What do we know about Iceland? Most likely, only that there is a volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which erupted in 2010, left for a week without air travel all over Europe and in the pronunciation of the name is the leading news from around the world trained diction. And also the fact that it is cold volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and America. And, from there the singer Bjork. I, at least, do not know anything until there is not gone. And now I want to invite you on a virtual tour of this very unusual island where "different" and "not like us" - almost everything. Because I love the north, Iceland attracted me for many years. But always seemed very distant and unattainable. As the world's end. But one day, one of the sites for the sale of tickets, happened to see that there can fly from Helsinki for $ 500, and it's not such a big fee for a dream come true. Without thinking, I bought this ticket. Already then there were lengthy search for a suitable hotel for the price, thinking through travel program, problems with obtaining visas for such a short time ... But it all turned out to be solved. And now, 22 June 2011, the airport Helsinki, Finland. Half an hour later the Boeing 757 take me to his home in Iceland. I sit down in the plane of the Icelandic national carrier Icelandair and immediately note the monitors in the back of each chair. In general, all very stylish and tasteful. The first impression of the country was formed on board the aircraft. And it was very positive. And, as it turned out, for good reason.
3:00 fly over the Atlantic - and here it is - Iceland, the first frame! It turned out that she was not so far;)
Decreases. Strange-colored surface, this is how it turned out, the field of lava, which covered nearly the entire island. I note that I was lucky with the weather. All reports from the Internet, and always meets all Iceland rain.
Reykjavik. The world's northernmost capital of the state. The name means "smoking bay". Very pretty and ancient city, but, nevertheless, devoid of bright historical and architectural past, as in many European capitals. The first Icelandic resident, who came from Norway, settled in this place in the year 874. The population of the city - a little more than a hundred thousand people, and only a little more than Iceland's three hundred thousand. As one is not the biggest area of our city. Despite its small population, Reykjavik a very large area, because all the houses are not more than three or four stories in height. And all painted in bright colors. I'm not sure it's the law, or just a tradition, but in the north-misty rainy climates such a bright variety looks very nice. And, certainly, this is one of the cleanest cities in the world.
Despite the fact that Reykjavik is located in the North Atlantic, the climate in the city is quite favorable. In winter, the capital of Iceland, temperature rarely drops are not even up to -10 ° C. All this is thanks to the Gulf Stream. So although the capital Reykjavik, the northernmost, but not the cold. The coldest - the capital of Mongolia, Ulan Bator. And in the second place - Astana.
Since the city is located near the Arctic Circle, in the summer it does not happen overnight, and in the winter day lasts only 4 hours.
Attractions in the Icelandic capital a little bit. One of them - the Lutheran church Hallgrímskirkja. Was built 38 years, from 1945 to 1986. This is one of the tallest buildings in Iceland.
And the second point of interest - the boat that resembles a whale skeleton, the city's waterfront. What's interesting is the third attraction is the stall with hot dogs, standing in place since 1937 and visited a large number of international celebrities. Still, the main attraction of Iceland - is its extremely unusual nature.
Reykjavik from the ocean.
As for the rest of the trip I had only 5 days, I did not have time to drive around the island by car. So I bought a day tour and flew to the very north of the country, in the town of Akureyri.
Here it is, on the other side of the fjord. Akureyri - the second largest city of Iceland. A population - just 17,000 people;)
In Akureyri most of the passengers sitting on a large tour bus. And we go to watch the sights north of the country. Like all Icelanders, the guide very well and clearly in English, for which many thanks to him. For example, his story seemed interesting that in Iceland for Christmas to children comes not Santa Claus, and a troll. In general, Icelanders, even adults are very serious about this fabulous creatures. And troll gives gifts. But not all. If the child behaved badly, he receives a gift of potato. Why so - I do not know, but you can imagine the disappointment delinquent child))) This is not a river or lake, this fjord with salt water.
First stop - Waterfall Godafoss, "Falls of God." Spied on Wikipedia that he is on the river Skjálfandafljót =).
The waterfall is known that in the year 999, when making the local population Christianity, it has been reset pagan idols. Hence the name Godafoss.
Second stop - Lake Myvatn. Translated, it means "lake mosquito". Justifies its name by 100%. More than five minutes to stand on the shore difficult.
Iceland has no railways and developed only by air and road transport. And there are paved roads only on the coast around the island. The main road, the ring has a length of 1500 km. And all that in the middle of the country, is only available for just such machines.
90% of tourists begin their journey to Iceland with a rental car at the airport. Someone takes an ordinary small car. And those who came a long time, rent a camper and make a leisurely trip around the island with stops and overnight stays in any vending location. Thereby also saving on hotels, which are quite expensive.
Local breeds of horses.
Trees in Iceland virtually none. Therefore forests have here is a look. Very similar to a small birch, but it's the bushes. The local joke that if you got lost in the Icelandic woods, you just need to get up from his knees))
The third stop - Park Dimmuborgir, which means "dark castle". Consists of black lava stones and, according to legend, is the gateway to the underworld. Also Dimmu Borgir - is a Norwegian rock metal band. Very beautiful and harsh place. Dragged himself out a black stone as a keepsake.
The fourth stop - an amazing and almost lunar landscape, natural sulfur deposit. Which boils directly on the ground surface. The smell of it, it should be noted, is quite sharp and specific.
I do not know why it can be useful, but here you can easily scoop. The main thing - do not burn yourself =)
From the ground with a whistling steam coming as from a huge kettle.
And this is - power. In Iceland, 90% of electricity is generated by walking out of the ground hot steam. Hot water also take out of the ground. Therefore, in the water a little hot water smells like sulfur. But it is the most environmentally-friendly country in the world.
Not far from this place there is a crater of an extinct volcano Krafla. He erupted from 1974 till 1985th years. Now extinct and its crater filled with water. Volcano low and it can be easily get around on foot.
After visiting all these amazing places, impressed by what he saw and tired, arrived at the airport.
In the parking lot was seen another conqueror local terrain. It turns out that the most famous in the world of studio tuning SUVs, Arctic Trucks, it is in Iceland.
The airport has aviation museum, which was already closed. But standing next to this one here Douglas C-47 Skytrain. Although, it can be called a museum exhibit a stretch - he regularly flies at various airshows. This aircraft was released in 1943. From 1943 to 1946 operated by the US Air Force, and in 1946 was bought by the airline Iceland Airways.
And it flies Fokker 50, which will take away me back to Reykjavik.
It should be noted that the domestic airlines in Iceland are very comfortable and do not create unnecessary problems for passengers. When you register you will not be asked a passport, but only e-ticket number. No examination either. Arrived 15 minutes before departure, got on a plane and flew. And they fly every hour. Just like buses. We fly over the mountains.
Not far from Reykjavik, is already on the decline, I notice some extinct volcano.
Arrives in Reykjavik almost night. But on the street is still quite light. However, it does not hurt to sleep after a long day. To-morrow, early in the morning, go to the west of Iceland, to the glaciers, geysers and beaches with black volcanic sand.