update and task three for rahel

my dear psnuk all the way over in africa,

i am writing to you from the reykjavik pillow fort headquarters. oh, what a week (and a day. my apologies) it’s been since i last wrote to you.

as you already know, our beloved sophia visited me for a solid chunk of the week, which was splendid, as ever. we ordered pizza and watched “angus, thongs and perfect snogging”, went to the wallace collection (one of my fave pieces for you and the world to marvel at below), met kevin, spent time at draughts, cried, laughed, visited a marvelous exhibition at the v&a about music and musical rebels in the mid-sixties until ’71, i believe, ate at homeslice and vico (classic combo), and generally had a grand ol’ time. i was very sad to see her go on thursday afternoon, after a successful shopping trip to and at and in oxfudz.

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art.

and just like that, saturday was here, and with it, iceland (well, iceland always was. but i wasn’t present). after stocking up on some snacks and no less than half a dozen of iced buns (which, for some reason, i had been craving since the day before), we made our way to the airport, marco with his tiny pink suitcase. a beautiful sight. we made it to iceland unscathed, although very cold indeed, but that was to be expected. we had dinner at a very unsuspecting looking hostel (from the outside, that is), which turned out to be super cosy, super hip, and more importantly, served absolutely delicious food. i had ling. which is a fish, apparently. with little time to settle in, sunday was bound to be a very busy day. after an early (at least by our standards) breakfast, we ventured out to go see some whales. turns out, they weren’t all too keen on marco’s windswept and hatflat hair, nor my clown-red nose from having to blow it at an interval of about twenty seconds, and stayed nice and tucked away. the boat ride was still fun, especially on our way back, when the sea was especially choppy and it felt like a mini-rollercoaster-ride in the biting icelandic winds (even the guide said it was especially cold). seeing as the excursion organisers are aware of the fact that the whales might just not be up for being watched (and who could blame them?), we got a free voucher to go again, which we shall do on wednesday. leaving at 8:15. a.m. cannot wait. also, it doesn’t get light here until about 10 or so in the morning, which is so confusing that we have made a habit of having a quick nap after breakfast (great habit, i know).

we had little time for dinner, so some pittas and cheeses and the like had to make do, before we were picked up for our second tour of the day; northern lights ahoy. or, well, not. for the northern lights somehow also didn’t feel like gracing us with their presence, or only very vaguely so, in fact, so much so, that the guide lady boss (official job description), decided they “weren’t valid”, so we got yet another voucher to go again tomorrow night. fingers crossed. our guide did take a photo with long exposure, however, on which the lights should be much more visible, so once i get a hold of that i shall post it in here, too. you would have loved our guide. so icelandic. whatever that may mean. he kept eating some candy whilst explaining things on the bus, which made for rather funny sound effects. for some reason he reminded me a tad of magnus, just fifty years older. also, our driver was called what sounded like “tröschti”, which i think is a most magnificent combination of “röschti” and “tröschte”. i mean, what could possibly be more comforting than a 3 a.m. rösti, right? but yeah, overall not too successful in terms of the aurora borealis, i did, however, recognise orion which i learned for my last assignment (and saw it for the first time on the actual night sky) and even managed to take a somewhat blurry photo for you. the stars truly were lovely. we got home way past midnight and fell asleep shortly thereafter, waking up

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the romantic version

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the actual version (after much persuasion even marco put on an overall. he later admitted he “might have been a bit cold at times” if he hadn’t)

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i mean, that’s pretty clearly orion, no?

today. monday. a year to the day after marco and my first date. we had no tours planned for today, so we just went with the flow, which took us to a lit (who am i?) church in the center of reykjavik, with a tower towering over (ha. not) the city. after that, we decided to try and go to some park about a half hour walk from the church. up to this point i’m not entirely certain whether we ever made it to the actual park, but we did wonder about snowy woods for about an hour, not encountering a single soul, feeling as though we were trapped in our own post-apocalyptic fairytale-nightmare. i was cold and starved for a hot drink by the time we returned to civilisation, so we sat down in a bookstore/café, enjoying some hot bevs and a couple of rounds of bananagrams and sussed?, which i got marco for our somewhat anniversary. seeing as it is said somewhat anniversary, we got all fancy-schmancied up (which basically just means i put on a dress and parted my hair on the side), with the greatest of intentions of having dinner at a nice seafood restaurant, which had been recommended to us. long story short, turns out the information the have on google about their opening times is wrong and they were already closing, so we went to another restaurant, didn’t fancy anything there, left, and ended up at a burger shack called “chuck norris”, being all “fine dining”-dressed as we were. but hey. sometimes ya gotta be flexible. tomorrow we’re off to the blue lagoon and giving aurora another shot. the forecasts look good. as for now, we’re all cuddled up in the impressive pillow fort, nay, castle marco built (we asked for extra pillows and earned some confused looks, seeing as the hotel already provides two massive ones per person), ready to watch some more “westworld”.

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view from le tower

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lost in the woods (i look all startled fawn, but i’m actually just eating cheese oatcakes)

in terms of icelandic, i have not been doing too badly, although i do find it a rather difficult language to not completely slaughter. i have discovered a fair few parallels to swedish, which is always fun. to be honest, though, there isn’t much of a need to speak anything other than english anyway. oh well. i shall let you know in a week’s time what my favourite phrases/things i picked up were.

and lastly to your new task: winter is always great for both reading and reminiscing, so i ask you to reread a childhood favourite of yours. it doesn’t have to be a whole book, it can just be a single story, and if you do choose a whole book, you obviously don’t have to read it all within a fortnight.

i very much look forward to hearing what you choose, and even more so to your tales of foreign sounds and smells and colours when we next speak.

icy kisses,

gioia

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goodnight kisses from sherrinfort (sherlock puns ftw)

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