iceland, travel

Why Iceland is Like Living in a Fairytale

January 1, 2016

Iceland is a magical country full of strange, mythical creatures, folklore and traditions. It’s part of what makes the country so magical, but only a portion of what makes Iceland so fairytalesque.

As soon as you fly into Iceland, if you look out of the windows of the plane you’ll see a desolate landscape with nothing but ice, rocks and lava fields. There’s a reason this country is nicknamed, ‘The Land of Ice and Fire’ and it’s not because Game of Thrones was filmed here. Few countries can compare to the numerous natural wonders of Iceland with geisers, waterfalls, volcanoes, ice caves and mountains in every direction.Iceland doesn’t care what you’re used to, it will provide blistering cold winds, hale and snowstorms and scorching sunshine (if you consider 14 degrees Celsius to be scorching) all before breakfast. This country takes no prisoners with their turbulent weather, but with their many natural delights, there’s so much more to see.The tap water is clear, straight from the mountain streams. The air is fresh, unpolluted and the city is… quirky but fabulous. For instance, since the economical crisis in 2011 many big businesses packed up and left including the fast food chain, McDonalds, how cool is that? A capital city without a McDonalds is my kind of holiday. That’s not the only thing that makes Reykjavik so unique. The street art and painted buildings animate the city with colour.Okay, Laura, we get it. Iceland is great, Reykjavik is beautiful. Why is staying in Iceland like living in a fairytale? Well, curious reader, I’ll tell you.Along with the quirky natural features and the magnificently weird architecture comes the folklore and mythical creatures. Trolls and elves. Icelanders love their mythology. Did you know that 50% of Icelanders believe in elves and 90% are open to the idea? Icelanders are so excited about the idea, much of their tourism is taken over by elf and troll merchandise, as well as having troll statues in the heart of Reykjavik. You can even enrol in elf school during your stay in Iceland to learn more about these strange customs.I can’t forget about Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights. These magnificent colours in the sky are caused by magnetic currents and changes in the Earth’s atmosphere, but the folklores surrounding these lights are far more fascinating than the scientific explanations.Some cultures believe that the lights are caused by demons, reeking havoc in the skies. Others believe that the elves (and perhaps fairies) cause them when they are excited or in celebration.

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