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Iceland, More Then the Blue Lagoon
Think of Iceland and the first thing that comes to mind is the Blue Lagoon (which I must add, is amazing) but what else does this geothermal wilderness have to offer?
The Pearl - built on top of huge hot water tanks that heat the city, this dome shaped building has a revolving restaurant, a observation tower offering 360 views of the capital with it's mountainous backdrop, and a museum with waxworks of ancient sagas who tell their tale of the country's viking history.
Hallgrimskirkja Church - "a church", I hear you cry but this is no ordinary church! It's a church with a jagged difference: jagged that is in terms of architecture. Built over a period of 40 years, the tower can be seen from almost everywhere in the city and stands above the colourful chalet type buildings as a beacon.
Jokulsarlon - a glacier lagoon dubbed 'nature's ever-changing sculpture park.' This stunning landscape is dotted with small icebergs and fragments of glacier that constantly shift. It's a six hour drive from Reijaviek and is part of a "Golden Circle tour", which takes in many of Iceland's landmarks including natural geysirs and hot springs.
Mount Eyjafjallajokull glacier - the famous volcano that erupted all over the world (literally) in headlines when it caused travel disruption in 2010. A day tour will take you here and you even get two icy waterfalls thrown in for the price.
Whale Watching - over twenty types of whale can be seen in the Icelandic waters, the most popular being minke and humpback whales, (although these are also popular in restaurants with diners). Puffin colonies lay off the coast of the capital and it is estimated that Iceland has over 8 million puffins (and yes, they do eat these as well).
Reykjavik itself has many weird and wacky statues that give the capital it's charm but don't expect anyone to rush here, they take everything at their own pace. Icelanders appear to be nocturnal and you won't find many on the streets until after the midnight hour but with the country having nearly 24 hours of daylight in the summer, you can say that the city never sleeps. Contrary to belief, prices aren't that steep, since Iceland suffered in the recession, food and drink are now a modest London fee.
If you're lucky enough to have longer than a weekend here, hire a car and explore the rest of the island. Activities are aplenty, try your hand at snowmobiling, dogsledding, glacier walking (all year round), or if you want to see what lays under this fascinating country then try lava tube caving. Of course there's always the Northern Lights to keep you entertained between October and March.
But a trip to Iceland would not be complete without a visit to the milky blue, bubbling waters of the Blue Lagoon, after all it probably was what drew you to this country in the first place.
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