Iceland trip Feb 2017

Views:
 
     
 

Presentation Description

No description available.

Comments

Presentation Transcript

Slide1:

A brief overview of our trip to Iceland in February 2017

Slide2:

Iceland is a small country (about the size of Kentucky) and has an even smaller population (330,000). Reykjavik is the capital with about 1/3 of the country’s population in the city proper and 2/3rds in the metro area. There is substantial evidence that the Island was settled by Norse folks Circa 850. However, recent archeological digs have uncovered some evidence that earlier migrations may have occurred, albeit of a more transient nature.

Slide3:

New friends living in Reykjavik Jeanette had made friends with Herdis through her online knitting group. New friends living in Reykjavik Jeanette had made friends with Herdis through her online knitting group. New friends living in Reykjavik Jeanette had made friends with Herdis through her online knitting group.

Slide4:

Herdis and her husband were nice enough to spend time showing us around Reykjavik and sharing a few meals. They may visit us here eventually. Herdis’s husband, Þorsteinn , is pictured with us in a Reykjavik mall.

Slide5:

The official language is Islandic, but virtually everyone speaks English as their 2 nd language. Iceland is almost entirely powered via sustainable energy (combination of geothermal & hydro). Even the city busses in Reykjavik are powered by fuel cells. Geothermal heats all of the houses, roads and sidewalks in the city. There are also several geothermal plants that produce electricity. About the only fossil fuel dependency is with cars and trucks (that are not all or partial electric).

Slide6:

Not too many US chains in Iceland. Subway has a large presence, We were surprised to find Krispy Kreme

Slide7:

Iceland is not part of the EU and their currency is the Islandic Krona. At the time of our trip the 110 Krona equaled a dollar, making the Krona worth slightly less than a cent. Don’t be fooled by this conversion as products and services in Island are very expensive. Plan on paying at least double, if not more, what you would in the US.

Slide8:

Location of the historic summit between Reagan & Gorbatsjov which was a precursor to the fall of the Soviet Union.

Slide9:

Iceland is the oldest new world democracy dating back to the 10 th century AD (Circa 930 AD) when Norse Vikings settled the Island to escape the rule of the royalty. Circa 1050 AD they developed a system known as the Althingi which allowed for each tribal region (initially four regions) to appoint nine representatives (judges) to come to the annual gathering to establish laws and trade goods. All free men were invited to attend the event.

Slide10:

Massive organ located in a relatively new Islandic Church (closely aligned with Lutheran). It was actually built with government funding. The structure is very austere with the exception of a 25 ton organ that boasts over 1,000 pipes. Massive organ located in a relatively new Islandic Church (closely aligned with Lutheran). It was actually built with government funding. The structure is very austere with the exception of a 25 ton organ that boasts over 1,000 pipes.  

Slide11:

Of those practicing a faith the vast majority subscribe to the Islandic branch of the Lutheran doctrine. From the earliest settlement time until around 1000 AD the old religion that worshiped the Norse Gods was the faith of the day. At that point the people, with some encouragement, actually decided to accept Christianity as a country (Catholic at the time). From there it evolved with the advent of Martin Luther and at some point the Islandic offshoot was established as the “official” religion of state.

Slide12:

The Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, one of two in the city. Very unusual architecture.  

Slide13:

Icelanders are very clean & most areas, including residential, are immaculate. They are almost on par with the Swiss! They are also very big on recycling both in the residential & commercial sectors.

Slide14:

The Pearl in Reykjavik. There are six 1,050,000 gallon tanks that store thermal water & steam, topped with a rotating restaurant.

Slide15:

Our view from a top the Pearl

Slide16:

Iceland provides healthcare for all of its citizens and considers it a necessity and right of each citizen. Despite this the cost per resident is only $3,800 and the quality of care is ranked #15. Compare this to the US per capita cost at $9,400 and a #37 rank with respect to quality of care. The water is so pure that in most cases it does not require treatment and is quite nice right out of the tap.

Slide17:

Large 3D map of Iceland located in the Reykjavik city hall. Reykjavik City Hall exteriors

Slide18:

Water fowl on the lake outside Reykjavik City Hall

Slide19:

Icelandic view of their Govern- ment Officials

Slide20:

Despite common perception Iceland is not a land of ice and snow. There are several large glaciers, but winter temperatures are actually quite mild. It seldom stays below freezing for extended periods an daytime temperatures can reach the mid-50s. It was low to mid 40s during our stay, but reached the mid-60s the day before our arrival. We experienced some rain during our stay, but it was mostly just a heavy mist.

Slide21:

Location of the initial seat of Government near Lake Þórisvatn . Iceland is arguably the world's oldest parliamentary democracy, with the Parliament, the Althingi , established in 930.

Slide22:

Þórisvatn Lake is the 2nd largest in Iceland and it is located in the area that was the original seat of the Althingi government. There are two varieties of fish in the lake. Both the German Brown Trout and the Atlantic Char grow to very large sizes. Locals are able to fish from the shore, but fishing from boats is not allowed. The deepest section is 108 meters (approx. 340’). The water is so crystal clear that you can see the bottom from the surface, eve n in the deepest sections.

Slide23:

Iceland is the oldest new world democracy dating back to the 10 th century AD (Circa 930 AD) when Norse Vikings settled the Island to escape the rule of the royalty. Circa 1050 AD they developed a system known as the Althingi which allowed for each tribal region (initially four regions) to appoint nine representatives (judges) to come to the annual gathering to establish laws and trade goods. All free men were invited to attend the event.

Slide24:

Gullfoss (Golden Waterfalls). At the bottom of the falls is an 80 meter (approx.. 265’) deep gorge that runs for about 2 miles. The average amount of water running down the waterfall is 140 cubic metres (4,900 cu  ft ) per second in the summer and 80 cubic metres (2,800 cu  ft ) per second in the winter. The river is fed by the melt of the 2nd largest glazier in Iceland.  

Slide25:

We are visited an area that featured a massive Gullfoss (Golden Waterfalls). At the bottom of the falls is an 80 meter (approx.. 265’) deep gorge that runs for about 2 miles. The average amount of water running down the waterfall is 140 cubic metres (4,900 cu  ft ) per second in the summer and 80 cubic metres (2,800 cu  ft ) per second in the winter. The river is fed by the melt of the largest glazier in Iceland ( Vantajokull )

Slide26:

Gorge at the exit from Gullfoss Falls is approx. 265 ‘ deep and extends for about 2 miles.

Slide27:

Iceland has been growing at a rate of 1.17% in recent years compared to .81% for the US. For years the country was populated primarily with Northern Europeans, Islanders are welcoming to all ethnic groups and as a result has a small but rapidly growing minority of over 7%. There are over 100 nationality groups currently residing in country!

Slide28:

Geyser area. This one would go off about every 5 minutes.

Slide29:

Jeanette makes some new friends at the Geysers.

Slide30:

Iceland has been growing at a rate of 1.17% in recent years compared to .81% for the US. For years the country was populated primarily with Northern Europeans. Icelanders are welcoming to all ethnic groups and as a result has a small but rapidly growing minority of over 7%. There are over 100 nationality groups currently residing in country!

Slide31:

Smaller falls, but notice the salmon ladder on the left

Slide32:

Iceland is the safest Country in the world (New Zealand is #4). The US does not rank in the top 25. The murder rate is below .3 in 100,000 per year! Compare this to the US at 3.9. The police do not carry guns. There is a very high rate of private gun ownership but the gun laws are stricter than in the US. There is no guaranteed right to own a gun in Iceland. You may only own a gun with permission of the government.

Slide33:

Lots of murals in Reykjavik. Below is a very cool one on a retail shop.

Slide34:

All sales of guns are registered and kept with an official registrar. You must demonstrate a valid purpose for owning a firearm. "Self Defense" is specifically not a valid purpose for owning a firearm. You may only own a firearm if you have done the required training and you are 18 years old. A unique identifying mark is required by law on all guns.

Slide35:

Famous hot dog stand in Reykjavik central. Not sure if this is the one Bill Clinton raved about on his visit ?

Slide36:

While prices are steep we found all of our dining experiences pleasant and in some cases exceptional. We were keen to try the lamb and after considerable research we found a restaurant in town that served both lamb filet and land shank with vegetables for $36 per main course. Both the presentation and quality were outstanding.

Slide37:

Wale Museum in Reykjavik. Life size replicas of about two dozen wales.

Slide38:

Horn of the Narwhal (bottom left ) was sold to Royalty (as a scam) as a Unicorn horn.

Slide39:

The primary tourist attraction for Iceland is the Northern Lights. We were able to view them. While not as spectacular as some of the video you may have seen, we were lucky since it was the only night they were visible over a two week span.

Slide40:

The Northern Lights from Iceland — Photo of what we saw

Slide41:

The Northern Lights from Iceland — Photo of what others have seen