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Some reflections from Iceland

Today we offer some reflections from Iceland. We've pretty much finished reporting from our trip to Iceland and we're taking the opportunity to share some of the things we noticed during the trip. At the same time, we'll show some of the photos that we haven't had time to show yet.


1. Icelandic has great words

If you follow this blog, you may know that I (Helena) speak Icelandic reasonably well, as I was a exchange student on Hemön as a 17-year-old. In a way (in terms of pronunciation!), the the Icelandic language but at the same time I realise that I have a limited vocabulary. If only I could spend a little more time in Iceland, it would fall into place. The words are so wonderful! Here are some favourite words that I was reminded of during the trip:

  • Farfuglaheimili - hostels (aka "migratory bird shelters")
  • Immediately - immediately
  • Public Prosecutor - police (eg "rule of law")
  • Rental car - taxi (eg. "lego car", similar to "mercenary")
  • Bandaríkin - USA (eg. "bandits" approximately?)
  • Svartfjallaland - Montenegro (aka 'Black Mountain Country')

2. Icelanders drive jeeps

In Iceland, people like to drive big cars with four-wheel drive. There's a reason, of course. If you want to get out into nature, outside the big trails, then you need four-wheel drive. Maybe all these jeeps go out into the countryside from time to time. Maybe they mostly circle Reykjavik. It's hard to know, but they are big!


Some of the jeeps we saw were bigger than others. Some of them were black and looked like huge military vehicles. Others were white. We asked and were told that most of these are used for guided tours into the wild with tourist groups.


3. Icelanders are pirates?

So, this point should be taken with a pinch of salt. But one Icelander we met said "We are pirates". She was referring to the fact that the first Icelanders fled the Norwegian king because they wanted to rule themselves, and said that they have now opted out of the EU for much the same reason. She further explained to us that there is less bureaucracy in Iceland, and that you don't have to sign papers for everything. We also met an Icelander who is active in the Pirate Party. So, Icelanders are pirates ... right?


4. There are no McDonalds in Iceland

Did you know that there is no McDonald's in Iceland? You might be tempted to think that they've stood up to the fast food giant, but we were told that McDonald's went bankrupt during the economic crisis. However, there are plenty of other fast food chains!

Reykjavik Island

5. The landscape is suitable for film

The landscape is magical, and it's no wonder that several films have been shot here. Some of the films and TV series (partly) filmed here are The Lionheart Brothers, Interstellar, Batman Begins, Tomb Rider, Prometheus, two different James Bond films and Game of Thrones.

It's great to travel through a landscape that alternates between glaciers, lava fields, mountains, open spaces, gorges, waterfalls and geysers. If you missed it, check out our posts on Iceland's nature:

Have you also travelled in Iceland? What reflections did you make?

Isländskt landskap
All our top tips about Iceland. Click on the image!

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