If you’ve never gone to Iceland, you might want to start thinking about it. You might know that Iceland is a part of Scandinavia, and ruled during the viking age. There are many great things to be seen all around this small, misnamed country.During the viking age, the barbaric vikings named Iceland Iceland, so many people wouldn’t want to go to an icy wasteland, which is more green. They also named Greenland Greenland, so many people would want to go to this soil rich island, which is all white with snow. With the others fooled, the vikings took control of Iceland.
If anyone has ever spent a day in a normal Icelandic person's shoes, they’ve eaten skyr. Skyr is a lot like yogurt but it is thicker, richer, and a lot more healthy. An Icelandic person may eat skyr everyday. It’s eaten for breakfast, snack, a drink form called drykkur, a dipping sauce, and as a topping on dessert.
Pylsur may be the closest thing you can get to without it just being called a hot dog. What makes the pylsur different from a hot dog is that it’s really, really crunchy because of the different meat that they use.This dish is so popular in Iceland, it’s eaten about as many times as Americans eat hot dogs. The best place to get pylsur maybe the famous Baejarins Beztu Pylsur near the harbor close to Reykjavik.
Minke Whale is a popular dinner all over Iceland. First things first, the whale is not endangered, so don’t let that keep you from dining on this delicious delicacy.This dish is eaten in so many ways it’s hard to remember all of them. Minke Whale is eaten as a kabab, seared, or in steak form. Many visitors have trouble eating this dish because it is very chewy, and usually over grilled. The dish which is not a red meat is compared to tuna or beef.
If you’ve ever had puffin you’ll want to again. This fancy dinner is served at any good family restaurant in Iceland. Also if you hadn’t known, puffin is a sea bird. To give it some kick, puffin is usually served with a mustard or blueberry sauce.
Bolludagur Buns are a famous Icelandic treat. This dessert has it all, cream, raspberry sauce, and some nice warm chocolate. The dessert is served mostly on Buns Day. By the way, Buns Day is a holiday where you are encouraged to eat your weight. Buns Day is about seven weeks before Easter.
If you knew what svio is and how it’s made, you probably wouldn’t eat. Svio is singed sheep head. The process may be more trouble than it’s worth, but after you get a taste you might not think so. First the head is split in half and then the brains are removed. After that the chef would then heat the head under a fire so the hair on the head can fall off. Now you can eat the dish with it’s eyes, ears, and everything else on a lamb’s head.
Sigur Ros maybe the most popular band in all of Iceland. The band of fours members are Jon Bor Birgisson, Kjartan Sveinsson, Georg Holm, and Orri Pall Dyrason. There most famous song is Sven-g-englar. Sigur Ros means “victory rose” in Icelandic but the band was really named after Jon’s baby sister Sigurros because she was born on the day the band formed.
Seabear is a seven-piece, Indie-folk band. What makes Seabear different from other bands from Iceland is that they song mostly English. The band is tied to the record label Morr Music. The band was originally Sig Fuson's solo act but after spending some time performing as a trio, he allowed six other members to join. The band’s most famous album is “we built a fire.” Their song cold summer was featured in the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.
The five person band Of Monsters and Men may have the most awards in all of Iceland. After six months their song My Head is an Animal reached number one in Iceland, Australia, and the U.S.rock and alternative, and number six on the U.S. billboard 200 album, number 3 in the U.K., and the top 20 of most European and Canadian charts. The lead singer is Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir.
Samaris is one of the few electronic bands in Iceland. This three person band’s members are Slaug Run Magnusdottir, Porous Kari Steinthorsson, and Jofri Our Akadottir. Their two record labels are 12 Tonar and One Little Indian. Their best albums are Hljoma Pu, and Stofnar Falla.
Viking Festival brings people back to old times. The festival takes place in Hafnarfjordur. The festival contains costumes, instruments, jewels, and crafts. This tribute to the viking age takes place mid-June and lasts six days. The spectacular events include sword fighting, and showings of marksmanship with bow and arrows, and will power.
One of the biggest festivals in all of Iceland is the Icelandic Airwaves. The purpose of the festival is to promote new upcoming bands. The festival was first held in 1999 and lasts three days. The bands perform in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. The bands perform rock, pop, classic, electronics, and many more.
The Imagine Peace Tower
The Imagine Peace tower is one of the most innovative ideas ever. It was made by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. The tower was made to symbolize their campaign for world peace, which started shortly after their marriage. The Imagine Peace tower is everything that you would think it is from the name. It represents peace, and it is imagined because it is made out of shimmering light. The tower goes off on October 9th (John’s birthday) until December 8th (the day he died).
The Viking Festival
No snakes, squirels, frogs , or biting insects
You can’t go to Iceland without seeing some Puffin. Half of this seabirds population in the world lives in Iceland. Eight to ten million Puffins live in this Island about the size of Kentucky. The word for Puffin in Iceland is lundi. The scientific word for puffin is Fratercula arctica.
The most famous breed from Iceland is the Icelandic Horse. The height of this animal is very different from time to time because some are about the size of a dog and others may tower over everyone. The breed lives a long life and they get very few diseases. Icelandic horses are used for racing, showing, and leisure. They weigh from 330 to 380 kilograms.
If Santa needs to pick up some Reindeer, he can look for Iceland. Reindeer were imported from Norway in the 18th century. The animal roamed free until they started to be hunted. They only live in East Iceland now, and have a population of about 3000. The story of this animal started when they were imported to Iceland in the 18th century for farming purposes but were never domesticated. A good place to see the reindeer is Mt. Snaefell.
Due to the climate, Iceland does not have any squirrels, snakes, frogs, or insects that bite, except ticks.
Big and small Icelandic horse
Chester Hjortur Thordarson
The Fly Factory and Power Grids
You may have recently heard of the fly factory. If you haven this could give you some new information. If not then you’ll learn a lot about this new product. Made by Bui Bjermer A. Dalsteinsson, the fly factories purpose is to make food from larvae. The larvae could become breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. The boys inspiration came from the U.N’s Food and Agriculture Organization called Edible Eats.
Iceland was struggling to get power grids up for a while, scientists were working hard all day to try and create these but only one person could.Chester Hjortur Thordarson. Thordarson was a half America, half Icelandic. He lived from 1867 to 1945. Purdue university requested building a ½ million volt power transformer. 11 years later it was created.
The game of Flengingardagur is celebrated on Whipping Day. Whipping day is a holiday where children whip their parents. The holiday is celebrated during the lent season before Easter. The whip the children use is made out of paper so no one actually gets hurt. Also, the kids get to act creative by making and designing their own whips.The parents or other adults getting whipped in the house must provide a bun, or muffin for the children.
You may have heard of the Yule Cat, but probably not what goes on with it in Iceland. This holiday, folk character’s game descended from Norwegian background. In the game, the children are assigned a chore and must complete it before Christmas. If the chore is completed before the deadline the child will get a new article of clothing. If not, the Yule Cat (represented as a black cat) would punish the child. This game teaches the kids about efficiency.
Loopit is a good family game to play. Loopit is just like scrabble. You have to try and connect a tile to a line to get points. Scoring is marked by the spot you put the line (an example of a spot could be a double point score) and the total point of the word.The game is recommended for kids seven and up, and the brand that created this outstanding game is Goliath Games.
A Yule Cat and Loopit
Wood carving is one of the many past times and ways of making art in Iceland. There is an exhibition every year where there are wood carvings on display. They have many corners and are designed with many colors. They also have outstanding details.
Viking paintings are very famous in Iceland. These paintings are made to bring the people back to the old age to remember their heritage. They have extreme detail and a variety of colors. The paintings usually include either a ship, hut, or a weapon like a cannon or catapult.
Hand knit woolens come home with most tourists. Pullovers and Cardigans are the most popular of the woolens. The reason they are bought is because of Iceland’s cold climate so, people want to be warm. They are usually very soft and cozy.
Arts and Crafts
A viking painting and a wood carved person
Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen is possibly the best football (soccer) player in Iceland. He played for Chelsea, the Wanderers, and FC Barcelona. His rating in FIFA soccer is 72. He favors his right foot, and is very good at skill moves like juggling and jump kicks.
Baltasar Kormakur is a movie director and an actor. He has strong ties to Mark Wahlberg after directing him in a few movies. Some of the most famous movies he has directed are Two Guns and Contraband. He graduated from Iceland’s National Academy of fine arts in 1990.
Bjork Gudmundsdottir A.K.A the queen of quirk is a musician. She is known worldwide for her spectacular voice. A way of remembering her is if you think about about the 2001 Academy Awards when she showed up in a spectacular white swan dress that included feathers and a head to the bird near her arm.
Eidur Smari Gudjohensen and Bjork Gudmundsdottir
The Icelandic National Costume is the base for most Icelandic wear.
Faldbuningur is one of the oldest costumes worn by women. It was created in the 17th century. It incorporates a hat with ornaments and a tail-cap.
Kyrtill is a very nice costume for women. The design artist Sigurour Gudmundsson made the Kyrtill to remember Iceland’s act in the Viking Age, so it looks like what viking women would wear when they ruled. It has a lot of colors, particularly light versions of brown and yellow. It resembles some archaeological finds over the years.
Hatioabuningur is a very un-traditional costume that men wear. This costume is worn mostly at formal events because it looks a lot like tuxedo. The way that it differs from a tuxedo is that the jacket comes together with many buttons, like a jacket with a zipper.
The Kyrtill, Faldbuningur, and the Hatioabuningur
A Geyser and a Fjord
Saga is a very old world that was used ever since the 18th century when it was created. Saga means a long story of heroic achievements.
Fjord is used all around Scandinavia because they are the only places that have fjords. Fjords are long, narrow, deep inlets of a seabelt. The way the word entered our language came through Continental Scandinavian Languages.
Geyser is a word that comes all the way back from the 18th century. The word means a hotspring in which water intermittently boils. It comes from the word geysa “to send out violence.”
What didn't come from Iceland
One thing about Iceland is that there aren't many things that you would think come from Iceland except Icelandic breeds.
Now that you have seen Iceland first hand tell your friends about the amazing island country.
Marksmanship: Being skilled in precision shooting
Breed: A specific group of domestic animals
Imported: A good or service brought into one country from another