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Photo credit to Inspired by Iceland
How did the fascination start? I think it was during 6th grade, because of my Geography subject. We were all assigned different countries to research and report in front of the class. Yup, I got Iceland. There was no Internet back then (17 years ago!), so I relied heavily on the little information I found on our encyclopedia. Iceland was indeed picturesque even when seen in print. I learned how to properly pronounce Reykjavik, what their form of government is and memorized facts of their economy. And somehow, these little tidbits of information stuck. I got attached to this country (which I knew so little about then) ever since.

Recently, Big Blog Exchange had a survey which included the question, "Which 3 countries would you choose for the exchange?" Of course, Iceland was at the top of my list. I know I have limited knowledge regarding this country and I haven't known anybody personally who's been there so the constant research through the Internet always filled my curiosity.

If by stroke of luck I get to be picked for the BBE and they would allow us to go to our destination of choice, here is the first part of my list of (very touristy) things to do and to experience in this beautiful European country:

See the Sights!

Photo credits 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

  • It's a staple thing to do for visitors of Iceland to take the Golden Circle tour. On the photo is Gullfoss waterfall which is a part of the usually 3-stop tour. Gullfoss is called the "Golden Falls", since on a sunny day the water plunging down the staircase truly looks golden. It's usually compared to the Niagra Falls with regards to it's beauty.
Another point of the Golden Circle tour is the Geysir, which is actually where the term 'geyser' was derived from. Of course, I'd like to witness the actual eruption of this great geyser, which I read can shoot up to as high as 50 meters or more! The Geysir has been dormant since 1916, except for one occasion in 1935. Since then its repose has sporadically been disturbed by the dumping of tons of carbolic soap powder into its seething orifice in order to tickle it to spout. (via)
The Þingvellir makes up the last spot in the Golden Circle tour. This is believed to be where the Icelandic parliament was founded, which marked the founding of the nation of Iceland.
  • See the Northern Lights! This one I might have to include in my bucket list. It was highly suggested to go to Iceland between September to March to be marveled by this glimmering beauty. But you could always take a chance to see it.
  • Visit the Hallgrímskirkja. This is a Lutheran parish church located in Reykjavik and you could practically see this from anywhere in the city eventhough it's just the 6th tallest infrastructure in Iceland. I want to see the great and elaborate architecture exhibited by this place. The church now is also being used for exhibits and performances.
  • I wouldn't miss to see the Puffins! These cute Aves are actually great swimmers! One of Iceland's delicacies is puffin meat but I guess they're just too cute to eat, at least for me. Hehe. I also read that their beaks turn gray during winter and turn back to bright orange during spring.

Participate!

Photo Credits 1 | 2

  • Rúntur! Okay. You may ask, "What is a Rúntur?" This is the information I gathered in the Internet:

"The rúntur was devised as weekend entertainment by youth bored during the winter months of near-endless night. The word rúntur translates to “round tour” and that’s just what it is. Teenagers cram into their cars and make laps along the local roads, stopping occasionally at a car park to socialize. 

In Reykjavik, rúntur is also the name given to the weekend pub crawl, when partiers make their way around town to multiple bars and clubs." (via)
Sounds like a lot of fun! I'm not big on drinking but I wouldn't mind being in one. Hehe.
  • Ice Cream Day in Hveragerði. This one, I really, really like. It's so cool to have an ice cream day! Hveragerði is little town located between Reykjavik and Selfoss. Families and friends drive to this town every Sunday to avail of free ice cream for everyone. There are some pretty experimental flavors such as Garlic & Blood pudding. Hmm. Very interesting.



This is already quite a long list and this is just half of what I made! There's a separate one for the cuisines I wanted to try and other activities I want to do, which I will be posting next time. There's just so much to do and to explore in Iceland, how could you not admire it? (Part 2 is up! Please click here.)

I found this website which was chock full of information about Iceland from other people's perspective: Inspired by Iceland.

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