Monday, 13 January 2014


It`s interesting how some destinations are unattractive to most people we know, even they  don`t know much about them. Simply, they are not on their mind, they are not in their focus. Is it the influence of mass media and majority, which are tightly linked to specific destinations installed in peoples head by someone else? Well, it is very much possible. I have faced with such reasoning of the majority, when I told people about my plans to visit Iceland. The reactions were incredible, from: "why there, what`s there?", "you're crazy" ( in a positive sense ), "you're really mad”, to: "You`ll freeze your balls off there"... Well, there`s been positive comments. Mostly from people who know how much I love to explore unusual places. Iceland is just such a place. Unusual, like some other planet, something you are not ready for, eyes simply aren`t accustomed to such scenery. I know that many hard-core travelers would disagree with the title of this post, it sounds too fancy – like some commercial, but there is no better description for this incredible country. Fire + Ice = Iceland, the end.

Believe it or not, In the last ten years Iceland has become very attractive destination for visitors who prefer  active holidays. There`s a large number of Americans, Germans, Brits, Spanish people, Chinese and others during " high season ", from the beginning of July until the second half of August. All come for the incredible landscapes, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, glacier, geothermal fields, baths with thermal water in a natural environment... Iceland is the youngest geological mass on Earth, which is constantly changing, maturing. Figuratively speaking, Iceland is a baby compared to other continents on Earth. Located at the junction of two geotectonic plates, the North American and Eurasian. This literally means that Iceland is partially located in America, but with larger part in Europe. Island is part of the Middle Atlantic ridge that extends from the Arctic to the Antarctic .

Geologic rift between the North American plate and the Eurasian plate

With over 130 active volcanoes and 30 volcanic systems, Iceland is a paradise for volcanologists, but also a constant threat to airline traffic in the northern hemisphere. Famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano caused the biggest interruption of air traffic in Europe since World War II, throwing huge amounts of ash in the air, in April 2010.

Volcanic systems in Iceland

During your landing on Iceland, you`ll see how unusual and unique this island can be. It looks like landing on some other planet. Maybe that's  the reason why many of Hollywood SF movies are filmed here. The island has much to offer, it all depends on how much time you have available. The main advice for all: Rent a car and get ready for a lot of driving! It is possible to visit the island by bus (" Stern " carrier), but the car gives you much more flexibility. Incredible scenery, nice little towns, horses walk freely across the wide areas, you will be constantly forced to stop your car and enjoy the scenery. Island is considered as one of the best destinations for photographing in the world.

Lake Klefarvatn near Rejkavik

Almost all tours around Iceland begin landing at Keflavik International Airport,  45 minutes drive from Reykjavik. Reykjanes Peninsula is the most populated area of Iceland with a pleasant climate compared to the rest of the island. It is known for its geothermal springs which can be found at every turn. Reykjavik, translated from Icelandic – Smoky bay, is the northernmost capital of the world, with about 120,000 inhabitants (around 205,000 in metro area). City of interesting architecture, unusual atmosphere, creative people and crazy nightlife! All that reminds me on stories from Pedro Almodovar movies, but the Norse, Viking way. It`s enough to say that their mayor, a comedian by profession and a former punker, won the elections with a  promise to enable  funny life in the city, free towels at the baths and polar bear  at the zoo. One of the unusual attraction of the city is Phallological Museum, probably the unique one in the world. There you can see "pride" of various animals, even replicas of "tools" of some famous Icelanders. Reykjavik is usually a quiet town, but on Friday night everything changes and creates a madhouse, the boiling atmosphere. Almost the whole city is one big party that takes place at numerous clubs and pubs along Laugavegur Street, the center of all happenings in Reykjavik. Wild party runs until morning, closing time in all clubs is at 5, when party continues for few more hours on streets and squares. The same is repeated on Saturday.  It`s quiet during the working days  and then again follows the madness. I`m telling you, ice and fire, that`s  Reykavik, that`s Iceland.


Here are some recommendations what can be seen in Reykjavik:

• Hallgrimskirkja Church, one of the symbols of the city
• Walk along the coast, especially at dusk
• Harpa concert hall
• Perlan viewpoint
• Hofdi house
• Try the famous hot dog. Served with special supplement of caramelized  onion!
• Visit museums
• In the City Hall you can see the relief map of Iceland
• Visit the old port and maritime museum
• Boating and observing  whales, dolphins and puffins

Skolavordustigur, favorite street of locals and Hallgrimskirkja

Usually, Reykjavik is the starting point of the tour of Iceland, the best introduction to the incredible attractions of the island. In the next post you can see stories about " Golden Circle ", Reykjanes tour, famous " Blue Lagoon ",  gravel road experience  and much more.

To be continued...

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