The Truth About Iceland
The coolest thing about blogging is that you can connect with people from around the globe. You meet someone and find out you should probably be friends. Even when they live in Iceland. That's how I feel about Kaelene, anyway. She's one of the coolest chicks around. This isn't my opinion, it's a fact. She lives in Iceland and sees some of the coolest places (and waterfalls) around.
I have her on the blog today posting all about the place she now calls home. Also her pictures are downright breathtaking!
Hi everyone! I am Kaelene from Unlocking Kiki where you will find me blogging about my life in Iceland and the adventures it throws my way. Iceland, random right? Don't worry I have a perfectly good reason for moving up to almost the north pole. I fell for a Viking, end of reason.
I have been living in my Vikings homeland for two years now, and with Iceland becoming the “it” place to travel to I am constantly getting questions about things people have heard about this unique country. Some of the things, well they are a bit out there, and others, well they are a bit out there too, but they are true. So to get the facts straight about this place I call home let's play a little game of Fact or Fiction.
// Iceland is green and Greenland is covered in ice…Fact!
This is the most common question I get about Iceland, and really all I knew about Iceland as well before I met my Viking. While you will still find ice covering parts of Iceland (like one of the largest glaciers in Europe!) the country for the most part is covered in gorgeous green landscape that makes for fairy-tale road trips. Well, in the summer time it is green, winter is a different story.
// We live in igloos…Fiction
Sorry to squash your idea that Iceland is the land of Eskimos and igloos but you won’t find anyone inside an ice house here. I may love my Viking but not enough to live in an igloo so I am more than happy that there are no igloos in sight. Instead the houses you will find are charming colorful ones in a range of colors, even neon green and purple.
// The winter is completely dark…Fiction
My first winter in Iceland everyone kept warning me about the long dark days ahead. In my mind this meant that I wouldn't see the sun for weeks and the days would be like one long never ending night. Thankfully I was totally wrong about this, and while the nights are certainly much longer we are still treated to at least 4 hours of daylight on the shortest days. 4 hours, okay that does sound way short, but the winter sunsets that we get to see at 3pm and the Northern Lights that light up the sky at night, they are gorgeous and worth it!
// You have to get naked and shower before entering any of the popular swimming pools…Fact
You won't find any nude beaches here in Iceland but you will find everyone stripping down before getting into the popular swimming pools and hot springs. In fact, it is required that everyone takes a showers before putting on their bathing suit and entering the pools, even at the famous Blue Lagoon. Many first time visitors find this uncomfortable and people often ask me if they really have to strip and shower. My answer, yes, if you don't Icelanders will find it gross and disrespectful, I mean who wants to swim in dirty water right? But don't worry, everyone is doing it, so strip down, rinse off, and then head out to enjoy a relaxing swim in the hot pools.
// All Icelanders believe in elves and trolls… Fact
Or fiction, depending on who you ask.
It is often said that more than half of Icelanders believe in elves. It is up for debate as to how many Icelanders actually believe in elves, but you often hear stories of roads not being built somewhere because it would disrupt the elves, so maybe they believe more than they think. I have yet to decide which side of the debate I am on, but after visiting the elf church (pictured above) hidden in the lava fields I may be turning into a believer.
Want to learn more about this unique country I call home? Check out my Iceland page , it won't take long before you will be dreaming up your own Icelandic adventure! Want to know what it is like to be a foreigner living in Iceland? Well if your me it tends to be full of embarrassing moments, but always an adventure. Join me at Unlocking Kiki and follow along as I attempt to make a life as an American in Iceland.
And to complete your Iceland education how about some Icelandic candy?! It is delicious I promise. Enter the giveaway below for your chance to sample some of the unique licorice chocolates of Iceland. And now you can go impress your friends with all your Icelandic knowledge.