Record in Reykjavik

Tags: David Noble

With only a few hours to go before uniting with the first of the crew to arrive here in Iceland, and only a few more hours again before heading off to our launch point, we are down to the wire. Expectations are still unclear, although one of my soon-to-be crew mates’ blog posts reads “expectations set to the sun”. That seems about right.

I shared some great conversation and couple of Viking beers with Thorsten the hotel man. When not hotelling, he is the hype-man in XXX Rottweiler, an Icelandic Hip Hop band. He was pretty interested in the Cape Farewell crew, understandably. We watched a few different You Tube videos, including Feist’s her stunning Sesame Street rendition of 1 2 3 4, Jarvis Cocker’s surprise stage appearance at the 1996 Brit Music awards, his collaboration with Ali G, and the music video for Jarvis’ “Running the World”, which is well worth a watch (if you are over 18, or if under 18, only with parental permission) and a few others. He thinks I’m mad for not staying in Iceland as I pass through on my way home next month. I pass through during the annual Icelandic Airwaves music festival, which evidently is a pretty strong draw.

We also talked about many things Icelandic. Icelanders are very proud of their language, I learned. Icelandic and the other Scandinavian languages all root back to the ancient Viking language. In the other Scandinavian countries, the languages have evolved over time – I gather as a result of the connections with and influences from the rest of Europe and perhaps elsewhere. By contrast, Iceland is pretty isolated, “in the middle of f*ing nowhere”, in Thorsten’s words, and because of that, the Icelandic language hasn’t evolved much. Apparently there is a history of Vikings rhyming nearly a thousand years ago. Thorsten says it was first record of people making rhymes. Funny I should hear that from an Iceland hip hop man.

He also talked about how lots of people think Iceland is covered in ice and always cold. By the same reasoning, Greenland should be green. Not so. Reykjavik set a new record hot day this summer. It was 26 degrees celsius.

It reminded me of my time in Hong Kong earlier this summer. I arrived just after Hong Kong experienced its wettest month on record (or maybe it was wettest May, or wettest June; wettest something, in any event). Data isn’t in yet for this year’s Arctic ice melt, but last I read there was a possibility it would set a new record, beating last year’s new record, which beat the last record before that, which was set only in 2005. Maybe we’ll find out in the next 10 days.


  1. Derek Pieper

    Posted Saturday 27 Sep at 19:04 | Permalink

    Hey David

    Hello from Oxford. I gather your locale is rather more extreme than where I am. Great to read along with your adventure..keep the posts coming! See you soon in the UK I hope.


  2. Peter Waugh

    Posted Monday 29 Sep at 19:21 | Permalink


    just read yesterday that this year did indeed turn out to be the fastest melt on record. Must be a lot of talk about that right now.

    Keep the posts coming my friend.