Today, I am (almost) fully back to my regular blogging habits. After my vacation (see below) and being back at work for a few days, we spent a couple days in Vienna. Last Saturday afternoon, right after we returned from Vienna, we helped my son move, for he starts the next level at university to receive his master’s degree. “Almost” because today is my youngest son’s 20th birthday, and, after work, we are going to celebrate that. So, still, I am not back completely. However, let’s start with a review of my summer vacation:
As you know from my post On Vacation, I spent my summer vacation in Iceland. Iceland has been on our bucket list for many years, and finally, we could make this dream come true. For one week we only explored a small part of the country, the southwest, but there was so much to see that we were on the road all day without one dull moment.
Here are some random but impressive facts about Iceland that are impressive:
- 400’700 sheep compared to 370.000 people/130 volcanoes/100 waterfalls
- Formation of Iceland: Iceland lies exactly at the junction of two continental plates. This ensures a high volcanic activity until today. About 20 million years ago, magma penetrated the seafloor at this location and, in the course of several eruptions, slowly caused an island to grow upwards. The hot spot has not changed its position until today, but the overlying earth plate has. The island is part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which here forms the plate boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates. Iceland is the only place along this ridge that rises above sea level and the only island that is literally divided by such a mid-ocean ridge. The two plates are moving away from each other in opposite directions, causing the island to grow in width by a good two centimeters per year. (source: https://www.scinexx.de)
- Iceland produces its electricity from 100% renewable energies
- Iceland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world with an estimated population of 371,000 in 2022.
- Cash is more or less not existing anymore. You can pay for everything with a credit card which everybody does. Be aware that Iceland is not a cheap country. I live in a costly country and even for us, it felt expensive.
- Natural preservation is a high priority. It is the cleanest country I have ever seen. There are no trash boxes at the nature sightseeing points but there is not a single piece of paper lying around anywhere. No litter along the streets wherever we went.
You must not under any circumstances step on the Icelandic moss. It covers the lava fields in beautiful thick and light green layers. The problem is that it takes 70 years to grow back.
- The weather is hard to predict. We were lucky to have a few sunny days. But when there are strong winds going (which is pretty usual) it feels a lot cooler. The estimated temperature during summer (June – August) is 12°C/54°F. We may have reached these temps maybe once. So, it is a good thing to always be prepared with several layers of clothes, since the weather can change a few times during the day from no winds and sun to storms, clouds, and rain. We were lucky that we never had rain when we were outside.
- Northern Lights: There is a chance to see the magical northern lights from mid-August to mid-April. And yes… we were lucky to spot them once.
- According to the Global Peace Index, Iceland is the safest country globally for the 13th year in a row. In 2020, the homicide rate for Iceland was 1.5 cases per 100,000 population. But there can be theft and burglary
- When constructions take place in certain lava fields of the country, there is a special spokesperson for the elves. In the past constructions were closed again due to not disturbing the elves’ territory.
Of course, there is much more to know, but now you may understand my fascination for that country. But enough with words, let’s let pictures speak!
Volcano creator, hot steams coming from the ground, hot springs, and endless lava fields that often end in cliffs at the Atlantic ocean shape the landscape. We also visited the largest lava tube of the island.
Gigantic and magical waterfalls are everywhere. You cannot escape them wherever you drive:
Whether you believe in fairies and trolls or not, when you walk into caves or look at the gigantic basalt cliffs and rock formations you may consider them to exist. However, the caves are impressive:
Magical nature and animals that are allowed to live as good as undisturbed in their natural habitat:
Walking between the American and the Eurasien continetal plate:
One time we stayed at a small but extremely cozy hotel somewhere in nowhere. We drove about an hour over a gravel road to get there. The only beings we met were sheep:
We had one clear night when at the same time, the Northern Lights were active. It was one of the things on my bucket list I wanted to see once in my life, and here they were. An unforgettable experience:
Of course, we also visited the Capital, Reykjavik, and some small shore villages. You know, when there is a church and three houses, it already makes a village. Here are some impressions of Reykjavik:
I hope you enjoyed the little virtual trip to Iceland, and maybe it made you hungry for more. As I said, Iceland has been on my bucket list for years… and it still is.
In Love and Light