Mondays in Iceland - #94
I've written plenty about the crappy, miserable, sorry, soggy weeks we've been having here lately, but what I haven't mentioned is those few Sundays of glorious respite there have been interspersed. I took photos a few weeks ago of one of those days, and last Sunday was another. Just at freezing, perfectly still, and crisply sunny, the perfect day for the 45 minute walk to Laugardalslaug from my house. Although I have sunglasses, I wanted to let the brightness burn my eyes. Must save up the glory of light for the dark times later!
I started off along Snorrabraut where the berries on the trees (anyone know what those trees are?) had mixed with the moss along the wall-tops, and then continued straight out to the wide-open bay. When I was in Boston, I got a cashmere sweater as a Christmas gift, and the teal-blue color was called "Arctic ocean". At the time I thought it was pretty cheesy a name, but it really is the color of the sea on a bright winter day.
This walk is one of the great features of Reykjavík, allowing a nice stretch of time to appreciate the majesty of Esja all covered in snow at this time of year, and in the summer, it's the path where I rollerbladed. Going to the pool, I turned in at the bus yard, where this listing baby blue car awaits something around the corner from all the slumbering busses. Further down the street is a cluster of oddly vintage businesses- a shoe fix-it place, a shop with every shape of mirrors you'd ever want.
Then to the pool. Sunday swimming in this kind of weather is quite possibly one of the best things to do on a lazy weekend afternoon. The water seems clearer, each intake of breath is fresh and bright, the water smooth against my limbs. Afterwards, tired from laps and lying in the heated salt-water pool, I watch the rhythmic rotation of arms across the pool lanes, listening to the slightly distant echoes of the kids splashing in their pool, and the murmur of old-man gossip in the next hot tub.
Last time I left while the sun was still fully up, at the same time as the Royal Arctic Line steamed out of the harbor. Three weeks at approximately the same time, it was the just-post-sunset witching hour, when Esja looks its most imposing and frigid, and the pink after-glow of sunset fades into deepening blue skies.
Along with the sun's disappearance, the last moments of warmth in the day left as well, so by the time I got home, I was fully frigid. It took some spicy Indian food and the magic of an Icelandic wool blanket to warm up again, but it was worth it for the views and the sense of peace that always comes from the Sunday pool trip.
Posted by ECS at Reykjavík Harbour Watch, 20 November, 2007
Re-posted by permission