Iceland’s capital Reykjavik is home to only around 125,000 people and accounts for slightly more than one-third of the island’s entire population. It’s difficult to believe that somewhere as sparsely populated as this can have achieved such world-renown in som many different cultural and business spheres.
In Iceland, you can see the contours of the mountains wherever you go, and the swell of the hills, and always beyond that the horizon. And there’s this strange thing: you’re never sort of hidden; you always feel exposed in that landscape. But it makes it very beautiful as well.
Nowadays tourists flock to Iceland because it is so unspoilt and offbeat but the influx hasn’t spoiled the natural charms of this remote island far out in the northern Atlantic. In the depths of winter, take a walk outside the bright lights of the capital Reykjevik and hope to see the northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, when the sky forms moving curtains of green, blue and yellow ionized light. In winter, the sun lurks around the horizons only for a few hours, rising in the late morning and settting in the early afternoon. The weather can be chilly, but temperatures are moderated by the Atlantic Gulf Stream that swirls around the island’s shores, insulating it from the harsher weather that usually plunges temperatures to well below zero in these far north latitudes. Summer is a time of unwinding and opening in Iceland, as it is in the Nordic countries generally. As spring blossoms push through the iron-hard earth, the mood lightens and the intesity of winter gives way to the joy of new growth. [ends]