Go to Iceland – I know it sounds very strange but look at the country. Although I would want to go in the summer but winter time has the northern lights. It is one of the few countries that is self sustaining other than fuel for autos (they’re working on it). They are the happiest people on earth, enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world and the life expectancy is one of the highest in the world with a comprehensive state health-care system. They are the world leader in clean energy using geo-thermal resources for power. They do not have an army and have never had war although in WWII ships hid on the waters surrounding the country. I found the Today Show fascinating as they traveled to several places today. I will have to expand my travel list. Watch tomorrow.
I know this is a long post that many are not many are going to find all that interesting. Think of it as a geography lesson.
Then the Today Show decides to take a tour…
DIRECT FROM ICELAND!
See Iceland on the NBC TODAY SHOW, Monday and Tuesday, November 17 – 18, from 7 – 10 a.m. local time.
As part of “TODAY Goes to the Ends of the Earth,” the popular morning news and entertainment program is sending Al Roker to Iceland to report live, starting Monday. Roker will examine the changing climate of Iceland, and will also take a look at the dramatic efforts the country has made to use water as an alternative energy source.
“We’re going to head to fragile yet beautiful places for an up-close look at how the planet is changing, and what those changes mean for all of us,” said America’s favorite weatherman.
"In Iceland, water means power, literally. The country uses its waterfalls, geysers, hot springs and rivers to provide electricity and heat to the entire country through alternative hydroelectric and geothermal energies. The country boasts more than 200 volcanoes and more than 10,000 waterfalls. Roker will broadcast from Gullfoss, one of the most powerful waterfalls in Iceland, and from the famous Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik, the closest capital city to the Arctic Circle."
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF ICELAND
A visit to Iceland gives you more choices for your vacation. In a single day you can walk on a glacier, watch graceful whales, read the ancient Sagas and indulge in award-winning cuisine. Iceland has unforgettable nature which begins on the doorstep of its clean and friendly cities and ends miles from human settlements. You can spend your time indoors in many museums and galleries, shopping for the latest designer fashions, or in a coffee house enjoying a frothy cappuccino. Or you can be outdoors on hikes, at festivals and parades or relaxing in the country’s famous outdoor thermal swimming pools. The choice to roam as you please, to explore and have fun, is the key to the Iceland experience.
Land Iceland is an island of almost 40,000 square miles, the same size as Ohio. Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnjukur, is 6,500 feet. Iceland has the largest glaciers in Europe – in fact, 11% of the country is covered by glaciers. The coastline is dotted with more than one hundred fjords and green, fertile valleys extend from many of them. Iceland also has more than 10,000 waterfalls and countless hot springs. A lot of the country is technically uninhabitable.
Economy Iceland’s economy is heavily dependent upon fisheries, which are the nation’s greatest resource. Seventy-two percent of all exports are made up of seafood products. Yet only a small proportion of the workforce is active in this sector (4.4% in fishing and 5.6% in fish processing). About 66% of the workforce is employed in services. Icelanders enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Energy Situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a hot spot of geothermal activity. Thirty volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries, and natural hot water supplies much of the population with cheap, pollution-free heating. Rivers are harnessed to provide inexpensive hydroelectric power. For visitors, this also means access to the country’s hundreds of clean and friendly geo-thermally heated outdoor swimming pools, a true Icelandic experience.
Caving: Iceland has some of the world’s longest lava-tube caves, which can be explored on your own or with a number of experienced tour operators.
Swimming: Thanks to an abundance of hot water, swimming is probably the most popular activity in Iceland. Almost every town and village has a swimming pool, usually outdoors, which is filled with hot water to a comfortable temperature and kept open year round. Many people enjoy swimming lengths in the pools, but most go to sit in the circular “hot pots” and have a good chat with their friends. The hot pots have temperatures ranging from 97 – 111°F (36 – 44°C).
Glacier tours: Glaciers cover 10% of Iceland’s surface, and can be explored on snowmobiles, skis, dog sleds, and Jeeps.
Waterfall tours Don’t fence us in …. one thing visitors immediately notice about visiting Iceland’s 10,000 waterfalls is that the scenery is rarely obstructed by fences or other barricades. The Godafoss ("Waterfall of the Gods”) waterfall between Akureyri and Myvatn is where we found this particularly brave fellow.
Museums and Galleries