Iceland, the winter wonderland for avid explorers, the place where they built a highway around an elf rock and the country I just went for my vacation. Here are five of the things that make Iceland an intriguing destination.
1. You’ll rarely see the Icelandic flag in winter
It only takes a walk down the city center of Reykjavik to notice something funny: there’s no national flag anywhere. In fact, the only building in the city that holds the Icelandic flag up is, as you might not expect, the embassy of the USA. So why is this happening? Are Icelandic people not proud enough? Don’t they really give a damn? According to our city tour guide, they don’t bother.
At least not in the winter time. Icelandic protocol rules that the national flag of Iceland should not be flown beyond sunset or midnight. Since during the winter time the sun rises at 11 AM and sets at about 4 PM, they never bother to run the flag up for such a short amount of time.
2. Oh, holy tree!
Contrary to common beliefs that trees don’t grow in Iceland because of the weather, trees do exist here. However, the Icelandic countryside is, indeed, very short on them. That’s why Icelanders take good care of their trees. In fact, the Icelandic Forestry Association awards the best trees in the city each year. Here’s one of the winners.
3. Girl drivers rule Iceland
Iceland is the country with the most lady drivers I’ve seen. In fact, for one of my snowmobile adventures, we had a badass driver/guide lady. When all the things that could have gone wrong did (mostly due to bad weather) Hugrún was on top of everything and got us to our destination and back safely.
An amazing lady and a great company to book your next Icelandic Adventures.
4. The land of horses
If you’re coming from a warmer European country you’re probably expecting to see a flock of sheep, a herd of cattle or sunflower fields along the countryside landscapes. Now replace all that with wild horses. Yup, this is Iceland.
5. Drink it all in
Iceland has one of the purest waters in the world. If you’re planning to snorkel in the Silfra fissure you can take a sip from the water; it’s sweet and fresh and if you have a stuffy nose just breathe it in and it will open up your nose instantly. Tried ‘n tested.
It’s also good to know that tap water is perfectly safe to drink. But don’t be alarmed by the fishy smell. Because of the sulfur in the water it might smell like rotten eggs.
For those of you who want to dive a little deeper and get tips on how to plan your DIY trip in Iceland try Adriana’s article, What to see in Iceland in one week.