The Land of Fire and Ice: Six Fun Facts
I recently saw a segment on a major TV network about Iceland’s fast-disappearing glaciers. That feels tragic to me. Whatever one’s personal philosophy on the warming of the planet, losing the glaciers – their beauty, rarity, the value they bring (tourism, research), and the possible detriment of their rapid melting (flooding, changing water temps and currents, the effect on habitats) – simply isn’t unavoidable, and definitely is not desirable. I digress - I’m a geography geek and the study of glacial processes was one of my favorite topics.
Should you go to Iceland to get a glimpse before they’re gone? No; you should go to Iceland because it’s a beautiful island and a one-of-a-kind location. Here are six fun factoids to ruminate on:
1, It’s not as cold as its name suggests. Yes, it can be cold, but between May and September, the average temperatures are in the 50s and 60s.
2. Yes, it’s small but not that small – about the size of England. There’s so much more, however, to this excellent little country.
3. It’s closer than you think. From North America, nearly as many direct flights serve Iceland as serve Sweden and Denmark combined. There are direct flights from Seattle (seven hours), New York and Boston (five and a half hours), and with the many flights offered by Icelandair, it’s super-accessible from the U.S.
4. The famous Blue Lagoon…it’s man-made! That ultimate Icelandic photo op is runoff from the Svartsengi geothermal power plant. Leave the hazmat suit at home, though: pure freshwater bubbles up from 2,000 feet beneath the earth’s surface, completely replenishing the lagoon every 40 hours. The silica- and mineral-rich water – and the mud it creates – is reportedly great for your complexion.
5. It’s faulty. By that I mean it sits on a fault – it’s the reason for the volcanic activity, the fire in the land of fire and ice. The country straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, hence the approximately 130 volcanic mountains that dot the surface). The benefit to you? A vista of sweeping hills, vast moss-covered lava fields, black-sand beaches, hot springs, dramatic waterfalls, and yes, active volcanoes.
6. Icelanders talk like Vikings. Literally. They still speak the same Old Norse language their Viking ancestors spoke.
BONUS: Those are horses, not ponies. If you want to offend an Icelander call the Icelandic horse a pony. It’s considered an insult to these petite, surefooted species, direct descendants of the stock Vikings brought to the island in the ninth and tenth centuries. Among their legendary traits: pure breeding and five distinct gaits, including the four-beat tölt, unique to these horses.
So now you're curious about venturing to Iceland to discover more interesting tidbits about the country? Do you think of Iceland is the perfect destination for a wellness trip? Do you think of it as an adventure vacation for singles/couples/the whole family? ‘All the above’ is the correct answer! Let’s talk about your Iceland itinerary for 2022. Schedule a chat with me by clicking the button:
'til next week!
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I create indulgent, transformative vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you don't have the time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are simply longing to make unforgettable memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.
Contact: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES - Juliet Weller, Founder