Tuesday, 27 December 2016


I started my New Year 2016 with a Tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  After that, there was hiking in Patagonia,  and at the Southernmost tip of the world - Ushuaia where I spent some time watching cute Penguins.  Then I visited the .

My next trip was to Peru and Machu Picchu.  I did some hiking there too.

Wanting to go to the other end of the world, I booked my next trip to Iceland.   Everybody wants to see the Northern lights.  However, they are only visible when the sky is dark.  Because the Sun barely sets in Iceland in summertime (Iceland is called the land of the midnight Sun), you can’t see the Northern lights in summer.

But the winter in Iceland would be too chilly for me.  I believe that the summer is the best time to visit Iceland.  The landscape is lush green and the days are long.  It is perfect for many activities such as hiking, diving, glacier trekking, whale watching etc.

So I planned an August tour to Iceland.  It is part of high season, so the prices are high and crowds are big, just for information.  Also, I found that Icelandic language is quite hard to read and deal with.  It was a bit easier to read Cyrillic when I was in Russia a few years ago.  Even though I jogged in the Red Square and saw a ballet in Kremlin, I did not meet Putin.

I flew from Charlotte to Minneapolis in the afternoon.  Then on to Reykjavik (capital of Iceland) on an overnight flight.

Iceland is a Nordic island country in North Atlantic ocean.  It has a population of only 330,000 and an area of 40,000 sq mi, making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe.  Iceland was formed 20 million years ago by volcanic eruptions and is still volcanically and geologically active.  The interior consists of a plateau characterized by sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands.

Geologically, Iceland is part of the mid-Atlantic ridge which marks the boundary between the Eurasian and North American plates.  Iceland has 10,000 waterfalls.

Irish monks were in Iceland before it was settled by Norwegians in 874.  It became a Christian country around 1000.  Iceland was under Norwegian and Danish kings at later dates.  It became independent from Denmark in 1944.

Iceland is not part of European Union and has its own currency – Icelandic Krona.  One USD equals about 100 ISK.

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