Despite its name, Iceland isn’t a frozen wasteland. Iceland is in fact a beautiful and exotic country. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and southwesterly winds and the coastal areas of Iceland are a pleasant temperature year-round.
Upon arriving in Iceland, you first notice miles and miles of black volcanic rock, partially covered in bright green moss. The island country of Iceland is home to a mixture of interesting things, including Europe’s largest glacier, the world’s earliest-discovered geyser, abundant natural hot springs, volcanoes, and a vast array of spectacular scenery.
Below we have some very beautiful Iceland photos from photographer Raymond Hoffman…
Fun Facts About Iceland…
- Iceland has enough natural resources (geothermal and hydroelectric energy) to generate electricity for all of mainland Europe. However, it would be difficult to transport this energy to the mainland.
- When early peoples settled Iceland, they immediately cut down most of the trees on the island for construction and firewood. They did not know, however, that Iceland’s long winter cycles and indirect sunlight cause trees to grow extremely slowly. Most tree species on Iceland, in fact, take 50+ years to reach maturity. As a result, most of Iceland is devoid of trees to this very day.
- Crime rates in Iceland are extremely low. Police officers do not carry guns and most of the officers hold second jobs outside of law enforcement.
- Icelanders have the longest life expectancies on the planet, with women averaging 81.3 years of age and men 76.4 years.
- Only about 10% of Icelanders use their common family name from generation to generation, as is practiced throughout Europe and North America. (IE: If your last name is Douglas, your children also take on the last name of Douglas.) Instead, most Icelandic families use a patronymic naming system, where the last name of the new-born child is taken from the father’s first name. So, if the father’s first name is Adam, his child would be named Adamsson if it is a boy and Adamsdóttir if a girl.
- Several prominent Icelandic words have been imported into the English language, including: Geyser, Berserk, Gush, Cunning, Eddy, and Saga.