Return of the snow! Plow beasts roam the streets!

January 13, 2016

 

 

Downtown Olafsfjordur as the snow falls, with a front-end-loader-with-blade prowling the streets in the distance.

 

As you can see, snow has returned to Olafsfjordur! It's hard to say how much, but yesterday afternoon and overnight perhaps 15cm has fallen - and continues - and lies like a muffling blanket over the whole town.

When snow falls in any amount, the snowplows emerge, like some species of megafauna that have been lying in wait for some signal. There are a few varieties of these - the truck-with-blade, the front-end-loader-with-blade, the grader-as-plow [mostly spotted in big towns like Akureyri], and my personal favourite, the tractor-with-spiral-snow-eater. I've yet to capture this last in a picture, as I've only seen them roaming the roads outside town, but they are spectacular, with an overhead snow blower that shoots eaten snow off the road. If it were a dinosaur we might think it was making some savage mating display.

One of the obvious facts about Iceland as a whole is that in the winter, the whole country works hard to just to keep going. Snow plows on the main roads, clearing towns, people out and about for work and school in conditions that would see most major countries come to a complete standstill. Some people I've spoken to talk whistfully about living somewhere with a shorter winter, or a summer that is warm in the evenings. Although I enjoy the cold weather, living with it every year is a very different thing to visitinf for a couple of months.

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