Sunday, September 15, 2013

Autumn departures... winter approaching

It’s September already and I’m here in Iceland for two weeks to celebrate my birthday with new and old friends. Fall is definitely here and there’s a hint of winter in the air already. When I arrived on the first of the month, there was already a light dusting of snow in the mountains. The lowlands and valleys are brightly colored and mushrooms, blueberries and crowberries abound, which I enjoy picking. The days are getting shorter but morning sunrises over the ocean are beautiful and intense. 

The last cruise ship arrives, one of the biggest of the year, and the 3600 passengers are blessed with beautiful weather. The town is dwarfed by its presence as it stands docked outside in the fjord. 

By the end of my trip, I feel autumn has decided to leave with me. The air is crisp and cold. The snow in the mountains is thicker and crossing the Steingrímsfjarðarheiði  pass is dismal on my way back to Reykjavík. Throughout the Westfjords farmers are rounding up their sheep in anticipation of the first real winter storm. 
When I return at Christmas, the darkest hour of winter will be upon us. The sun won’t rise above the mountains at all, the days will consist of merely a couple hours of grey twilight and my little town will most likely be buried in huge amounts of snow. I love it, and I can’t wait.