What happens when we say ‘I am on top of the world’? Of course you say it when you are happy, and what if you really are on top of the world? yeh, literally…well I will tell you, you feel the sky above and the earth below!
I had always seen Iceland in maps and felt it like the farthest land and beyond my reach, today I feel lucky having earned the opportunity to visit this beautiful country 🙂
I wanted to cover Iceland in not more than two posts but trust me it will be an amazing experience to live it with me through my write up, photos and of course experience. After travelling (yes, you know I like to travel, ok love to :)) extensively in EU, there are two places I found unique, Norway and now Iceland. I felt so mesmerized by nature and its innovative working that I felt speechless and it confirmed that no human technology or architecture can give the pleasure that nature can.
With 4 days in my pocket I decided on Iceland, no 4 days is definitely not enough to see the country but that is what I had and made most of it. I opted for Easyjet which flies to Reykjavik (pronounced as Rekavik), the capital of Iceland (60% of Icelandic population stays here)every Saturday and Tuesday.
Some quick facts about Iceland:
Iceland is a Nordic country between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean with a population of 329,100 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe.
Iceland is volcanically and geologically active country, there is a major volcano every 4 years.
The interior consists of a plateau characterized by sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial river flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.
So in spite of being so affected by volcanoes and no vegetation, Iceland still is a very progressive country. Geothermal fields cover up to 20% of the country’s electricity needs.
About 11% of the country’s territory is covered by glaciers.
And some interesting facts too
Icelandic horses are beautiful and display two additional gaits as compared to all other breeds.
In Iceland, if something is sold at a sale price for six consecutive weeks, that discounted price becomes the new regular price and it cannot be advertised as the sale price any more.
Iceland does not have army, navy or air force, only the coast guard. If an Icelander wants to serve in the military, they can join the Norwegian army according to an agreement between the two countries.
The sale of food items containing more than 2 grams of trans fat for every 100 grams is forbidden. No doubt the men were so handsome (I didn’t eye the women hehe).
The majority of Icelanders don’t have surnames. This should be followed in India too, how would one know the caste then 🙂
Women do not take their husbands’ names, because usually there is no such name to take. See no women empowerment issues too 🙂 I love this country!!
The mosquitoes are not found in Iceland and Faroe Islands, the only countries in the world where they do not exist.
Now this one is interesting, Iceland is not a very cold country. The average temperatures for January is -0.4°C. Because of the mild climate, Iceland is very green. Icelanders like to say that Iceland should be named Greenland and Greenland should be named Iceland.
In 2010, 97.6% of Icelandic population had Internet connection. Awesome right?
Eyjafjallajökull was probably the most complicated word the newspersons around the world had to learn in 2010. You can’t leave this post unless to pronounce this right!
So since I didn’t have a lot of days, I booked day trips from Extreme Iceland for two days, 14 hours per day 🙂 all worth it. Today I’ll share my experience on Jökulsarlon which means glacial river lagoon- is a large glacial lake in southeastIceland, on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. Situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, it developed into a lake after the glacier started receding from the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The lake has grown since then at varying rates because of melting of the glaciers.
It was a long bus ride as we had to travel all the way to south of Iceland, the temperatures dipped as we neared south and it was very very breezy.
It is now 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) away from the ocean’s edge and covers an area of about 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi). The size of the lake has increased fourfold since the 1970s. It is considered as one of the natural wonders of Iceland.
The icebergs that calve from the glacier edge move towards the river mouth and get entrenched at the bottom. The movement of the icebergs fluctuates with the tide currents, as well as being affected by wind. However, they start floating as icebergs when their size is small enough to drift to the sea. These icebergs are seen in two shades: milky white and bright blue, which depends on the air trapped within the ice and is an interplay of light and ice crystals.
When I read about the colors of the glacier I understood that when sunshine falls on the glaciers, it absorbs all colors of the rainbow except for blue with surfaces and give the glaciers a beautiful blue tinge.
All pictures are copyright www.sunshineandzephyr.com 🙂