Tag Archives: iceland

Iceland is my newest addiction

So I’m back from Iceland and boy am I glad I went!

You know how people always rave about how surreal Iceland is when they get back? Well it’s true, it is surreally beautiful, it does look like the moon.

Or at least what we think the moon likes like.

But yeah, Iceland is pretty amazing. There are few countries I would use the word amazing but Iceland is defintely one of them.

The people are nice and genuine, nothing American “I”m saying hi but I’m still walking cos I don’t really want to know if you are really alright” fakeness. When you talk to an Icelander, you know you are talking to a stranger. A nice helpful stranger but they don’t pretend otherwise.

Which to me is nice.

The landscape is awesome. Everything is so rugged and majestic, you feel like you are in “Lord of the Rings” except that this is even more magical.

Check out the moonscape:

gulfoss

Isn’t that gorgeous?

That’s Gulfoss, one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. It was freezing (I risked my fingers everytime I took a photo) but we stood there the longest time looking at it.

The Icelandic countrysides were really an exercise in beauty, there were just so many things to look at. Including cute “My little pony” horsies.

horses

Surprisingly these horses were really friendly. You would think they are grouchy standing out in the cold all day.

We spent 2 days out in the countryside and 3 days in the capital Reykjavik. I wanted to like Reykjavik more and I do like it but as a city, it’s not the greatest. It’s a cute city no doubt but I would probably have more fun in Copenhagen, Oslo or the other scandi capitals.

I do like the houses there though. The cute box houses you find in Northern Europe.

houses

But above all, I love love love Blue Lagoon. It’s awesome. You feel like Frodo entering Mordor but when you are in the pool, the -yes I’m going to say it again- beauty just really strikes you. You kind of wonder around dumbstruck cos the colors just amaze you.

blue

And that’s only on the outside, check out the inside of the lagoon.

blue2

It’s like sleepwalking in a dream.

Iceland, wait for me. I’ll be back!

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It’s a long cold winter for Iceland

I’m fascinated by the implosion that is Iceland.

I’m sure everybody knows that the economy is not great here in the US and every country is now paying for the subprime trouble that started last year. With the US economy tanking, major markets around the world has been feeling spillover effects – Europe’s economy is already in recession, Asia is anticipating a drastic slowdown, South America’s suffering from the double whammy of lower commodity and fuel prices and even Russia has lost much of its petroarrogance.

In short, America’s problem is really everybody’s problem.

But Iceland really epitomizes the dark side of globalization. The country is bankrupt and has nationalized all three of its banks. The country is reaching out to Russia and scandinavian countries for help. Inflation is at 16% while its currency has dropped close to 100% in value.

Okie, the icelanders are probably not smiling like this now and it is truly  scary to see how things can change so fast for a country.

New York Times’ Thomas Friedman described the surreality of Iceland’s situation well with this line:

“Who knew? Who knew that Iceland was just a hedge fund with glaciers? Who knew?