If you are thinking about visiting Iceland there are a few things you need to know, and accept. Iceland is a small island of about 103.000 km2 and 330.000 people far away from the civilization of Europe. Of course we‘re a little bit peculiar.
#1 – We‘re really young
Both the nation and the country itself are quite young compared to its neighbours. The oldest parts of Iceland rose from the ocean 16 million years ago but in comparison the oldest parts of Britain date from at least 2700 million years ago. It wasn‘t until only a thousand years ago that people first settled on this island. Until then the only and I mean only animal that lived here (that wasn‘t a bird) was the arctic fox.
#2 – There are more sheep than people
Since there has never been a lot of people here we have filled up the empty spaces with sheep. The icelandic sheep has extra thick waterproof wool and is perfect for the ever-changing weather. The sheep population was 830.000 in 1980 and but today it is closer to 500.000 so people are still outnumbered.
#3 – Everyone is related
Iceland is all about family. We have big family reunions in the summer that go back 4-5 generations. The fact is that most Icelanders can find an ancestor in common only 7 generations back. This can cause some problems when dating but no worries there is an app for that.
#4 – Small babies sleep outside
Since we are all just one big happy family there is no reason not to let your babies take their afternoon nap outside in their carriges. They get a lot of fresh air and are lulled to sleep by the birds singing in the trees. It is a common sight to see prams and carriges with sleeping babies outside of cafés, on balconies and just whereever – with the mother/father within hearing distance.
#5 – 24 hours of daylight
Since Iceland lies upclose and personal to the Arctic Circle it means that around the summer solstice on the 21st of june the sun just doesn‘t set. This gives you the opportunity to explore Iceland in all hours of the day. Might I suggest an Arctic Truck as an exploration method 😉