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Iceland

Travel ideas for Iceland - unique sights, worth Guinness records

Hekla

From the series “The Most Active Volcanoes in the World”
One of the main national symbols of Iceland is Hekla volcano. Its height is 1,488 meters. Locals began to implement continuous monitoring of volcano activity in the second half of the 9th century. During that time, strong eruptions occurred more than 20 times. The increased activity of the volcano was recorded in the Middle Ages; during that period locals gave him a resounding informal name, ’Gateway to Hell.’
One of the main features of the volcano remains its unique eruption process, so it’s incredibly difficult to predict the onset of another disaster, as well as its specifics. Locals refer to the volcano with great reverence and consider it to be national pride; its current name is very symbolic and amazing. Hekla is translated from Icelandic as ‘short raincoat with a hood.’ This the name was given to the volcano because its top often shrouded in a dense fog and clouds afar making it look like a giant silhouette of a raincoat.
The last major eruption was in 2000. Currently, forest areas located on the slopes of the mount have a great value. They were almost completely destroyed as a result of volcanic and human activities. Thus, there was launched a unique project aimed to restore about 90,000 hectares of forest on the slopes of Hekla. This project is the most ambitious in Europe. Modern tourists have an opportunity to walk through the most beautiful foothills and hike very close to the mouth of one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. ... Complete sights collection

Gullfoss

From the series “Greatest Waterfalls on Earth”
The real national symbol of Scotland is Gullfoss waterfall (“Golden Falls”) located on the river Hvita. This waterfall has a very unusual structure. It consists of two massive ‘’staircases’’ that have a height of 21 and 11 meters. No less interesting is the fact that the “staircases’’ are disposed at right angles to each other.
The strength of the stream began to attract people more than a hundred years ago. There was much speculation about using Gullfoss to generate electricity. In 1920 a hydroelectric power station was under development in this area. As it turned out during the preparatory work the construction of power station threatened the existence of the unique natural object, so the advanced ideas were denied.
Many beautiful legends are connected with the waterfall. According to one of them a local girl named Sigriudyur Toumasdouttir was so worried about the fate of the waterfall that threw herself down its highest ledge in desperation. No official confirmation of the tragic events is known, however, one can see a beautiful statue of Sigriudyur on one of the ledges. The locals consider her the patroness of nature. Many travellers are seeking to visit the Gullfoss in summer when it demonstrates its real power during a flood. The waterfall is really sledgehammer so the sky above is rarely clear. Evaporation level is so high that thick clouds are formed incessantly and a thick fog hovers over the waterfall in calm weather. ... Complete sights collection

Skaftafell Ice Cave

From the series “Fantastic and Colorful Caves Inside the Earth”
In Iceland, in the territory of the Skaftafell National Park there is an amazing ice cave with the same name. Ice caves in general are considered a very special kind of geological formations. They appear on the edge of glaciers and can exist only a few decades. Skaftafell Ice Cave, as well as other caves similar to it, has been formed under the influence of thawed waters. They are accumulated on the surface of a glacier and penetrate into its smallest cracks, gradually leading to the formation of huge galleries.
The ice cave looks incredibly beautiful. In the daytime the light hits the walls of the glacier and stains the cave in a rich blue colour. Visiting the cave is allowed only in winter, when low temperatures hold ice together. In summer, the cave can collapse at any time. Being inside an ice tunnel is incredibly dangerous. Even in winter tourists may be intimidated by the constant crackling of ice that is heard inside the cave. In fact, there is nothing frightening in such sounds. Not the walls of the cave are cracking, but the glacier itself, which is in constant motion.
Skaftafell Cave is located in the lagoon of the Svinafelljökull glacier and is considered one of the most special of its kind. For hundreds of years, ice here has been compressed in such a way that it almost completely lacks air bubbles. This feature of the glacier allows it to absorb sunlight completely, except for its blue fraction, which leads to a fantastic blue glow inside the cave. ... Complete sights collection

Hakarl Rotten Shark in Cafe Loki Restaurant

From the series “The Most Disgusting Dishes in the World”
The most famous and impressive delicacy in Iceland is hakarl, rotten shark meat. This delicacy is able to strike with its odor and appearance rather than taste. Rough viking meal is cooked the same way as long time ago. Greenland shark meat is cut and then hung on special wooden supports. Chefs have to wait patiently until it reaches the desired stage of decay. It is important to note that hakarl may be cooked of shark fillet or shark stomach. Experts claim that these two types of meat are very different in taste.
The smell of rotting shark meat is terrible. Farms specializing in its production smell like a dirty public toilet. After cutting and packing, the shark meat becomes more attractive. It is cut into small cubes and packed in bags under vacuum. You can buy local delicacy in many grocery stores. For locals, hakarl has long become an important national symbol. The festive table can’t be complete without it. The shark meat is especially popular in Christmas period.
Locals believe that if on Christmas Eve you will eat a few slices of smelly meat, the whole year you will remain steadfast and strong, like a true Viking. This unusual method of cooking shark meat is not accidental. Eating this meat fresh is very dangerous due to the high content of urea. After proper exposure, the meat becomes safe. Gourmets will like visiting Iceland in January, during Thorrablot annual gastronomic festival. Its guests can enjoy not only hakarl, but other popular dishes of the rugged Vikings. ... Complete sights collection

Rock Hvitserkur

From the series “Top 15 Most Fantastic Creations of Nature”
Incredibly beautiful places and formations, in the existence of which is hard to believe, can be found in Iceland. Hvitserkur Rock is in the north of Vatnsnes peninsula off the coast. It is also known to tourists under its unofficial name, the Drinking Dinosaur. This huge rock actually reminds of a dinosaur that bowed its head to the water. This rock was formed by an erosion. Under influence of the environment, it’s steadily destroying. To preserve the amazing natural heritage, it was decided to strengthen the rock with concrete.
The rock of 15 meters height is located in the Gulf of Hunafloi. Every day, hundreds of tourists come to admire it. The best time to visit the attraction is low tide, as you can go to the rock along the sandy coast. At high tide, the rock is completely surrounded by water, which allows to make a lot of spectacular pictures. Many travelers prefer to admire the rock at sunset, when it looks especially mysterious.
Hvitserkur rock has another special feature. For many years, it serves a permanent place of bird habitats. White spots on the rocks, which can be easily seen in the daytime, are nothing but the result of vital activity of birds. An amazing legend about the troll Hvitserkur is related to this place. That creature was unhappy with new human settlements appearing at the coast. Then he planned to destroy the village at night. He went there accompanied by his son. However, he missed quite a bit of time to get to the place and, with the first rays of the sun, turned into stone. ... Complete sights collection

Surtsey Island

From the series “Top 11 Dangerous Spots for Adrenaline-Seekers”
In Iceland, there is also a place that is highly undesirable to visit. That’s the Surtsey island. It was formed quite recently, during the eruption of an underwater volcano in 1963. The site immediately caught the attention of scientists. For more than 50 years, it remains a place of scientific experiments and studies. The island is 2.7 square km. For scientists, it is a visual model of the appearance of the volcanic island and origin of the life on it.
Now, the scientists observe how the life is developed on the island. The first bacteria has colonized it in only a few hours after the onset of the volcanic pumice over the water. Access to the island is prohibited to unauthorized persons, although it doesn’t show a direct threat to life and health. Casual visitors can jeopardize the purity of one of the most important experiments in the history of the mankind. Continuing their research, scientists expect to shed light on the theory of the origin of life on Earth, which still hides many mysteries.
Surtsey is a unique nook of the world, almost completely protected from people. Already in the early years, birds have been attracted to the volcanic island. Plant seeds fell to the ground with their droppings. It’s possible to detect some forms of plants and mosses and lichens on the island. Spiders, worms, flies, and various types of beetles are among its main inhabitants. They attract birds to the island. Tourists can’t set a foot on the island, but anyone can admire it from afar during a boat ride. ... Complete sights collection

Ellidaey Island

From the series “The Most Cozy Towns Full of Zen”
Those who want to stay away from the bustling cities and oppressive manifestations of a civilization have to go to Iceland, to the island of Ellidaey. It is located in the Atlantic Ocean in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. The area of ​​this tiny picturesque island is about 0.5 square km. If you look at the island from afar, it resembles a large hill with a steep slope. The place attracts travelers with its peaceful surroundings and picturesque scenery.
The island has formed about 5 000 years ago after an eruption of a volcano. For several hundred years, people have been living in its territory. They have being engaged in cattle breeding and fisheries. However, already by 1930, all the locals left the island and today it is uninhabited. The island is home to many birds. Watchers come there from all over the world.
Ellidaey Island has another amazing feature. A lot of puffins reside on its territory. Hunting them has been an important fishery for local people hundreds of years ago. Even now, some Irish hunters regularly visit the island for fishing. A small house with a sauna was built for them on the island.  Only hunters from the local association may visit the island. The island of Ellidaey is available for everybody within the framework of the usual tourist excursions. That’s an ideal place to get out of the daily bustle and admire the marvelous sea views. There are several small uninhabited islands next to Ellidaey. ... Complete sights collection

Lagoon Bar

From the series “The Most Extraordinary Bars and Café on the Planet”
Not everyone knows about luxurious balneological health resort – Lagoon Bar. Life-giving thermae, that is located there, do not freeze even in winter. In that season they are like beautiful natural pools among the snow. Several years ago, a comfortable resort has been formed there. And one of the most unusual bars was opened here. According to enjoying the hydrotherapeutic procedures in a huge pool, you can try original cocktails and some chasers.
The usual uniform of the waitresses of the bar are original swimming suits. Girls are ready to bring the order to any part of the lagoon. In the bar you can try not only popular cocktails but also branded ice-cream, handmade baguette and a lot of other cunning snacks. For those, who want to do something after the water procedures the large terraces with tables are available.
The temperature of the water in the lagoon is about 40 degrees even in winter. That's why cool tankards are very popular. Lagoon Bar is 200 meters wide and for the last years it was modified in the unique SPA complex. In addition to the bar you can find a great restaurant. Also, the visitors can go to the medical clinic and even walk around the nearby shops, that are located on the complex's territory. The SPA complex was opened in 1999. At first, the locals found and liked this lake. If you are looking for the most outstanding bar in the world – come here! ... Complete sights collection

Northern Lights Bar

From the series “The Most Extraordinary Bars and Café on the Planet”
In Ireland there is an outstanding bar for people who want to watch the polar light. This bar is located in a picturesque place, near Reykjavik, among the endless lava fields in a futuristic building. In it you can also find a modern ION Hotel, that is very popular among people who want to get away from the noisy cities.
The main peculiarity of the bar is a high ceiling and panoramic windows instead of the walls. Nothing will bother you adoring the polar light. For the bar’s decoration there were used natural wood and glass. These materials make the decor natural and relaxing. The visitors can try not only popular cocktails but also national dishes, that are made from the home-made products. The bar has several furnished rooms for travelers, who want to stay for several days in this place. The apartments are also decorated in natural style. There you will see big pictures with animals on the walls and nice light parquet on the floor. In the whole world it is hard to find more stylish and comfortable place for watching the polar light. Not far from the bar the outstanding natural landmarks are situated: the national park Thingvellir, a wonderful river and some waterfalls. ... Complete sights collection

Giant rifts in Iceland

From the series “Dangerous Faults and Rifts of Earth Crust”
Last years the researchers keep a close eye to the Iceland volcanoes. Earlier their power and dangerousness were underestimated. On the territory of the island, you can see several faults of the earth that has appeared after the movements of Eurasia and North American tectonic plates. The plates go from each other year by year for 7 mm. At the first glance, it seems not so crucial. However, for the last 10 000 years, the fault became bigger for 70 meters. If we put together these measures with the Earth age, these changes are drastically big.
Some scientists think that the main part of the fault is covered with glaciers. Their melt can become a reason for the increase of the fault. The overheated substance under the earth is covered with a huge amount of ice. If this ice melt and the water come to the fault, the large catastrophe won't pass away. That’s why ecologists and researchers from the whole world see the global warming as the main reason for the imminent lithosphere catastrophe.
Nowadays near the fault there are a lot of large cities and villages. They can be drastically destroyed after a small earthquake. Powerful Iceland volcanos were the reason of numerous large catastrophes of the 18th century. From them had suffered a lot of European cities and even Egypt. The explosions were so tremendous that their ash destroyed all agricultural fields of Egypt. This period of time was quite hard for the country. In 1784 the next explosion led to long-lasting temperature fall in the North part of the world. ... Complete sights collection
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W Hotels Adds One More Hotel in China

W Hotel in Changsha is conveniently located in the heart of the city, close to its business and shopping districts. It is also easy to reach the hotel from Changsha Huanghua International Airport – it takes only 30 minutes by car to get to it. The Changsha South Railway Station is even closer – within a 15-minute drive. The railway offers a simple connection to large cities like Beijing, Hong Kong, and Macau via a high-speed express. Changsha is a modern and futuristic city, and the hotel reflects this in its playful and even somewhat provocative design inspired by outer space. Read this

16.09.2021

Photogallery of landmarks of Iceland

Trip ideas for regions of Iceland

Reykjavik
One of the most remarkable entertaining centers of the destination is the Laugardalslaug leisure center. It is located in a few minute walk from the city center. The main feature of the entertaining complex is a huge swimming-pool with water slopes, being a perfect destination for a family visit. Some night clubs of Reykjavik are the worldwide known entertaining establishments. The most famous clubs among them are Pravda and NASA. Every weekend the clubs offer fantastic entertaining programs … Read more
Keflavik
Active tourists would probably be interested in visiting Keflavik in the warm season when the largest number of activities is available to them. In the vicinity of the city are dozens of hiking trails perfect for admiring the local natural beauty. If you do not want to walk on foot, you can go exploring natural attractions by bike. Besides that, horse riding tours are organized here in the summer season. Lava fields that have been formed in these places after numerous volcanic eruptions are … Read more
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