Okay so today is the correct snorkeling day. I started my day off right with some lemon green tea, and bringing Skyr yogurt and biscuits for the road. Today is definitely the right day. They are here and now I am on the bus this time.
Ok Mr. Kentucky, it was nice talking to you but I just want to sleep now rather than talk about people in Russia not speaking English. They’re not obligated to. Yeah, it would help to learn some Russian too since you know…you’re going to Russia… (Retrospect on the way back: I was just tired and cranky and was hoping to sleep on the bus haha he was nice though). He did actually mention that he and his family only eats food from the restaurants that serve food from the country they’re in. Absolutely no McDonald’s, and I can absolutely respect that. My exception would be going to one that has something unique about it, like Macca’s in Australia because they have so many other options than we do here in the States. Mind boggling.
There is another guy who keeps complaining about everything from the cold to the sulfur-smelling water. Some of the water smells like sulfur, but it’s not bad and it’s certainly not bad to drink. The bus driver said a lot of Americans end up buying bottled water. You don’t need to. Save your money, the water is clean and tasty. And this is coming from a girl who hasn’t really been the biggest fan of water.
The bus is wavering in the winds. They have special tires and lots of experience for winter driving so we’re okay, but it is certainly an interesting experience. At least I am not trying to pee like I was when Hurricane Sandy hit New York City. There is very low visibility due to the wind and snow.Okay we have arrived and are now getting geared up to go into the 1-2 degree Celsius water. Since it is so cold, we use a dry suit. The suits are a bit like Vegas, what happens in them tends to stay in them….so take that however you want to and use caution. The first step of the suit is putting on the warm suit which makes you look and feel like a gigantic marshmallow. It’s great! Then the dry suit which is hard to get into when it is stiff and possibly partially frozen on the outside. The best part is when you get the residual air out because you lunge down and everything gets tight and toasty warm as you stand up. WARNING: you hold a space up by your neck to get the air out…do. not. fart. or forever hold your peace. I didn’t do this so I am not speaking from experience this time, but I can only imagine the awful experience that would be. The gloves and of course everything were too big. The gloves were frustrating because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to take pictures since I couldn’t bend the fingers properly. I should get a GoPro and just strap it to my head. The pictures could have come out better, but oh well.
It was freakin’ cold outside! Colder than in the water. Today I believe was -5C outside. My feet are freezing and my picture taking finger is too. Oh and also my snorkel. Everything thaws when its in the water, which is good so then I can breathe haha That’s fine, breathing isn’t necessary. I can drink my way through the water. With the water here, you actually can. It’s so clean. There is no sea life in this water, only crystal clear water. The driver does it all the time and my God he was right. This was the best damn water I have ever had. It was like swimming in Evian.The water is crystal clear and indeed felt much warmer than the outside. Towards the end, my right foot started struggling, and I thought it was because my fin fell off. No. My foot ended up sliding out of the boot part of the dry suit haha and getting back towards the stairs to get out of the water was interesting. Actually, getting out of the water was even better because I grabbed the rail for stability since I only had one foot in a shoe, and my glove with my hand inside froze to the pole. I’m talking full on Christmas story status. I couldn’t move it and had to use all of my might to pull it away, but of course my hand was closed around the rail so there was a curve involved. Why me? Right, because it makes for a good story. It would make for a really boring blog if everything always went smoothly, so you’re welcome.
I fixed my boot and off I went on my merry way back to the van. I took off my hood and someone warned my to be careful because my hair was frozen. Don’t touch or bend it or it will snap off. I have seen this happen. I instantly thought of the scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, when the guy accidentally breaks his frostbitten toe off. Ha okay so it’s just hair, not my toe, but I worked too damn hard to get my hair this long. No I didn’t, I just eat protein and it grows. Plus, I’ve gotten to the point where I need to take care of the split ends and redo my layers anyway, but I don’t think this would be the way to take care of that.Was it worth it? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes, in summer. Would I recommend it? Yes, in summer. The water is 1-2C year round, but the outside air is not. It would be much nicer to prepare, get into the suit and out of the suit without subzero temperatures. Plus you won’t have to deal with the risk of pieces of frozen hair being broken off. Unless you don’t have hair, then go whenever! 🙂
I tried to see the pictures I took but the camera was off and the on/off button was frozen so I guess I will have to wait until they send me the pictures. Hopefully it’s a less grueling process than it was getting the pictures from diving at the Great Barrier Reef.
I’m hungry. I think my yogurt is bad because I left it out which sucks. I will stick with my biscuits. I am not sure what I am having for lunch and dinner yet, but I assume I will be unable to get food at a restaurant for dinner due to Christmas time. They really like their Christmas here! I want more of that dried fish stuff but the store across the street didn’t have any.
Time for another shower and of course a nice blow dry in lieu of a towel. Resourcefulness makes up for stupidity.
I ended up being able to get a reservation for dinner. It’s fancy, but I won’t be tonight. I wasn’t the only one in hiking shoes, and at least I had a nice shirt and skinny jeans. For lunch I had to walk down Laugavegur for a little bit, but found a cafe called Durum. I had a Swiss mocha and smoked salmon panini that was so big, they serve it with a knife and fork. They warmed the sandwich, which changed the salmon a little, but it was still marvelous.
I am at a larger table by myself, partially because there is nowhere else to sit, but it also means others will have to join and share the table, which means potential conversations with whoever. It worked! A couple originally from Turkey now living in Atlanta sat down. The woman was also in psychology. We talked about their travel plans, and I was able to recommend some things since I’ve been here long enough to know my way around now. It’s one thing to make recommendations and what not here on my website, but people may forget by the time they go, if they go out all. In person, people will be more likely to go out the next day or so and do the stuff you talked about as it is more fresh in their brain. Also at this time, I can warn them about what’s closed. They left and a Scottish couple joined me. We talked for a little but then I had to pee so I left because I was on the inside of the table and there was a couch in the way. I’ll go back and charge my phone for a little before dinner. I probably shouldn’t have as big a sandwich as I did. The Christmas buffet was 10500 krona ($85), yikes! But I would rather not starve. There were no labels on anything so I had no idea what I was eating some of the time, unless I asked. High school and younger me would rather starve than be in a position like this, now I love it!
Walking home was interesting. It wasn’t a long walk but there was lots of wind and slippery ice. Not the best combination if you don’t weigh much. The wind literally pushed me and I fell ahaha no one was around to witness this which I suppose is a good thing.