‘I don’t speak Icelandic’

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This has pretty much been my motto for the last week! Last Monday we (three other girls I work with and me) went on a 2 1/2 day trip to Reykjavik, however not for fun. We took a course for working on the boat on how to react in Emergency Situations. While it seemed like a good idea, the whole course was in Icelandic and two of the girls had to translate most of the stuff. It made the course quite tedious, but we survived and got our certificates.

Since the course took up most of the our time we only had a little time to explore Reykjavik but it seems to be a nice city. We visited the Perlan, which basically is a building overlooking the city, as well as seeing a protest by the Icelandic people in front of their parliament. A lot of people aren’t happy with the current government and their decisions.

Reykjavik
Reykjavik
Protest on front of the Parliament
Protest on front of the Parliament

Thankfully when working on the boat my lack of knowledge when it come to the Icelandic language doesn’t matter as most people are coming from other countries anyway. So far every tour I was on as a guide was in English, though there have been quite a lot of people from Germany on the boat. Especially families with kids and its always fun to answer questions of kids or talk to them about whales. The last two days were really nice days on the water and we saw a beautiful Humpback whale and today had a great Minke whale sighting as well.

Humpback whale going for a dive
Humpback whale going for a dive
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First Outgoing mail from Iceland

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A letter to a dear penpal in the states (written on some awesome stationary I picked up at the Inn in Canada. I love the vintage feeling of it).

The other is a birthday card for a good friend in Germany. I managed to send both of a few days ago during a short trip to Reykjavik. I still haven’t figured out if its expensive or not to send mail from Iceland, but there is quite a big difference between sending a letter within Europe or outside of Europe which surprised me a bit.

First days in Akureyri, Iceland

Two days ago i started my new job for the next few months. After doing volunteering work and internships last year, I’m happy that I now found a paid job in the field that I want to work in (even if its only for a few months, its a start). As a Marine Biologist it can be hard to find paid work and you have to get used to sending lots of applications and getting lots of rejections (if you even hear back).

Anyway I’m now in Iceland and started my new job as a Guide with Ambassador Whale Watching. So far I’ve been out on the water twice and it was amazing. The crew on the boat is great and we saw a beautiful Humpback whale as well as some Harbor porpoises. Humpback whales are baleen whales and feed on little fish, krill or plankton. They can have a size of up to 17m and weigh up to 30 tonnes. When they go for a dive they often show their fluke. This helps researchers to identify them as each fluke has a unique black and white pattern on the back.

Humpback whale going for a dive
Humpback whale going for a dive

Akureyri is located at the end of the Eyjafördur fjord, which is 60 km long and the longest fjord in Iceland. Whales come to these productive waters for feeding over the summer time.

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Incoming from last week

These lovely letters arrived in the last few days before I left on my trip. I hadn’t had a chance to reply to any of them yet but hopefully will get around to it soon. These three letters are from two penpals in America and one penpal in Canada, that I just recently started writing with again.

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I spend the weekend at a lovely Inn, were they had this beautiful old writing desk. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of my letters on it. The stationary supplied from the Inn was really nice as well.

What else can go wrong on this flight????

Since yesterday morning I’ve been on my way once again, this time on my way to Halifax. Even though my flights involved two stop-overs in London and Philadelphia, I didn’t expect it to be that bad (I’ve survived several flights to and from Australia/ New Zealand, so how bad could it be!!!!).

The first flight from Brussels to London was perfectly fine, though I had to get up at 4:30am to get on my way to the airport and I was a bit tired overall I got through check-in quite quickly and thankfully didn’t have to pay any extra fees for my overweight suitcase (it was over 1 kg too much, but the lady at check-in was super nice).

Once I arrived in London I had about two hours  to get something to eat and hang out the bit. For once I didn’t have to change Terminal which, if you’ve ever been to London Heathrow you know, is quite nice. So everything seemed to be fine and we even got so far to all be seated on the plane, ready to go when an announcement came through that there was a technical problem that couldn’t be fixed quickly, so we had to change planes. This would result in a 2 1/2 hour delay, exactly the time I had in Philadelphia for my next plane change. So I was off to Customer Service with about 20-30 other people that obviously also had transfers in Philadelphia they wouldn’t make. There I was told that the flight I would miss was the last one going to Halifax that day so they could book me on the first one going the next morning and I could stay in a hotel for the night. Since there was nothing else to do, that seemed like a fine idea.

Now this is the second time in my life that I’m flying through Philadelphia and my plane is delayed and all onwards travel get screwed up. The first half hour in Philadelphia after we arrived almost four hours later than we were scheduled to, it all seemed to go well. I got an envelope with a hotel voucher for a hotel room and a meal and a description to where the shuttle pick-up is. Only once I got there I met three others that got the same things and told me that the shuttle didn’t come, they had already waited over 15 minutes. So it was back to the Ground staff to see what was going on, after another 30 minutes waiting we were told that though they blogged rooms for us, the hotel gave them away (I still can’t figure out how something like this happens. Anyway now we had to wait again for them to figure out which other hotel still had rooms left, apparently all the hotels they usually worked with were completely booked!

Anyway three hours after arriving in Philadelphia, we were at a hotel and thankfully the staff there was super nice and got us checked in quickly. By that time I was so exhausted that all I wanted was a shower and a bed, and thankfully I finally got that. So what did I learn from that (and several comments of my friends on facebook): Don’t transfer through Philadelphia! I’m sure it’s a nice city, but I have no luck with the Airport.

So if anyone actually reads this, hopefully you felt more like you read something about me sharing an experience (not a fun one but still an experience) and not just me complaining about my bad flight…

My collection of plane tickets from this trip
My collection of plane tickets from this trip

Hello world!

This is my first experience with blogging so there might be a few random things happening as I try to figure all this out. Hopefully though with time I’m going to figure out how all of this works and it’ll be fun and interesting to read.

So just to start of, this is a map I made to keep all my scrapbooking paper. I was sick of having it just all over the place or in different boxes, so I came up with this. It was fun to make and so far works well.

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