This is a very late weekly post, but better late than never! I count Monday as first day of the week so, in theory, I didn’t miss a post. At least that’s what I like to believe.
Our trip to Iceland is now only less than two weeks away! Of course I had to come down with indigestion which has been going on for a week now. Bummer! That combined with PMS/perimenopause makes for a very unhappy Firda. But that hasn’t stopped me from going on our daily walk to prepare ourselves for the hikes we’re planning to take in Iceland. If anything, the walks keep my spirit up and keep me excited about the trip.
I really hope that I’ll get over this soon because I would hate to still be suffering from this crap during our trip, especially since I would like to be able to enjoy Icelandic cuisine thoroughly. Right now, I’m practically doing a gluten- and dairy-free diet to keep my stomach happy, which isn’t fun at all if you know how much I love cakes, cookies, and ice cream. On the plus side, it is a sure-fire way to shed some pounds. Every thing has a silver lining and all that.
I really should decide on which cameras to bring soon. I’ve got my camera backpack cleared and ready for loading for a while now but so far it’s still pretty much empty. Though procrastination is a major contributor to this. What can I say. Procrastinating is what I do best.
Anyway, about the photos on top of this post, I took them on the World Pinhole Photography Day this past Sunday with my trusty Panasonic Lumix GF1 and a Pinwide pinhole while taking a long walk around Port Dover, Ontario. It was a lovely, overcast day. We took a walk on the beach and around the town before having a perch dinner at one of the local restaurants. Luckily, the rain didn’t start falling until we decided to leave. You can find the larger version of the photos I took that day in this Flickr photoset.
Well, it’s past bedtime for me. Until next post, hopefully in less than a week from now!
We had been on the lookout for a used MP3 player ever since we found out that the car stereo in our rental car in Iceland won’t play MP3 files. I was also looking into buying new but not willing to burn $50 for a new MP3 player with only 2GB storage. Enter Kijiji. I responded to a couple of ads on Monday. One was for an iPod Touch 2G 8GB for $50 here in Stratford and the other was for an iPod Touch 3G 16GB for $80 in Kitchener. I talked the latter down to $60 only to realize that even though it was marketed as a 3G by Apple (evil corporation rant withheld), it was actually a 2G, so it was older than advertised and the latest version of iOS it could run was 4.2.1, meaning very few apps (if any) on the Apps Store would work on it.
I told the seller about it and they apologized in response, saying they didn’t know it was that old. I dropped my offer down to $50 and they took it, saying it was fair. We made the drive to Kitchener and picked it up later that day. And that is how we purchased our first Apple product. We only paid as much as we were willing to pay for one. No hundreds of dollars for you, Apple! Not from us!
I installed a jailbreak program called Whited00r on the iPod Touch the next day to give it some of the iOS 6 features and to gain access to the AppTimeMachine. Now, not only can we play music with it, we can also browse the Internet (albeit very slowly) on WiFi, check and update Twitter and Facebook, and even play some games! I’d say it was a $50 well spent. I even learned a thing or two about jailbreaking mobile devices in the process. The learning curve was rather steep, but it was fun nonetheless. I love learning new things.
Look at all the squeaky dog toys I made!
I joined the Reddit’s Plushy Exchange recently and my giftee wanted some soft and squeaky toys for their dog. I instantly thought of making toys that look like food, so I crocheted the stuff pictured above: an apple, a cupcake, and an ice cream cone. Aren’t they cute? ;-) They even squeak when squeezed! It was my first time crocheting toys that look like food. I’d just never had the excuse to make them before. I hope the dog will like them.
Interestingly, even though I didn’t sign up for an international exchange this time and even though my giftee is in Canada, my gifter is actually in Sweden! I’m really curious about what I’m getting and I’m excitedly waiting for it to arrive in the mail. I haven’t received anything in the mail from Sweden since my old penpalling days some 20 years ago! Dear god, I’m old…
I think this is an appropriate song to end this post with:
Since the last time I posted, I experienced my very first severe Canadian ice storm (yes, in frickin’ April!), bombs exploded during the Boston Marathon killing 3, bombs exploded in Baghdad killing a lot more than in Boston, major earthquakes happened in Iran, fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas and practically flattened the whole town, and overnight the Boston marathon bombing suspects were found, one of them killed in a firefight, the other one was still on the run as of this writing. Seriously, what the hell?!? It’s a good thing that human being is so resilient. I just wish that those with the need to kill and destroy would simply get a hobby when they get bored or get tired of life. A harmless one, that is. Like crocheting, or cooking, or kickboxing. Seriously.
I say seriously a lot, don’t I?
I guess of all the things I mentioned in the first paragraph, I only have the good authority to write about the ice storm because I experienced it first hand. It wasn’t all that exciting to start with, unless you find having a power outage for 10 hours in a cold weather exciting. The power outage was mostly caused by ice-laden tree branches blown by high wind for an extended amount of time which then broke and fell on the hydro lines. When we went for a walk around the neighbourhood a couple of days ago, there were still plenty of broken tree branches on people’s yards and even on the sidewalk. We also saw a couple of broken hydro poles on the way out of town. I guess we were lucky to only lose power for 10 hours. Some people had no hydro up until Monday (the ice storm happened from Thursday night to Friday afternoon).
In other news, our trip to Iceland is officially only weeks away! Yay! The tripod I bought from Korea last week still hasn’t left Korea! Boo! I couldn’t find my GoPro camera but then my lovely husband, the King of Lost & Found, found it for me! Yay! I think I might have caught a cold! Boo! But then again, it might be just the rollercoaster of a weather we’ve been having that makes me feel like crap. 24 degrees above zero yesterday, 2 degrees below zero tomorrow. My body is so confuuuuused!
I’m really not sure whether to pack for winter or spring weather. Though puffin sightings have been reported (sure sign of spring, they say), it doesn’t look like spring has completely arrived throughout Iceland, and especially not in the Northern Iceland. I’m so glad that I decided against going to Iceland in April. Hopefully between now and they day we hop on the plane that’s going to take us to Iceland, spring will arrive. Like, for real.
I just listened to the weather forecast reading on the Icelandic Met Office website and it made me giggle. At first I thought it was in Icelandic but then realized it was in English. The guy who read it really didn’t think much of punctuations. :-)
I shall end this post with my favourite song from my new favourite Icelandic band, Of Monsters and Men. Enjoy!
And so I turned 40 on Sunday, which means that it’s been 10 years since the last time I heard my mother wish me a happy birthday. I couldn’t sleep the night before my birthday. Kept thinking about my mother. Made me cry a little. I only slept for 3.5 hours that night at most, so on my birthday I was pretty out of it. The highlight of the day was having a quiet breakfast with my lovely husband at my new favourite breakfast place in town. I had the strawberry waffle pictured above. It was delicious!
I don’t like milestone birthdays. Not looking forward to my 50th. :-/ But I am looking forward to my 41st, i.e. my next non-significant birthday no one but me (and possibly my husband because the only way he can stop me from pestering him about it all the time is by caring) cares about! Only another year to go. Sigh.
Um, I got distracted and now I’m listening to Pachelbel’s Canon in D a.k.a. the wedding song. Not sure how I got there. Here, have a listen (no need to watch the cheesy images, just listen):
Hey, I got my Iceland map today! Yes, a folded paper map! So old school! Sadly it’s lacking an index, but whatevs. It should be good enough to help us get from point A to point B. It’s going to be our only means of navigation if we can’t find a Garmin car GPS to borrow before our trip. We have a TomTom but unfortunately, they don’t make Iceland map for TomToms. Renting a GPS in Iceland for two weeks would cost us as much as it would cost to buy a new Garmin. Wouldn’t be too bad if we actually needed a new GPS, but we don’t. Our TomTom is good enough for our needs. That is, as long as they don’t involve travelling in Iceland.
I ordered a lightweight tripod for the trip from Korea last night. I hope it’ll get here before the trip. There’s only, like, 5 weeks left. Damn, I really should’ve ordered it from the States instead. Oh well. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed. And toes, too.
We still need to buy some small items for the trip. Like sleeping masks, because there’s going to be only 5 hours or so of darkness (if it actually gets dark, which I’m not sure) when we’re there and we might need them for sleeping. Well, my husband might need one for sleeping. I don’t need total darkness to fall asleep because I’m speshul. Um, I’m sure there are other things we need to buy but I can’t think of any right now.
This weekend is going to be the last free weekend for us until the trip. After this weekend, we are booked for a game night, a concert, a play, and Mother’s Day (I’m not a mother and I don’t have a mother anymore but my husband still has a mom so…). Not sure what we’re going to do this weekend. Probably thrifting in London. Haven’t been that way in a while.
Have I bored you to death yet? If not, I should probably stop before you are. Sorry for this super random post. I’ll try to be more interesting next time. Until then, peace out!
I was going to write about the Easter long weekend but it kind of sucked so let’s just talk about our upcoming trip to Iceland again, shall we?
My father-in-law asked me this past weekend what I was looking forward to the most about the trip. My first answer was: being in Iceland! Second answer: the ocean! I miss the ocean. I know they are not very specific answers, but I really can’t wait to be there and to see and smell the ocean again.
Just for the sake of writing a blog post, I’m going to try to be a little more specific. In order of appearance, as we plan to travel anti-clockwise around the island, I’m looking forward to visiting:
Reynisdrangar are basalt sea stacks situated under the mountain Reynisfjall near Vík in southern Iceland. Legend has it that the stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock. You can see this interesting rock formation in Bon Iver “Holocene” video below, starting at 5:10. The whole video is fantastic, by the way, and it shows the highlights of southern Iceland very well.
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon in southeast Iceland, on the borders of Vatnajökull National Park. It evolved into a lagoon after the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Some scenes from the movies A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins were filmed there. The lagoon actually has some icebergs in it! Probably not as big as the ones I saw in Newfoundland, but icebergs nonetheless. You can see a glimpse of the lagoon in the video above starting at 2:15.
This is the place where they filmed the scenes set in the freezing cold area North of the Wall in season two of the popular, nerdtastic TV show, the Game of Thrones. My inner nerd is telling me I must go there. We’re planning on doing a two-hour guided hike on the glacier. Should be fun! We didn’t get to walk on the glacier when we went to the Columbia Icefield in Alberta 6 years ago (not sure if it was even allowed). This should made up for it. Here’s hoping I won’t fall into a crevasse!
I want to take this tour in which you hop on a tractor-pulled hay wagon for a ride to a nature reserve where you can see some puffins! Check out the photo gallery and tell me if you think I’m crazy for wanting to do this tour because it looks incredibly lame to you. I can’t say I’m too thrilled about the idea of climbing up a sand slope (I have bad knees) but I think I’ll survive. I hope.
Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. It is also the star in the opening scene of the movie Prometheus (at least to me). The movie itself wasn’t all that great but I thought the waterfall looked awesome. Here’s a video of the waterfall minus all the CGI:
We might not be able to get to the side of the waterfall where the scene in Prometheus was filmed due to crappy road (we won’t have a 4WD vehicle) but I’m sure the view from the other side would be just as spectacular.
I think in order to understand why I would want to go to this tiny island 40 km north of northern Iceland on a 3.5-hour seasickness-inducing ferry ride and back, you need to read this story. The story made me laugh so hard I had tears running down my cheeks. And then I made a mental note to go there when I’m in Iceland. If after reading the story you still can’t understand why, well, maybe I’m just a masochist that way? ;-)
Kirkjufell is a mountain in the northern part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. According to the Icelandic Wikipedia entry for it, this beautiful mountain used to be called Firðafjall before it received its current name. That mountain used to be named after ME, dammit! Of course I have to go there, see it with my own eyes, and worship the beauty! I know, I’m so vain. But once you see what the mountain looks like, you would wish they had named it after you.
I’m sure I’m missing a few things. That’s why I added “Part One” to the title of this post so that the rest can go to “Part Two”. :-) When I’m going to post the sequel is anyone’s guess, but hopefully it will be up before we leave for Iceland NEXT MONTH. I’m so excited I just had to capitalize those two words!