Things to Remember in Iceland

blue Lagon IcelandIt may have a really troubled economy nowadays, but Iceland continues to draw curiosity.  Beyond the "ice" and Björk, Iceland has a lot to offer for travelers from around the world.

The land is literally not made of ice

Despite the name, only 10% of Iceland is covered with glaciers.  First-time visitors would be surprised how mild its climate is, not to mention its many geothermal springs where tourists come and bathe.

Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon

Among the country’s "hot spots," the Blue Lagoon (locally called Bláa Lónið) is the most popular.  Located in Grindavík on southwestern Iceland, its milky blue water is actually a byproduct of a nearby power plant.  But do not be alarmed, as the warm waters are rich in minerals such as silica and sulfur.  The waters of Blue Lagoon are reputed to have healed people from skin diseases like psoriasis.  This geothermal spring can be enjoyed all year round, even in freezing weather.

Don’t forget your eye mask

Because Iceland is located in the Arctic Circle, expect that the sun would still be up even at midnight especially during summer.  You may not even notice that you need some rest because you may mistake midnight from afternoon-that is if you do not look at your watch.  Come winter time, however, the whole country is blanketed with darkness for up to 20 hours.  It is also during this time, for some reason, that prices are lower compared to during high season.

Do not be afraid of strangers

Do not be deceived by first impressions.  Icelanders may appear unapproachable, but they are actually friendly and helpful towards strangers.  Speaking in English is not a problem either, as most locals can speak the language, with some Icelanders having basic knowledge of a "third language" like German, Danish, Spanish, and French.

Address them by their first names

The Icelanders still adapt a Norse tradition when it comes to giving names:  a first name followed by his or her parent’s first name (usually the father’s), and the suffix -son for boys or -dóttir for girls.  Do not be surprised if a single family has different last names.  This is why when addressing an Icelander, call the person by his or her first name instead of the patronym.

Do not be shocked with the F word

Icelanders can be a little bit opinionated, which is why it is not unusual for you to hear F-bombs out of them.  However, that does not give you an excuse to say bad words.

Image Source: Wikipedia

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