Ithaca, New York, but I’m still left dreaming of Iceland. If only American law firms had offices in Reykjavik…*sigh*

  • Andrew January 30, 2009, 4:58 am

    According to this front-page article in The Guardian, Iceland will be ‘fast-tracked’ to join the EU in 2011:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/30/iceland-join-eu

    I was also wondering, just how big is Reykjavik? I mean, can you walk across the city centre in 10 minutes, or is it a lot bigger?

  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson January 30, 2009, 10:50 am

    Andrew, the old, original, city centre is easily walkable in 10 minutes or so but the problem is that the city centre is no longer the centre of commerce or other activities that drew people to it before, it is now mainly a center of pubs and restaurants (and tourism) on one hand and governmental offices etc. on the other.
    A survey, taken recently, showed that more than 80% of the city´s population rarely, if ever, came to the old centre.
    The greater Reykjavík area, home to some 201 585 people (out of a total population of 319 756) is ca 15 kms from east to west and some 20-25 kms from north to south but as the city stands on a couple of peninsulas and the adjoining hinterland it is not a contionus built up area.

  • Vikingisson January 30, 2009, 1:00 pm

    Almost forgot Alda, being the Governor-General would indeed be the better job. You get to be glamorous while meeting with all the right people around the world. And during a crisis you might get to break a deadlock or call an election when the coalition breaks down. or in Canada’s case to prevent a coalition that would have surely brought down the newly elected prime minister.

    Keep banging those pots.

  • alda January 30, 2009, 11:59 pm

    Víkingsson – oh, I am well aware of the job description. Hence my preference. 🙂