Happy Monday everyone. I’m lucky to present you another guest post by my pal Marie! She visited Iceland and shares this beautiful experience with you. Have fun!
What do you associate with Iceland? Björk? An island in the middle of nowhere? …That’s what I thought about when my friend told me he moved there. So I went to Iceland to pay him a visit and get a good deal more impressions on this country. Here’s what I experienced…
The Icelanders are very welcoming people. They are open and relaxed and have a somewhat particular belief. Although officially, they are protestant, there somehow is a common belief on the existence of fairies, gnomes and elves. Or at least, they agree not to be sure of their non-existence. To be honest, having spent the few days I have spent on that island, at some point I think it wouldn’t have shocked me to see a fairy fly by or a gnome standing close. The landscapes are just so magical, it makes it almost real. No wonder Iceland is a scenery that is often chosen for movies such as Lord of the Rings or series like a Game of Thrones. In fact, we have seen quite some filming crews on our trips around the island.
The population of Iceland is small (around 300.000) – almost like a medium-sized city in Germany. It is in fact so small, that everyone is much more closely related to each other than anywhere else. No kidding, there is an app with which you can look up if you’re related to the guy you just flirted with. Most likely, you are to some degree. Then, when you’ve decided you like that person, you don’t go on dates – everyone would notice since it is such a small community. You rather go out partying with everyone and then leave together to spend the night. After that, you can decide on further steps. Quite pragmatic, don’t you think? And by the way, the general approach is not to move in, marry and have kids. In Iceland, it is more common to move in, have kids and then decide if you want to get married. It doesn’t even affect your name, since your family name is your father’s name with an “-son” or a “-dottir” at the end, according to whether you’re a boy or a girl. According to this, my name is Marie Marcsdottir.
Amongst others, there is one custom that really impressed me – the hot-pot ritual at the end of the day. When the Icelanders have had a long rough and maybe cold day, they go into hot pots. These are – sometimes natural, sometimes not – really hot baths where you can relax, heat up and have a nice talk with your co-worker, your neighbor or whoever is enjoying themselves. How come we don’t have such a ritual? To me, it was the most stress-relieving thing ever after a hard day of tourism.
Of course, Iceland is way up north, so it must be cold there, one would think. But it is actually ok! It’s just that the variation in temperature is very small, so it rarely gets really warm, but also rarely gets very cold. In July, it was mostly something between 9°C and 13°C. You need to be dressed for all kinds of weather at all times since a slight drizzle to a strong rain is always possible. More fascinating and at the same time more annoying is the amount of daylight you get: In summer, it is daytime all day and all night long, which is nice since you don’t have any time restriction for your activities. It is just the opposite for the winter, which is so depressing that people try to simply pursue their hobbies in order to have something to do to keep you up.
Iceland offers way more nature variety than one would expect. It has glaciers, since it is way up to the north. But it also still has volcanic activity, which can cause trouble when erupting. It has large geysers and huge waterfalls. And there’s a lake under which the two tectonic plates of Europe and America are slowly drifting apart. From the animal side, there’s puffins (so cute!), arctic foxes, reindeers, seals, all kinds of birds and whales. And there’s one characteristic flower which has spread all over the island, painting it violet, although it is originally not from there: the nootka lupins.
Now that I’ve delivered some information on Iceland, how about I give you some impressions to see what I was talking about? Within this spirit of experiencing new and exciting nature adventures I want to say:
hafa mikil viku! | have a great week!