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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Iceland - A country that promises never to disappoint by Dagur Jonsson

The country 'Iceland' has a very interesting story behind getting this amazing and unusual name. Actually this name 'Iceland' was allotted by one of this country's very first visitors the Viking Floki Vilgeroarson. He felt that this name is just perfect as it was showing one of this country's top qualities. This man came here with the hope of beginning a new life although this land was all uninhabited. But the long and chilled winter of the year 870 A.D killed all his domestic animal herds. He went further towards the high mountains of northwest part of the country hoping to get some suitable place for his farm but what he found was only fjords, full of drift ice. He got very disappointed and named this place Iceland or 'the island of ice'. Then he went back to his country Norway.

But now, Iceland promises that it will not disappoint any of their visitors. Although this country of Iceland is almost as raw and natural as it was at that time i.e. with a coastal edge. One can found dotted sheep farms, few fishing villages and small hamlets which are not bigger than a handful of homes built around wooden church. It was said till twentieth century that Icelandic city or even a town is a very rare sight. The population of the country at that time was restricted to 60,000 only. Now also, the total population of Iceland is about 272,000 and is Europe's most meagerly populated country. More than half of all population lives in the southwestern corner of the country in the very famous and cosmopolitan city of Reykjavik. Fortunately Reykjavik is also the capital of Iceland. The city of Akureyri on the north coast of the country is the second most populated city other than Reykjavik area.

Coasts of Iceland are all thinly populated but the interior part of the country stays all uninhabited and still it is untouched by humans and their habits. One can still see beautiful and huge ice fields, big lava grounds and deserts of ashes, upland plateau swept by wing and cool and frigid Vatnajokull, biggest glacier of Europe. In the capital city of Reykjavik also, one can sight crusty and snow capped mountains and fjords in the background. Also visible are the signs of the forces of the nature that probably made this country to emerge from the land crust.

Its location in the mid-Atlantic crest has made it volcanically, the most active land part of the earth which exists there along with naturally appearing hot springs, hot and bubbly mud pools, noisy steam vents and a chord of unpredictable and violent volcanoes. These volcanoes have been the major tourist attraction of Iceland for ages now. Icelanders have learnt how to adjust and live with the volcanoes. There is a story that in June 1998, when an earthquake occurred in Reykjavik due to volcanic eruption, the ballet dancers were performing their show and they completed the show which continued the whole night without even missing a step.

All these little but extremely interesting facts make Iceland one of the most exotic and thrilling tourist destinations in the world. As told earlier, it promises not to disappoint any of the tourists that go there. There are many attractive destinations and places worth seeing in Iceland which includes all the above mentioned attractions.

About the Author
Dagur Jonsson is the editor of Iceland Guest, a website specializing in tourist information for travelers to Iceland. For more information visit www.icelandguest.com

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