3 Fun Facts About Iceland

The Book Flood
I learned about this tradition one year when I was researching Icelandic Christmas traditions. Books and reading are a large part of the Icelandic culture. Leading up to Christmas many books are published and books sales increase drastically. Every Christmas Eve, Icelanders must receive a new books and chocolates to take to bed with them. After, it is common for Icelanders to discuss and critique the books they read over the holidays.
Check out this comprehensive article to learn more about this tradition: https://www.npr.org/2012/12/25/167537939/literary-iceland-revels-in-its-annual-christmas-book-flood#:~:text=But%20in%20Iceland%2C%20the%20best,published%20for%20every%201%2C000%20Icelanders.&text=It’s%20a%20national%20tradition%2C%20and,the%20%22Christmas%20Book%20Flood.%22

Icelandic Horses
Icelandic Horses are like no other horse on the planet. They have luscious manes and are quite majestic. Before 1000 AD, Iceland put into law that no other horses can be brought to Iceland and once a horse leaves, it cannot return to Iceland. Because of that, they are one of the purest horse breeds in the world. These horses are coveted and well taken care of. Their average life span is 40 years. They are truly stunning to see in person and the photos you see do not do them justices.
You can take a look at some I saw when I was in Iceland here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CDaD-G_n_Kn/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Icelandic Hot Dogs
Believe it or not, Icelanders love hot dogs. Hot dogs are wildly popular and a must have when you visit. They are made a bit different than American hot dogs. Lamb, pork, and beef are used to make Icelandic hot dogs instead of the pork and beef we are used to. In Iceland, it is common to add lots of toppings! When I was in Iceland I ordered one with everything on it and it was delicious!
If you want to learn more about Iceland hots dogs check out this article: https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2014-08-21/the-one-dish-to-eat-in-iceland

I fell in love with a coffee shop in Selfoss, Iceland.

In the South of Iceland, on route 1, is a little town called Selfoss. We stayed at an Airbnb a few miles from Selfoss. Selfoss quickly grasped my heart. This town had everything we could have asked for; grocery stores, nature, gas stations, shops, and a coffee shop.

Bokakaffid is a book store and coffee shop rolled into one. There are little tables tucked in every corner of this quaint book store. They shelves are lined with Icelandic and English books of all sorts.

It was a dream sitting in this coffee shop/ book store relaxing on the days we weren’t driving all over. I ordered my favorite espresso drink, a cappuccino, and paroozed the bookshelves. I also was able to grab Kleinur, which is an Icelandic donut. I quickly fell in love with this coffee shop.

There were many coffee shops in Iceland that had great coffee and that I enjoyed their atmosphere, but Bokakaffid really topped them all.

I cannot wait to return to Selfoss one day and spend an afternoon drinking coffee and relaxing there.

You can learn more about Selfoss here: https://www.south.is/en/inspiration/towns/selfoss

You can learn more about Bokakaffid here: https://bokakaffid.business.site/

You can learn more about Kleinur here: https://www.biteoficeland.com/kleinur-icelandic-doughnuts/

The Tale of the Quick Moving Ocean

Traveling Truths about Iceland

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling. The truth is though, traveling can be tough and isn’t always glamorous. Iceland was a magical and gorgeous place to explore but it did come with a slew of unexpected challenges.


The Tale of the Quick Moving Ocean

On the first full day in Iceland, our group traveled to the Snaefellness Peninsula to see some seals. After a long drive from Husafell, tired and excited, we walked out to the beach and moved quickly toward the seals lounging on the rocks. I had dreamed about this moment for a long time and couldn’t believe I was seeing these seals for the first time!! I spot three seals laying on rocks not too far from some rocks that jet out into the water. Wanting to see them up close and spotting a prime location for an Insta pic, I make my way out onto the rocks. I dragged my boyfriend along with me to see the seals. On our journey, we started crossing some rocks with crunchy seaweed and then through an inch of water left over from the tide.

As we made our way out, we started crossing over some slippery seaweed on top of the rocks so we had to be careful not to slip. Once we got all the way out to the edge, we were able to see the seals perfectly! I even had my boyfriend take a killer picture of me for Instagram! We could see my family looking at another seal far off in the distance. After a few minutes, we wanted to head where they were so we began to make our way back to the shore. As we made our way back, we noticed that the path we originally took was no longer the path back. In the 5 – 10 minutes we were out on the rocks, the tide had risen. As we started looking for a new path to take, we realized that the water had risen to over knee deep. Slightly panicked, my boyfriend and I took off our boots and rolled up our pants and waded through the knee-deep water.

Luckily, we made it through the water with only our pants wet. Had we been out on the rocks for even 2 more minutes, we might have been chest deep in cold Atlantic ocean water. When researching about traveling to Iceland, I had read a lot about tourists getting caught in waves that come up on the beaches rather quick. I had read many articles about the water being unpredictable on beaches in Iceland. Even though I did my homework, the excitement about the trip got the best of me on that first day and I almost ended up in a ton of trouble because of it.

Traveling can be wild, amazing, and awe-inspiring. When traveling, please keep in mind that cautions that come along with it. Listen to people who have traveled to the locations you are traveling to. Stay safe and keep on traveling!