11.2 We went to see northern lights.
                         We followed websites vedur.is and spaceweatherlive.com and
                         they told us that now was a good chance see the northern lights.
                         We tooked our little rental car and drove away from city.

                                 Unfornatunately we didn't have the ideal equipment
                                 or the skills for proper photoshoot.

                                 But here's some samples of what we were able to catch on film.

                                        It was much more beautiful than pictures are telling...





29.2.2016 We have visited west of the Reykjavik the tip of the peninsula Seltjarnarnes two times now. First time was sudden decision after work. Tenth of February the sun was slowly setting down but there was still enough light and we were feeling weary and wanted to do something different for a change. I knew there was few geocaches there but this time going was a good idea from Sirja.

The beach was amazing! Like a small jewel just outside Reykjavik city. Long curvy black beach in the sunset. The sound of the waves and birds. Not too many tourists this time. We took pictures and videos.

Black sand!

We would have liked to stay for longer but the sun was almost gone and we were hungry so we headed home.

It is amazing to think that some people are living so close to such beautiful beach. How I envy them.

Tytti had not been with us and we were eager to go again, all together this time. So in valentines day we went to the beach again. And this time we timed our walk to low tide so we could visit the lighthouse too. You can not go there by high tide, the path is under water by then. I tried to solve the mystery cache but no luck for me that time, so we really have to visit a third time. Not that anyone would be opposed to that. 

One of the most surprising thing we found were these tiny little yellow, black, green and read seashells. It turns out they are the most common of sea snails in europe, flat periwinkles. Still very beautiful though.

So in the hope of good weather to return to Seltjarnarnes I left my footsteps for the next tide to wipe away.

 Beach seems to go and on.

 A very lighthearted greetings from Iceland.


Summary of past two weekends


The first weekend

The other week we took our roadtrip number two. We didn't really have a certain destination, just a general direction of south and couple of ready thought pit stops on the way. We left at noon and headed towards Keflavik. Soon after Hafnarfjördur we were hit by the vast nothingness. Absolutely nothing but snow and rocks as far you can see before the mountains break the horizon. No trees, no houses, no nothing. The scenery was quite stunning actually. Little before Keflavik we took a turn to the left towards our first pit stop Midlina. Midlina is a point where the North-American continent and the Eurasian continent collide.  You can actually walk between the tectonic plates or walk over the joint on a bridge. The place was beautiful and we took a lot of pictures, just like proper tourists.

The day was really sunny and without sunglasses it would have been really hard on the eyes. The snow made everything so bright. We have noticed that locals don't appreciate our driving methods, we seem to drive way too slow for they liking. Every single car went by us. But hey, what can you do when you have to take pictures and be in awe at the same time. We drove quite some time through amazing views until we reached our second destination, Gunnuhver. Gunnuhver  is a high temperature area and the center of the Reykjanes Volcanic System which is situated on the tip of Reykjanesskagi, the peninsula southwest of Reykjavik. It's basically a huge whole in the ground that spits out hot water and steam, loads of steam. It was really really windy that day (as usual) so the steam didn't rise upright, it just flew across the ground in a stream like formation. The air smelled like rotten eggs (sulfur) and you had to walk on the wooden pathways and bridges.

We saw a cute little lighthouse in the distance but you would have had to take a detour with the car to get there. It looked like it was really close, but since it's extremely hard to estimate distances in Iceland due to the lack of trees and other landmarks, we thought it won't be wise to start walking there, so we just went back to our little Jaris and drove off. On the way to Seltún, we stopped by this amazing rocky shore where the waves just broke underneath us and the air smelled and tasted like salt. The sound of the water hitting the cliff was just astounding. Some of us recorder it and took videos of the place and we all got a litlle sea water on our phones while taking pictures. 

After our little encounter with the ocean we realised there was a huge strom heading towards us on the sea. We still had quite a long way to go and two more places to visit. The last one was a cave, called Raufarholshellir and we didn't want to end up there in the middle of a storm, so we decided to skip Seltún and drive on. On our way to the cave we stopped at two little towns to fill our car and ourselves with some fuel. The towns were both really small and had this eerie feeling. If you're finnish you will now what I mean when I say they had a "Kaurismäkeläinen fiilis". They had that. Big time. Everybody stared at us at the gas station and we really felt not local. The second town we visited had a huge pentagram christmas light thing hanging on a warehouse and a restaurant called The black goats restaurant. I'm not gonna even write everyhting we came up with with this scenario... But eventually we climbed the mountain with our tiny litlle red devil of a car and managed to find the cave's entrance wich was almost entirely covered with snow. I didn't go in, but the others went and took pictures. It was really hard to get in there and even harder to climb out. During summertime it will be a lot easier. The cave system is at least a kilometer long, but Marko, Henna and Tytti didn't go far since it was getting late and we didn't have proper gear. The next pictures are from our longer drive from Gunnuhver to the cave.

After Raufarholshellir all we needed to do is to drive back home behind a tourist bus. The sun was setting and the views were again amazing. You could see all the airplanes heading towards Keflavik and leaving white trails on the sky. We were rather tired, but again happy. Our roadtrip was succesfull and our phones were filled with beautiful pictures to post on facebook and other social medias.

The second weekend

So last weekend was quite different from the previous ones. Tytti's boyfriend was visiting here, so they were living on an other location and in the apartment there was only the three of us. And what we did then? Absolutely nothing. Nada. Ingenting. Ei mitään. And it was WONDERFUL. It's great to go and explore and you get this feeling that you must go, you need to go, you have to see everything BUT you have to relax also and take some time to unwind. I myself watched like 10 movies or something, Henna and Marko took couple of walks and also spend a lot of time on their laptops and Ipads. We cooked salmon in the oven and made mashed potatoes on sunday and ate almost all of it (and there was a tremendous amount of food i tell you). And then we continued our nothing doing. I highly recommend doing nothing for everybody. It's good for you, and healthy.



UTmessan 2016 @ Harpa Conference Centre


Fab Lab Iceland was representing at the IT industry conference UTmessan 2016 and we did our part to show what kind of things we do at Fab Labs. We had the mini-milling machine, 3D-printer, 3D-scanner, vinyl-cutter and various little items to exhibit.

We held a 3D-scanning workshop where people could get themselves scanned and they could then visit our Fab Lab to retrieve their very unique 3D-printed mini-me! Obviously they can't be printed then and there since it does take time for them to print, so we'll just print them at the Lab. I think the most interesting thing was that a blind boy got scanned and he will then have his first "photo" in his hands. I'm very excited to see how he reacts.

People could also make a sticker with their name on it with our vinyl-cutter. This means mainly children lined up. It was fun seeing some of them amazed by the speed of the machine.

People crowded the 3D-printer and the mini-milling side of our booth. After all, everyone's seen stickers, but not so many have seen 3D-printing take place. They were sure to keep Bas, Linda and Valur busy all day with questions about all the cool tech available.

I didn't really have the time to go through all the stuff the conference had to offer, but it seemed to be pulling in quite a mass. The theme was "internet of things" which is a hot topic. I know there was an obstacle-course contest for DIY robots. Some of the contestants were building their own robots at Fab Lab Reykjavik.

Harpa on it's own is an amazing piece of architecture that fools your sense of perspective with it's odd angels and just makes you wow at the beautiful geometrics of the mirror ceilings and high windowed outer walls. You really have to see it if you ever visit Reykjavik. It's astounding!

- Marko


Golden Circle


Last saturday we wanted to play tourist and took our car did a little road trip. The target was the Golden Circle, which is a very popular tourist route in southern Iceland, covering about 300 km looping form Reykjavik into central Iceland and back. There are three primary stops on the route. Þingvellir, which is the name of the national park, the waterfall Gullfoss (meaning "golden falls"), and the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysir and Stokkur. Though Geysir has been inactive for a long time, Strokkur, on the other hand, continues to erupt at every 5–10 minutes interval. Other stops include Kerið volcano crater, Hveragerði greenhouse village, Skáholt church, and the Nesjavellir or Hellisheidarvirkjun geothermal power plant. 

We begun our trip around 11 am. The weather absolutely phenomenal. It had been so cloudy and grey for several days so the sunshine felt unnatural almost. And of course we all forgot our sunglasses back at the apartment, so our eyes were pretty tired at the end of the day. It's wonderful how just after a half an hour drive outside Reykjavik everything changes. There's less and less people and buildings and more and more amazing scenery. Mountains, snow, horses and of course huuuuuge cars passing us cause they thought we were driving too slow. And i mean huge cars. Twice the size of our little Yaris. Our first stop was the lake near Þingvellir. It was pretty windy and you froze your fingers rather easily trying to take some photos. In the open valleys wind blew snow on the road and sometimes it was hard to see where the road actually was. But after we got closer to Haukadalur, the wind slowed down. There was a lot of tourist looking at the geysers, but not too much. The ground around the route between the geysers was really slippery and you could hear regular sounds of someone tripping over. But Stokkur gave us it's best and it was really beautiful. We stopped by the tourist shop but as we thought everything was really expensive and filled with people. 

The next stop on our list was Gullfoss. There was over 150 steps on the stairs leading down to the waterfall and of course back to our car as well. But the view was worth every single one of them. You could hear the waterfall before you saw it. Gullfoss is massive both in sound and in size. The water looked like liquid ice (hehe i know ice is the solid form of water but you know what i mean), so cold that you would instantly die of hypothermia if you fell to the river. The wind was harsh and soon i couldn't feel my thighs or my cheeks anymore. We also visited the restaurant and had some coffee and cake. It was the best carrot cake I have ever had. Seriously, not kidding. 

The sun was slowly setting when we drove off from Gullfoss and the sky was so beautiful. Our third and final official stop was the Kerið volcano crater. The sun had almost set and it colored everything pink. The crater it self is really just a big hole in the ground with a lake at the bottom. But it was still a nice pit stop. On the way home we did some geocaching with Henna, the cache was rather easy to find when there were three of us looking. It was behind a loose stone under a bench. The scenery was beautiful all the way back home. Just before Reykjavik the road took us up on a mountain side, and we were a little worried will our car make it to the top. But slowly and eventually we got there and were able to look the town light flickering below us. The trip was really worth it and if you're here just for a short time book yourself a tour (70€) or rent a car for a day (starting from 30€). You will miss a lot if you don't go round the Golden Circle.

The photos in this post are taken by all of us.