Reykjavik, Iceland

Pingvellir National Park Iceland Founding Spiritual Place
Pingvellir National Park
- Iceland's Founding Spiritual Place
Geysir Geothermal Field Iceland
Geysir Geothermal Field - Iceland
Blue Lagoon Iceland
Blue Lagoon - Iceland
Downtown Reykjavik Iceland Midnight Summer
Downtown Reykjavik Iceland
at Midnight during the Summer
Dancers Downtown Reykjavik Iceland
Dancers in Downtown Reykjavik - Iceland
Whale Meat Lunch Reykjavik Iceland Moby Dick on a Stick
Moby Dick on a Stick 
 Whale Meat for Lunch - Reykjavik, Iceland
Geothermal Plant Iceland
Geothermal Plant - Iceland
Volcano Hole Iceland
Volcano Hole - Iceland
Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland
Gullfoss Waterfall - Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland (7/6-8/2011)

Iceland is a very interesting country and home of the midnight sun

Iceland is a unique place with unique people. It is about the size of Kentucky with a small population of 319,000 (about 60% living in and around its capital city, Reykjavik). Old town Reykjavik is nice to walk around with lots of restaurants.

It is not a marketing ploy when they say that some of the best looking people in the world live in Iceland. The Vikings who settled this country kidnapped beautiful women from their raids along the way. Beauties with fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes walk the streets of Reykjavik everywhere. 

Interesting fact... Because of Iceland's isolation for almost 1,000 years, every Icelander can trace their heritage back to the original Viking settlers. Their language is one of the purest in the world and they can read 600 year-old documents. 

It is fun sitting and listening to Icelanders talk imaging Vikings 100’s of years ago talking the same way. A majority of the people also speak English. The names of streets and places here are fun having a huge number of letters (e.g. a street: Skolavordustigur, a church: Hallgrimskirkja). 

During our summertime visit to Iceland, it never got dark at night. Think about that… 24 hours of light (but... during the winter they get just 4 hours of natural light). We watched the sunset at 11:45 pm. It is better described as a sun ‘dip’ because it rises a few hours later never getting dark. 

We like trying the unique foods of every country we visit and Iceland provided a chance to try whale meat from a small restaurant named Moby Dick on a Stick (see photo). Not exactly politically correct and not something we crave doing again, whale meat looks like and has the consistency of beef with some fish and liver taste thrown in. In Reykjavik, we also had some wonderful lobster soup and Icelandic cod. 

One day we took Iceland's classic Golden Circle Tour visiting the striking waterfall, Gullfoss, and Geysir geothermal field where hot springs bubble up from holes in the lava and a natural geyser shoots into the air every few minutes. We also viewed Iceland's interesting geothermal plant that supplies their heated water and energy and beautiful Pingvellir National Park, a spiritual place for Icelanders where much of their historical events took place and is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Some of our best memories of Iceland are our visits to the natural hot pools everyday of our 3-day stay. They have different temperatures you can sit in as well as stream baths. Our favorite was Laugardalslaug (you got to love the names). 

This also included a visit on our way to the airport to Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon located in the middle of a barren lava field where warm water comes up from the earth (see photo). The Blue Lagoon is an artificial lake fed by surplus hot water from the geothermal power station at Svartsengi. Rich in mineral salts, it is well known for it therapeutic properties.

Travel tip... IcelandAir allows flight stopovers in Iceland for no additional airfare costs. Do treat yourself to a visit of this unique place and people.

Iceland Countryside
Iceland's Countryside
More about Iceland... Iceland and its people’s uniqueness can be better understood by describing its landscape. Most of Iceland's countryside is covered by mossy lava rocks formed by volcanic eruptions that have occurred on the average of every 5 years for the past 1,000 years. 

Aurora Borealis Iceland
Aurora Borealis - Iceland
map of iceland
Map of Iceland
They had another small eruption the day we left making it 3 in the last 3 years. Iceland is located on the separating American and European titanic plates. They experience small earthquakes every day and Iceland is one of the three places on earth with natural geysers. Throughout Iceland you can see stream rising from the ground. Although 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers (one is the largest in Europe), due to the warming effect of the Atlantic Gulf Stream its climate is surprisingly mild for being located as far north as it is.

In amazing engineering achievement, Icelanders' heat their buildings and generate their electricity with natural forming hot water. Piped in from a distant geothermal plant, fresh water is heated by extremely hot steam coming from deep in the earth.

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3 comments:

  1. Thank-you for this. It's just a brief flight from where we live and we've not been there yet. Have to put it on "the list"!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, the Reykjavik Iceland looks so beautiful and stunning. I am so excited to go there and take a dip in the superbly amazing weather of Iceland.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, That must have been an amazing experience for your tour, As a traveler, I find your recommendations very useful. Many of them I try to put into practice always, Thank you Travel Agent in Delhi

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