We were excited to go to Iceland, but I didn’t know how much fun could be had in three days of cold. Turns out: a lot. We really were in Reykjavik and its surroundings, about a 1 hour radius of the city. Not sure one can measure radiuseseses in time but um, yeah. First, some facts I find to be fun about this magical country.
- Iceland has a population of 320,000. Over 60% live in the Reykjavik area. More people visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland every year than the entire population of the country.
- From a continental plate perspective, Iceland is partially North America and partially Eurasian. In fact, the plates are moving away from one another- which causes an actual rift in the land that gets deeper every year. This is the opposite of places like Indonesia and California where plates are colliding onto each other. Oh, plates.
- In the summer, there are days where the sun never really sets. It might dip behind the horizon and then immediately come back up.
- In the winter, especially around Christmas, there are 4 hours of daylight a day. The sun, when it comes up briefly, stays close to the horizon.
- You can see the Northern Lights from Iceland.
- If you left the southwest corner of the country and sailed directly due south, you would not hit land until Antarctica. It is the one corridor of the Atlantic Ocean that misses either Africa or the Americas.
- No family last names/surnames in Iceland. A child has a first name and then its “last name” is [father’s first name + word for son or daughter]. Wives don’t change their names when they marry. So if I may translate into English… if my family was Icelandic we would have been Ron Fredsson, Renee Bensdaughter, Josh Ronsson, Yael Ronsdaughter and Micah Ronsson. Which means in a family with one son and one daughter, every member of the family has a different last name. Honestly, it’s worth a read.
- Much of the topography of Iceland looks like you’re on the moon. So much so that NASA trained here.
Are you as riveted as you should be? We had a wonderful long weekend break. We explored Reykjavik’s great shopping, restaurants, harbor and museums, drove to a national park, saw a geyser, a crater, waterfalls, lots of snow, didn’t see the Northern Lights, and got massages while floating in the world-famous Blue Lagoon heated by a geothermal energy plant.
Traveling to a place in its off-season is quickly turning into a very fantastic concept to me. We had so many places to ourselves. If you can stand the cold and the dark, go to Reykjavik before it becomes cost-prohibitive once again. Also a bonus if you like beautiful blondes.
Lots of white people live in Iceland
View from harbor and lobster soup
Reykjavik + Bryan eating PUFFIN
NOT seeing the Northern Lights, but driving around on a tour bus for 4 hours anyway
Time of day
10am 1pm 3pm
Driving into the abyss
Pingvellir National Park = site of Iceland’s first parliament and independence from Denmark, and also apparently a fashion shoot
“Geysir” of which all geysers are named
Kerid crater where Bjork once played a concert
Our friends en route from London to Boston ever so nicely joined us for dinner. We forgot to take pictures of them but did capture the dessert that involved dry ice
gratuitous belly shots