taste of ash

We’ve really enjoyed having Oma and Opa with us for the past six weeks, but no matter how much we will miss them and they us, I think we were all looking forward to the end of their visit on Sunday. They would like to be back in their own home after so long with people-who-do-things-strangely and we are looking forward to pottering around in our own space again.

So the news that their return trip may be jeopardised because of a volcanic eruption is a little unsettling. Not to mention dramatic. I mean really; a volcano? A baggage handler’s strike wouldn’t have sufficed?

Oma, opa and the Flipster

I loved Iceland when we were there but this is the second time the country has messed with me and my plans. The Dutchman and I set up an education fund for the Flipster when he was born and had been pouring money into it regularly. It was done via a Dutch bank (many of whom invested heavily in Iceland) when we were living in Amsterdam although we continued our contributions after moving back to Australia. It took a while for us to realise that the fund basically went south with the Icelandic economy when the country was declared bankrupt. I’d successfully managed to forget about this and ‘move on’ but this volcano has thrown up more than just ash, some small traces of bitterness and regret are hovering in the atmosphere too.

Here’s hoping that there’s enough of a breeze over Europe for flights to have resumed by Sunday. Lord knows, it was always windy enough in the Netherlands when I was there. And with the upcoming elections you’d think there’d be enough hot air rising to move a bit of ash! 😉

ice

Holland being neither cold nor dark enough for us we fled to Reijkjavik for a long weekend.

The little we saw of Icelandwas stunning, snow-covered lava-landscapes, (apparently astronauts come here to practice “being-on-the-moon”), lovely clean fresh air, long, wide distant horizons, space, and albeit only for a few short hours per day, beautiful soft light. Oh, and really nice water!

We staggered slowly through the streets of Reikjavik on the icey pavements, clutching each other in horror at the prices in the shops, tried the local Viking beer which was served in a pint glass but to our relief was both cold and tasty. Ate an awful lot of fish but were never really hungry enough to go for reindeer, let alone ram’s testicles.

The coloured corrugated iron buildings of Reijkavijk had some interesting quirky decorative features, the Cathedral is great, like a huge organ and absolutely beautiful inside. Definetley less is more.

And despite all the hype the Blue Lagoon is really as good as they say it is, especially when its snowing. The only thing we really missed was seeing the Northern Lights which we weren’t able to do because of the weather. A bitter disapointment but also a good excuse to go back!

Oh, and Icelandair has Aveda soap in the toilets, and some very groovy Muzak. Thought I’d woken up in a Peter Stuyvesant commercial for a while when we landed back at Schiphol!