Introduction to Iceland..
I know at first, it doesn’t look like Iceland has much to do with green and environment, but, contrary to popular belief; Iceland is very green and they practice some very environmentally friendly practices such as all water being generated from geothermal sources and being as pure as it gets.
Today, I will just give my first impressions of Iceland and later on talk about its environmental aspects in more detail. It is true, the Icelandic words are very hard to pronounce..it’s because their language is nordic based and hasn’t changed in around 800 years. However, I don’t think I have met another nation with friendlier people (than perhaps some parts of India). Everyone from the taxi driver, to the waitress, to the museum ticket guy is genuinely friendly and happy to help. Another thing about Icelandic people is that they really party hard. the later it is in the night, the louder is the merriment happening on the streets. But it’s not the noise kind; it’s quite inviting and fun to watch.
Reykjavik is very pretty during christmas time. I was apprehensive about the short days but it’s not too bad..It gets light around 10 am and stays lit till 5 pm or so; so it gives plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors. They take pride in their history and nationality and of course their food; so far we have tried a few good fish restaurants and some really good but not too sweet desert. We have visited a restaurant called ‘the pearl’ that’s made it to the top 10 strange restaurants of the world. The Iceland Opera that opened this year. That is indeed a stunning building both outside and inside; built with so much thought, love and public participation. It’s called the Harpa;after the music instrument as well as to signify the coming of spring which is ‘Harp’ in Icelandic. The other amazing building we saw in the last two days was the tallest church in Reykjavik, called the Hallgrimskirkja Church. In addition to the history and the simplistic interior design, the view from the top of the building are breathtaking.
I can’t end this blog without talking about the main reason we came to Iceland and that was to see the northern lights, technically known as the Aurora Borealis. These lights at their very simplest definition happen when very fast solar wind particles (at the speed of 500km/sec) travel through earth’s atmosphere and hit the Earth’s upper atmosphere, they cause the atmospheric atoms and ions to radiate different colors and bands of light. We saw some really good light show after shivering in the cold two nights in a row but I couldn’t capture it yet in my own camera, so I am not satisfied.
Click here to see all the photos from the trip so far.