Five Things About Iceland We’d Hate to See Melt Away

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iceland1Iceland has it rough right now. All of their largest banks have failed, inflation is rampant, and debt is running sky high. Last week, Prime Minister Geir Haarde stepped down, making Iceland’s government the first to actually collapse as a direct result of the global financial crisis. 

And it’s not just the economy. Because us Americans can’t give up our SUVs (fine, there are other reasons, too), the average summer temperature in Iceland has risen dramatically over the past two decades. Icebergs cover 11 percent of the country, and they’re melting. Quickly.  The damage is irreversible and, if it continues, could make the sea level rise by as much as 230 feet, wiping out  islands and coastal areas across the globe. (No more beaches? Oh, hell no.)

Poor Iceland. Bjork defected years ago, so what else is left to love? Turns out, a lot! 

Below are five reasons we don’t want to give Iceland the cold shoulder during their time of need:

  • It’s not just a destination for cold-lovers. Iceland has 800 hot springs, more than any other country in the world.It also has volcanoes and geysers, special hot springs that erupt periodically. 
  • The skies are gorg. If you visit Iceland during the winter you might be able to see the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. These colorful light displays in the sky are like natural fireworks and can only be seen in a handful of places close to the North Pole.
  • Seriously happening clubs and bars. The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, is world-renowned for its nightlife. Here, the eclectic music scene and great beer keep people out on the cobblestone streets until dawn.
  • Tipping is considered insulting. Good news for those of us on a budget. 
  • One-of-a-kind eats. Traditional delicacies in Iceland include: burnt sheep head, putrefied shark and smoked puffin. For folks not that adventurous, Iceland also has great chocolate, licorice and coffee. Mmmm.
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