Mate's Log - August 8, 2001

... Reykjavik
Yes, how time flies!  We feel we will never be ready to leave this interesting country by September.  So we are making plans to winter here. Warm climate friends, don't panic and worry, it won't be so bad to winter here.  The average weather temperature is 0 C. which is 32 F.  This is because Iceland has the warming effects of the gulf stream.  We understand that the south coast is most windy, and the north coast is most snowy.  The south coast also has more light than the north.  We're not keen on wind, so we might opt for the darkness and snow ... but George is excited about all the city of Reykjavik has to offer, so we'll see where we are when we need to make that decision.

Sorry the  updates have been so sporadic, my hard drive crashed while we were in Vestmannaeyjar, and we have not gotten the radio modem back from repairs yet.  The good news is, my computer should be fixed tomorrow with a new and bigger hard drive, and the radio part should also come in the mail tomorrow.  Meanwhile, since we are so far north, we find the radio signals are often not strong enough for the email, so we just got a phone!   We can hook it up to our computers to for email.  It has what is called a GPRS package, so we can also access the Internet.  We'll pay $4 to download 1Mb so don't plan on browsing the web with it, but it should solve our problem of how to get pictures to our site.  Hope you will all soon enjoy our photo albums.  We can use the phone in Europe or in the States. The phone also has a one inch screen which displays digital messages.  You can type in a short message, and send it to another phone.  A nice feature to send instant messages instead of making long distance calls.  Too bad my Mom doesn't have one of these....  Maybe this is not new technology to many of you, but we've basically lived without a phone for four years, and this tiny new thing is amazing to us.  I find that I have grown so unaccustomed to phone conversations, and this one is so small, that it feels awkward to hold it and hear voices.  I didn't even call my family at first, because I felt intimidated by this powerful little machine.  It is also like a computer.  You can look up phone numbers, get the weather (up to 6 day forecasts), check the movies, and choose which sound you want for the ringer.  You can also program the phone to recognize your voice, so when you say a name, it dials the person's number.  Here, in Iceland, everyone has a cell phone.  Kids even get them, traditionally on their 13 or 14th birthday. So what else is new to share?

Today we bicycled to the power plant and to the botanical gardens.  There are over a thousand different plants and trees.  Some are native to Iceland, others are imported from all over the world. MOST fantastic!  You know a garden like this can't grow in too harsh a climate.  They had, for example maybe 8 different kinds of blue bells growing (all in about 2 ft plots) next to each other.  It was really neat to see how they slightly varied in their flowers, or their leaves.  The Icelandic labels were a bit tricky, but even if they were in English, I'd never remember them.  As usual, I have much more to say, but no more time to spend.  Good night for now, Holly


Last Updated: 8/10/01

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