Rabu, 02 Juni 2010

Iceland

Last in the mini-series of Norse countries with Danish connections is Iceland. I was going to say it's not just volcanoes, but actually it pretty much is. A bleak and barren land with a majesterial beauty of it's own. It's too far north for trees to grow, which is something I'd miss for sure. Iceland is a land being torn in half. At the rift, you can move between two tectonic plates: the Eurasian plate on one side and the North American plate on the other. Nasa image of Iceland:


Iceland is a European island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It has a population of about 320,000 and a total area of 103,000 km2 (39,769 sq mi). The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with the surrounding area being home to some two-thirds of the national population.


Iceland is volcanically and geologically active on a large scale. The interior mainly consists of a plateau characterised by sand fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate despite its high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle.


According to Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in AD 874 when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfur Arnarson became the first permanent Norwegian settler on the island. Others had visited the island earlier and stayed over winter.


Over the following centuries, people of Norse and Gaelic origin settled in Iceland, from 1262 to 1918 it was part of the Norwegian, and later the Danish monarchies. Until the 20th century, the Icelandic population relied largely on fisheries and agriculture.





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