I was like a kid in a candy shop, each vista of this tiny Mid-Atlantic island floating just below the Arctic Circle better than the last digital morsel I'd savored seconds earlier via my Nikon. Where else are the lagoons a mystic blue and the waterfalls a dime a dozen; where ancient lava fields are covered in rich green moss; where tiny red-roofed houses are set against majestic volcanic ridges?
Put on your best costume friends, or at least your favorite mask (mine is oatmeal), because it's gonna feel like Halloween when I get done treating you to my delectable digital delights from the land of fire and ice. The rugged landscapes are the best rock candy known to man and environmentalists. They make great eye candy too.
1. Iceland's Blue Lagoon was voted the best medical spa worldwide by "Conde Nast Traveller"
and hubby Jim.
of the 320,000 people living in Iceland are residents of Reykjavik; 99% of the population of
Iceland live in urban areas.
beautiful. The terrain throughout Iceland is too rugged for railroads.
mountain range that provides one of the most diverse collection of rocks and minerals in
Iceland. Two lane roads are the norm for most of Iceland, many of which are dirt roads.
Skogafoss in southern Iceland. That's some shower head.
Glacier in southeast Iceland. Glaciers cover more land in Iceland than in all of Europe.
the American and Eurasian tectonic plates. In the middle, no man's land.
ago. Talk about feeling as old as the hills; or craters, as the case may be.
is privately owned and has been the backdrop for numerous movies, including Tomb
Raider, Batman Begins and two James Bond movies, A View to Kill and Die Another
A little trivia about Iceland for cocktail parties, around the office cooler and for those awkward lulls in the conversation with in-laws and first dates. Enjoy.
- We have our ghosts and a trendy fascination with vampires that covers everything from paranormal activity to blood thirsty animals. Icelanders have their elves and trolls. Some roads in Iceland have actually been diverted during construction to avoid disturbing areas where elves and trolls are believed to live.
- Gender equality in Iceland makes it the best place in the world for women to live; which is probably why the first female president in the world recently took office in Iceland.
- The literacy rate in Iceland is 99%. They have more books per capital than any other country. I just want to know who the slouch is.
- At birth, an Icelander automatically becomes a member of the Lutheran Church, the official church of Iceland.
- Life expectancy in Iceland is one of the highest in the world - 81.2 years for women and 76.4 years for men. Look what braving the elements will do for overall health.
- According to an international study in 2006, Iceland is the 4th "Happiest Nation" in the world.
- Iceland has twice as many sheep as people.
- More Coco Cola per capita is consumed in Iceland than any other place in the world. That's one concession that paid off big time!
- There are more internet connections in Iceland per capital than any other place in the world.
- Because of Iceland's close proximity to the Arctic Circle, summer days and winter nights are almost 24 hours long.
- Names are listed in Iceland's phone book by first names only. Most Icelanders do not have a family name. Children have a given name, followed by their father's name and either the word son or daughter. So my Icelandic name would be Sherry Albertsdottir. My brother's Icelandic name would be Chris Albertsson.
- Iceland is one of only two places in the world (the other is in Africa) where you can stand on the American and Eurasian continents at the same time.