Grýlukerti is my new favourite Icelandic word. It means "icicle", but literally translates as "Grýla's candle". Grýla is an ogress / troll woman from Icelandic folk stories. She comes down from the mountains at Christmas and puts unruly children in her sack, carries them back to her caves and eats them. She's also the mother of the thirteen jólasveinar ("Christmas Lads"). They come down one at a time in the thirteen days before Christmas and leave presents in children's shoes - or potatoes if they have not been good. Anyway, it's not Christmas so this is not really appropriate. I just think grýlukerti is a really good word for icicle.

There are a lot of icicles in Reykjavík at the moment, hanging off all the houses. This past week it's been extremely cold. Well, it's been what I would class as extremely cold. My friend from Manitoba keeps laughing at me for my inability to deal with subzero temperatures. On Wednesday morning it was -11. It's finally worked it's way above freezing today (according to Veðurstofa Íslands - I have yet to go outside this morning) but temperatures generally have been around -6 ish. Going outside is like preparing for a polar expedition. I have been wearing a lot of wool. There's been intermittent snow, but not much since Wednesday, when I felt like Scott of the Antarctic going to my Icelandic lesson. This is what Reykjavík looked like yesterday.

Still not much sign of spring - I've seen a few leaf buds but that's it. I love the bright red house.
See the house with the letterbox on it? That's the narrowest house in Iceland. How about that.
This doesn't appear to be a mosque - it looked just like a normal house to me. But it has a bright orange dome.

Tjörnin is so frozen, you can walk on it! I did and it was really exciting. Last night I ran a race on it at 3 o'clock in the morning, which was also exciting.
How stunning is that.

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