Sunday, April 10, 2016

A summer's day in April

The sun is shining bright this Sunday morning and although I sleep quite long, I’m out the door and on my bike in no time at all. Of course I take the time to pack a sandwich and thermos of tea, because there’s nothing better than having breakfast outdoors on the weekends. I happily bike out to Hnífsdalur and find it quite amusing that this tiny village with a population of 250 has a map at the village entrance showing the streets – I count 13 of them. So just to make sure you never get lost in Knife Valley (probably named so because of the sharp edge of the local mountain ridge), here’s a picture of that map. 

I continue out on the old road towards Bolungarvík. I pass an elderly gentleman in a tattered snowsuit walking his dog, who gives a friendly hello. I don’t expect to get very far … two years ago when I was here in May, I rode my bike all over the place and there was a lot more snow, often still blocking the roads. But that’s not the case at all today and I’m quite surprised that the road is clear and dry all the way to Bolungarvík. I stop for half a breakfast at the cross and enjoy basking in the sun, listening to the squawking of birds above. The ocean and sky are so blue, true blue, and it’s giving me the feel-good blues. Every so often I’ll gaze at the birds circling the snow-peaked mountaintops to give my eyes a blue rest. 

On my way back, I stop at my other favorite breakfast spot to eat the rest of my snacks and enjoy the sun. But the day is too nice to go home so soon, so I bike further into the valley at Hnífsdalur to check the snow coverage. No snow! I can bike all the way to the summer cottage, but I don’t go that far today. Instead I rest on the sole bench and (surprise) bask in the sun. An older man comes walking along with hiking poles and we chat briefly. He’s the owner of the cottage and was just checking up on things. After exchanging pleasantries, my knowledge of the Icelandic language is quickly exhausted and he hikes onward. 

I’m back home around noon and the day remains sunny and mild. I enjoy reading a good book on the porch and (again) basking in the sun. Later I take a walk on the beach. It’s been a perfect Sunday and it almost feels like summer instead of April.