Sólmyrkvi madness á Íslandi

Solar eclipse photo via Mbl newspaper photographer Eggert.

As you may well be aware, this morning there was a pretty spectacular solar eclipse (sólmyrkvi) visible throughout Northern (and Northern-ish) Europe. Word has it that this eclipse was, in fact, “the best in years” and lucky for us here in Iceland (including the thousands of tourists who apparently made a special journey here just to see the eclipse first-hand), the weather was wonderful: bright, windless, and super sunny.

A group of 6th graders gathered outside of the University of Iceland to enjoy the spectacle. (Via Mbl newspaper photographer Ingileif.)

School children around the country were given free pairs of super-cool eclipse-viewing glasses, and these glasses were also sold (very cheaply) to the rest of us in bookstores and malls. Mark and I actually ordered ours online and got them sent through the mail—just in time, I guess, because they were all sold out shortly after.

Come this morning, everything was rather festive. Tons of people gathered in front of the university’s main building; there were even people standing on the roof of the library. Mark and I and a few friends met up outside of one of the other campus buildings, and it felt very much like a kind of chilly early-morning picnic. The eclipse itself was super cool, but perhaps equally enjoyable was watching all the hubbub. Not to mention that this burst of sun-drenched outdoor time left me downright giddy afterwards.

Ugla, the sort of de-facto mascot of HÍ, decked out in his own eclipse specs for the occasion. (Via the university email portal.)

Ugla, the sort of de-facto mascot of HÍ, decked out in his own eclipse specs for the occasion. (Via the university email portal.)

I don’t have the sort of technology required to have taken pictures of the eclipse itself, but I did take pictures of our own sólmyrkvi partý (we came very well prepared…coffee and lawn chairs and the whole deal). If you want to see less people and more solar glory, however, see the roughly two hour eclipse compressed into a 90 second video, thanks to a special solar-viewer that was built by a member of a local astronomy association and placed on the roof of the Morgunblaðið newspaper office.

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2 thoughts on “Sólmyrkvi madness á Íslandi

  1. Hi Larissa!
    I just finished reading your entire blog and I (obviously) loved it! I’m currently learning Icelandic as well (and studying translation) and want to go to Iceland one day. Your blog really motivated me to practice some declensions and taught me a lot of interesting cultural things about Iceland. So thank you for that! Btw I saw the solar eclipse in Berlin and we didn’t have any glasses so it wasn’t really as exciting as in Iceland. 😉
    Sending you greetings and lots of sun!

    • Hi, Vanessa!

      How great to hear from someone who is not only studying Icelandic, but also translation! I hope you’re able to visit Iceland sometime in the near future. Not only will you get a language workout, I also believe that it will give you a much richer sense of the country and culture—which is, of course, key for us would-be translators, right? It’s fantastic, though, that you’re able to study Icelandic in Germany. There are very few places in North America where in-depth Icelandic language study is available.

      Thank you for sending over some sun and getting in touch! I hope to have more posts up more regularly this summer, and some catch-up posts from during the year, too. This semester was pretty intense, so I had to let the blog posts slide more than I would have liked to.

      Með bestu kveðjur!

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