|Sunset over Reykjavik|
James writes: Over summer this year, I finally started hiking regularly - something I've been meaning to do for a long time. Thankfully, this is Iceland and there is no shortage of places nearby to explore.
Across the bay from Reykjavik, one such place is a mountain called Esja which provides the perfect opportunity for a quick break from the city. Esja only takes an hour or three to climb, and for your efforts you are rewarded with fresh air and amazing views back to the city. In summer it is possible to climb it even late into the evening thanks to the long days, but as winter takes hold, the days shorten and Esja can often be covered in snow. On these days the experience of climbing it changes dramatically, and the sense of adventure heightens.
One thing in particular I love about winter in Iceland is the light from the low sun. Perhaps due to the short days, it takes on an almost magical quality as it paints the sky in striking but soft colours. On this particular day in late November, I was just finishing a hike on Esja - walking across a field back to where I had parked my car. Looking over the water to Reykjavik, the distinctive shape of Hallgrimskirkja was clearly sillouetted against the setting sun.
People often ask me why I moved here, I find it is not a very hard question to answer.
James, a native of Australia, is currently Virtual World Project Leader at Iceland's CCP Games, the innovative team behind the award winning EVE Online.