Things That I Have Learned In Iceland

Things That I Have Learned In Iceland

“The problem with driving around Iceland is that you’re basically confronted by a new soul-enriching, breath-taking, life-affirming natural sight every five goddamn minutes. It’s totally exhausting.” Stephen Markley, Tales of Iceland or “Running with the Huldufolk in the Permanent Daylight.”

Icelanders are big shoppers.

Forbes listed Iceland  as the best country for personal freedom in 2015.

In summer, the government hires teenagers to keep the parks, beaches and public places clean. The number of hours depends on your age.

While very close to Danish and Norwegian, the Icelandic language remains unique. Words with far too many consonants abound, and syllables seem to just blur together. Unlike other languages that have changed drastically over the centuries, Icelandic remains very close to its original roots.

Iceland is always building tunnels because the mountain roads are icy and dangerous in winter. The tunnels are  very long and scary narrow.

Gay Pride is huge in Iceland.

Iceland has a 99.96 renewable energy supply. Heat and electricity are the only things that are very cheap in Iceland.The hot water is so cheap that Icelanders are known for their long showers.

Iceland has more hot springs than any country in the world.

It was the smallest country to qualify for a World Cup.

As astonishing as it sounds, Iceland does not have a McDonalds.  Yes, you can find KFC and even Taco Bell in Reykjavik, but forget about picking up a Big Mac or some Chicken McNuggets.

The most popular food in Iceland is hot dogs.

You can also try  whale, puffin, dried fish, fermented shark, sheep’s head, and  pickled ram’s testicles.

It was illegal to import or make beer in Iceland till 1989.

Women’s rights are better in Iceland than the US. It was the first country to have equal pay for men and women. However, don’t wait for an Icelandic man to open a car door for you. 

Iceland was the first country to have a woman president.

Everyone is Iceland is related. Ninety per cent of the population is pure Icelandic. People can now easily, and on the go, look up how they are related  using the bump technology and just bump their phones together to instantly see if they are related.

Speaking of phones, they still have a phone book and it is  in order of first names (like mine). 

Icelanders have a high life expectancy and health and wellness is a priority.

The population of Iceland is a little over three hundred thousand. This population is supposed to have a very sarcastic sense of humor and an accepted level of rudeness.  

Fishing is Iceland’s main industry, and the nation remains one of just a few in the world that still allows commercial whaling. This, of course, is quite controversial, and has caused tension between the peaceful country and other nations.

Free Willy was an Icelandic whale named Keiko.

Game Of Thrones was shot in Iceland.

Do not call Icelandic horses ponies.

If a driver kills a sheep who is wandering on the road, he must go and find the owner and pay him a few thousand dollars.

Birds are the dominant animal in Iceland and there are no mosquitos and snakes.

The most dangerous car accidents involve the tourists short stop in the road to take yet another photo of even more beautiful scenery. Icelanders believe that tourists should be given driving instruction before they rent cars. 

There is little crime in Iceland, and virtually no violent crime. The country does not have a standing army, and its police officers do not carry guns.

Iceland like California is waiting for the Big One (earthquake). 

There are endless names for precipitation in Iceland.

Icelanders are not known for their creativity in naming places – Puffin Island, Glacier Lake etc.

More than fifty per cent of Icelanders believe in elves and trolls. Many less believe in religion. Neopaganism is on the rise (belief in Norse gods).

Fly safe,


4 thoughts on “Things That I Have Learned In Iceland

  1. Thanks Jayne, you reminded me of the many things that make Iceland unique.

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