I have always been fascinated with Iceland.
Ever since I learned about the island of Surtsey in year 10.
And more so since I watched a segment on “getaway” some years ago. Even they remarked that it was expensive!
I love world maps/atlases, and I always marveled at how remote Iceland was.
Being here is something of a childhood dream.
So I am here!
Here are some funky facts about Iceland,
1. Reykjavik, the capital, is the northernmost capital city in the world
2. It’s latitude, about 65 degrees north, makes it much more north than the bottom of nz is south.
3. The gulf stream (from the gulf of Mexico) keeps it warmer than what it would be given the latitude.
4. There are only 320,000 people in Iceland, that is less than in tassie. And you know what we say about tassie. Hence, there is a publicly available genealogy website where you can look up your family tree from the beginning of iceland’s history. It is said that any icelanders can be linked by relationship within 6 generations, so it begs the question, how many generations back is acceptable?
5. They have a female, openly gay prime minister. Gay marriage is legal, it is the only way the partnership may legally be recognized as opposed to a civil union. At present, only some church leaders will officiate the wedding in a church.
6 the rate of obesity is quite high, I observed. Then I read that it was the 6th highest in the world. Why? Because it is too damn cold to go outside, probably.
7. The country is expanding at 2 cm per year, given it’s location between 2 tectonic plates.
8. Last names are patronymic, not family names. Hence, in a family, if the fathers name is Hans, the daughters last name will be Hansdottir, and son will be named hansson. Cool, huh?
9. The country was founded by Vikings. It was ruled by the Norwegians then the Danes.
10. The country was the poorest in europe after ww2, then got richer. The economy was dependent on banks, then, with the gfc, iceland’s currency went tits up. According to locals, it was quite scary, as the country is dependent on imports for food.
11. They grow their own lamb, and less exotic vegetables (in greenhouses). They import all fruit and grain.
12. At winter solstice, the days are only 4 hours long. In summer, the sun barely dips below the horizon.
13 they have lots of famous singers, most notably Bjork, but also sigur ros and Emiliana torrini. The latter’s father owns an Italian restaurant in the main drag of Reykjavik. I know. I went there.
Stuff I did:
1.went to the blue lagoon,
2. Saw geysir, Thingvellir national park, gullfoss waterfall, wandered around Reykjavik.
3. Had dinner with Dr. Helga Hansdottir, who I met in spain- an Icelandic geriatrician, one of only 15 in the country.
See photos at cilosophy.tumblr.com