Icel and As Tourist Destination

Iceland lies with its northern end touching the Arctic Circle. It is an island that provides an exceptional array of natural spectacles to see. A place that seems to belong in fiction where you will find Dragons and fairies. For one thing it is a tourist destination you will remember and it is definitely an adventure

The Beginning
Where do Vikings go when they are exiled? That is the question two Norwegian Vikings had to answer when they were chased away with their families in A.D. 874. Needless to mention the way they had lived had also prepared them for a new life. And so they set sail across the Atlantic until they reached Iceland, 1000 kilometers away. In a short time they knew they would have to overcome great hardship to survive as all around them were volcanoes, deserts and ice fields.

The two men brought slaves, family and livestock. What you will find in Iceland today is what they brought with. The sheep farming started by them still provides the meat. As they were men from the sea they also settled near the coastline. Air dried fish is exported to Africa and Europe to supply valuable protein for the locals.

The Land
The land itself can be something described in mythology. Raining ashes, molten lava, plumes of steam and volcanic islands. Located on a rift or crack in the crust of the Earth Earthquakes and volcanic activity is a daily thing. Houses must be built to withstand these tremors brought forth by the restless Earth. Hekla, the best know of the 100 volcanoes on the Island was once thought to conceal a gate to hell. With an eruption of Laki, dust clouds drifted as far as Finland and Russia, darkening the skies.

Rivers and Lakes
Rivers are not very useful as they run fast and are filled with rocks. This creates many waterfalls from small to large ones. Lake with smaller islands are set among the lava formations. Because the Vikings used wood for building boats and houses this is a major shortage on the island.

Hot Springs
Hot springs are everywhere and hot water is piped to the houses and used to heat greenhouses where they cultivate and raise tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and flowers.

The geyser in the stone pool know to many because of the pictures of it is the most famous. Stori Geysir or great gusher, is actually helped since it does not spout by itself anymore.

Iceland broke its ties with Denmark in 1944 and is an example of what a small nation with few natural resources can accomplish. Reykjavik is the capital but more interesting is that Iceland has never been in a war and has no army or navy. As if the world accepted if anybody could overcome conditions like you get there, they will not be people you mess with.