Reykjavik, IcelandReykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik – Defrosting in THE Icelandic city

After our ice-cold dive in glacial water between the continental plates, it was time to defrost.

We decided for a small detour to a hot-pool before heading to Reykjavik. We were looking for something local, very well hidden, that we can have for ourselves  *smiley winking*

Luckily we got a hint and a description of the way to the “Schafswanne”. Approximately 40°C warm water directly flowing out of a small hill into a pond at a very small shelter…what a treat *smiley smiling*

On the route to Reykjavik we passed by once more Silfra and Thingvellir, the spot of our dive adventure the day before. We took the opportunity to explore the surroundings being warmed up and in proper clothing.

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i18n load_plugin_textdomain best used the simple way

This an easy and short one, but the documentation on for the load_plugin_textdomain function might lead you into the wrong direction, if you start thinking about how to define the 2nd and 3rd parameter.

For a simple plugin, it is best to use the repository for translations. This way the different strings can be translated individually directly online and you do not need to worry about having the right .po and .mo files updated within your plugins repository.

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Silfra, IcelandSilfra, Iceland

Silfra – Diving between the continental plates

Already since millions of years, the continental plates of Europe and America are drifting apart, leaving behind a crack in the crust of the earth. This crack is mainly invisible as it goes through the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

As Iceland is looming out of the Atlantic Ocean and also can’t resist the forces below, the crack here becomes well visible. At Thingvellir national park you can see how the island slowly, very slowly, but unstoppable gets parted in two with a multitude of cracks in the earth.

Parts of these are filled by a stream of glacial water from the surrounding mountains, making a great diving terrain: Nearly unlimited visibility under the surface, fresh and stone-filtered water you can drink during the dive (way different from the usual salt water).

However, 2°C water temperature demand for different equipment than we normally use – dry suit diving is required. *smiley worried*

After some theory in a text book and a trial lesson in a nearby indoor swimming pool, to ensure the suit fits (and does not leak in cold water), we were ready to go *smiley smiling*

Freezing cold despite the suits, but great views…

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i18n Internationalization and Translation for plugins

Until a few days ago, I would never have envisioned to write a posting about i18n in WordPress… And then I started the task to make my plugins ready for translation by the community at

i18n stands for internationalization = I + 18 charachters + N

While working my way through the principles and standards to use, I realized that there are quite some things you should consider and have to do in a certain way – let me touch some of them over a few posts…

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th23 User Management – version 2.2.0 update

An enhanced version of the th23 User Management plugin for WordPress has been released – with the following updates:

  • [Enhancement – Basic/PRO] Change overlay message approach – updated CSS, less JS, more depending on (themable) class styling
  • [Enhancement/Fix – PRO only] Adjust handling of user creation, password and e-mail changes to process in WP 4.3 and later – esp proper user information upon changes triggered by administrator
  • [Enhancement- Basic/PRO] Use “placeholder” tag instead of description and “br” in widget
  • [Fix – PRO only] Add redirect after password change, to ensure user can log in again directly
  • [Fix – Basic/PRO] Remove unnecessary line breaks at the end of mail messages
  • [Fix – Basic/PRO] Adapt admin settings page header and plugin notice to changed admin CSS in WP 4.3

Updates for the Basic and Professional version of the plugin are available on the plugin page

Road F35, IcelandRoad F35, Iceland

The Highlands – Getting to know the limits

Our way from Myvatn on the ring-road until the turnoff to F35 would have been unspectacular, aside from the “usual” waterfalls along the route. But, we managed to meet a DHL colleague, circling Iceland the other way around, just in oncoming traffic and briefly stopped along the road for some exchange on tips and tricks – and of course to say hello *smiley smiling*

However, the title of this post promises more, right? Well, we discovered 3 limitations to us and our equipment within 3 days of travelling through the interior highlands of Iceland:

Limit number 1 hit us several kilometers onto road F35 (“F” roads are the ones, you are only allowed to use with a 4WD) and after we already spend quite some time only on a gravel road and its surface becoming more and more bumpy. On the way we already drove through some patches of the road that were still flooded with water from melting snow – sometimes using the straight way through, sometimes more circulating around what we expected to be the deepest areas of the water.

So approaching yet another such flooded stretch, despite it being quite long didn’t seem to pose a risk…

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Krafla, IcelandKrafla, Iceland

The North: Many “Fosses”, Myvatn and Akureryi

We needed to leave behind Bakkagerdi and the cute puffins going back the same route we came out here, as there is only one road connection. Heading towards west, we passed by a church from about 300 years ago – not in its original state of course, but reconstructed according to old descriptions, mainly made of turf for insulation.

Driving through seemingly endless empty planes where you only find stones, harsh winds and a lot of dust the gigantic waterfall Dettifoss looks somehow out-of-place. It is an unbelievable amount of water flowing over the cliffs, while the surrounding is dry and nearly without vegetation.

However, Dettifoss and close by Selfoss make a welcome opportunity to stop, stretch and have a short hike *smiley cool*

Icelandic for beginners: “foss” means “waterfall”

Just leaving the two waterfalls behind, we passed by the turn-off to Askia and, to our surprise, the road was open *smiley surprised*

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Bakkagerdi, IcelandBakkagerdi, Iceland

Puffins at arm length distance and wonderful landscape at East Fjords

We wanted to see Puffins, the cute black and white seabirds which dive for their food supply and have a parrot color bill (therefore called “Papageientaucher” in German). You can find them on every postcard in an Islandic Souvenir Shop in Reykjavik. The question was, if it is possible to find them very close by on land (i.e. avoiding a shaky boat ride and a 500mm lens). Guidebooks recommended boat tours but why not just asking the locals?

In Höfn we found a very nice woman who told us, that in the northern part of the East Fjords, there is a “small town” called Bakkagerdi and in season there is a huge puffin colony for breeding close by. Season was on, so why not heading to the “small town” to check this out?

The route to that “small town” was via a pass with snow and ice. All felt a bit remote and extinct, but with some entertainment from time. For example a group of sheep using the street for a race, a fantastic view at the pass and insight that the expression “small town” is an exaggeration. Bakkagerdi has 300 (human) inhabitants, a church, a small kiosk and a camping ground. That’s basically it, but what’s most important for us: the sun was shining and the landscape was amazing *smiley cool* !

Internet research leaded to the opinion that it is best to check out the puffin colony either in the evening or in the morning. At the end of the road there is a little harbor with a cliff which is the home of the little fellows. So we hoped being lucky to find a few and went there. Well, we were lucky… not a few… A megacity with 20.000+ puffins!!

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Berunes, IcelandBerunes, Iceland

South East Iceland: Glaciers, Sea, F985 and Waterfalls

The night at Skaftafell was good, despite quite some rain the tent kept us dry inside. Next morning also our car was “ready” again and the engine started up right away *smiley smiling*

We headed further east along the south coast towards Jökulsarlon a glacier lagoon very close to the sea. We could have taken a boat ride on the lagoon, but there were two things preventing us from doing so: 1) The boats do not really get very close to the icebergs as its too dangerous and 2) Just too many tourists of the kind “Ohhh my god, have you seen this? This is sooooo awesome!

While they are right, the lagoon and the icebergs really look awesome, we opted for the walk along the shore of the lagoon…

Continuing along the ring-road we passed by an intersection that announced the F985 leading left into the mountains up to Jöklasel. I read about this before and that it offers great views and you really make it up to be nearly on the glacier. A 4WD was announced to be required – our Suzuki Jimney was one, so after some discussion I convinced Iris to go up there…

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