Whoever said the Vikings had named Iceland "Iceland" because they wanted to discourage people from coming here and that it actually is mild climate wise clearly never spent time in Akureyri in November. It has been snowing non stop since I got here and is FREEZING. I'm hoping the weather clears up a bit. The flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri was bumpy and not great. My heart was in my throat the majority of the time. But we landed safe and sound in Akureyri, where the wind was blowing over 30 miles an hour and snowflakes the size of saucers were falling. For a moment, I felt like I was back on Lone Peak at my favorite ski resort (Moonlight Basin).
Akureyri is situated on a fjord. On one side a mountain rises up (which I could see from my hotel window if the sky would ever clear up). Across the bay the town sits, everything lit up by old fashioned lamp posts and christmas lights. Apparently, occasionally whales swim up in the fjord, including narwhals, but those are pretty rare. Currently, there is a huge boat sitting at a dock. Whether or not its waiting for the weather to clear (or maybe it's always there?), I don't have a clue.
Everyone in Iceland is extremely friendly. They all say hi to each other when they pass each other on the street. If you don't say hi back, they kind of get this hurt look on their faces. Mostly everyone that I have encountered can speak English, however they never use it unless they have to. To say "hi" to an Icelander, you say "hi". So if you are an English speaking person, they don't know it until they have spoken for a bit and are requesting an answer to what they just said. Most of the time that this has happened to me, they switch to English and continue with what they were saying. I was only dismissed for being American once, and that was when their rescue ski team was asking for money! Also, it takes about twice as long to say anything in Icelandic as it does in English. This became very apparent on the plane ride to Reykjavik, when the pilot and the flight attendants would make any sort of announcement. Icelandic is a very interesting language. It is difficult to decipher, and so far I can only name one day of the week, sunnadagur, and that is because it starts the same as our Sunday. Icelandic sounds like a mix of Lord of the Rings Elven and Russian. It's really weird to hear. Ah the Scandinavian languages.... Currently renting a car to check out some the coolest waterfalls on earth isn't an option. If the weather clears up in a day or two though, I will be venturing out. In the meantime, enjoy the few photos of Akureyri I have taken so far!