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Trip to Iceland


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We had some vacation days left so last week we traveled to Iceland. What a beautiful country! Of course, it was quite cold and there was snow everywhere and daylight only last for a few ours from 11 AM to 4 PM. But we knew that was part of the fun. :) 

 

We visited some awesome volcano craters, waterfalls (some frozen) and geysers, bathed in warm geothermal lagoons during a snow storm, and went hiking in snowed mountains. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the northern lights since the sky was cloudy all the time, but in exchange we joined a whale-watching ship and were surrounded by an impressive family of humpback whales. It was absolutely worth it.

 

Unfortunately we weren't able to meet the friends there. We lost our connection flight in Heathrow due to the heavy snow and had to stay in London until Monday morning, so we missed the English meeting at Reykjavik. And on Thursday I was feeling terribly sea-sick and had to stay in bed so we couldn't attend the meeting in Icelandic in Akureiry either. I would have loved to meet the friends. Next time we'll surely make it.

 

The Icelandic language comes from Old Norse, the language the old Vikings spoke, the same as Norwegian, Danish and Swedish. Yet, being so isolated, Icelandic hasn't changed much. Icelanders today can read the old Viking sagas of the 10-13th centuries without much effort. Probably they could communicate quite well with Leif Ericson or Erik the Red if they were resurrected today. :lol:

 

Some interesting details about religion in Iceland. Some 70% of Icelanders belong to the Lutheran church, although as in all of Northern Europe few people attend church services anymore. Another 10% declare themselves convinced atheists, which is a huge percentage compared to most countries. Maybe part of the reason is that every citizen has to declare their religion and pay a tax to sustain their church. There are small numbers of Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox and other churches of Christendom, as well as a few hundreds of Muslims and Buddhists. There are 395 JW publishers grouped in seven congregations, but interestingly almost twice that number identify as JWs when they pay their taxes. What I found more shocking is that there are some 3000-4000 (over 1% of population) who practice the old pagan Viking religion, worshipping gods such as Odin, Thor and Freya. Our guide also told us that around 80% of Icelanders believe in the existence of what they call the "hidden people": elves, trolls, fairies. :shrugs:

 

In 1929 brother Lindal arrived in Iceland and became the first Christian to preach the good news there. For 18 years he went all over the frozen country with the only help of two ponies, and although he distributed many thousands of publications, nobody showed any interest in the truth. Imagine that, 18 years preaching alone, without a student, a meeting, a convention, nothing! In 1947 brother Lindal was assigned to another country and missionaries were sent instead. Today, there are almost 400 JWs in seven congregations, even an English and a Russian congregation in Reykjavik!

 

Edited by carlos
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And carlos, did you know that a few years the Icelandic government enacted a jubilee?  Yes, the Mosaic Law debt-forgiving kind! https://www.npr.org/2014/12/11/370156273/iceland-experiments-with-a-jubilee-of-debt-forgiveness

 

6 hours ago, carlos said:

over 1% of the population practice the old pagan Viking religion, worshipping gods such as Odin, Thor and Freya.

okay this one is news even to me! and very interesting. I wonder if there are experiences in any past magazines of someone who really believed these things but then took the truth, and what about the Kingdom message appealed to them specifically.

Edited by Brandon
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It's alright I guess.. if the pay tills are not packed... 

 

But really, @carlos I'd complain to management, there should 'not' be volcanoes, waterfalls and lagoons in Iceland...

 

Iceland.jpg

Edited by EccentricM
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Carlos, we spent 10 days in Iceland in 2012 -  but in summer, when it doesn't get dark  :D

What did you like most?

 

I also have many nice memories of Iceland. If someone wants to see some pictures: http://www.chrissy-on-tour.de/galerie431379.html  ^_^

 

 

Edited by coonie77
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On 12/19/2017 at 4:20 AM, Gregexplore said:

Wonderful! Photos please......:D

 

We have some pictures but I haven't organized them yet. In the meantime, you can have a look at sister Christina's pics above, we visited many of the same places (only in her pictures there daylight, in ours everything is in twilight).

 

On 12/19/2017 at 6:16 AM, Brandon said:

And carlos, did you know that a few years the Icelandic government enacted a jubilee?  Yes, the Mosaic Law debt-forgiving kind! https://www.npr.org/2014/12/11/370156273/iceland-experiments-with-a-jubilee-of-debt-forgiveness

 

Yes, corrupt politicians sank the country in a huge debt with international banks and the people decided not to pay it. They appealed to a provision made in international laws named "hateful debt". For some time it seemed it was the end of the world but actually nothing happened and Iceland is now quite prosperous.

 

4 hours ago, coonie77 said:

Carlos, we spent 10 days in Iceland in 2012 -  but in summer, when it doesn't get dark  :D

What did you like most?

 

Chrissy, those pictures are gorgeous! Imagine those same places covered with snow and under an evening light. That's the Iceland we saw. :lol: I loved the pseudo-craters and the neverending snow-covered plain (which happened to be a lake actually). It impressed me a lot to see the sea surface frozen in the fjords (what temperature is needed to freeze salty water?). And watching the humpback whales swimming around our boat was a wonderful experience.

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, carlos said:

 

Chrissy, those pictures are gorgeous! Imagine those same places covered with snow and under an evening light. That's the Iceland we saw. :lol: I loved the pseudo-craters and the neverending snow-covered plain (which happened to be a lake actually). It impressed me a lot to see the sea surface frozen in the fjords (what temperature is needed to freeze salty water?). And watching the humpback whales swimming around our boat was a wonderful experience.

 

 

 

 

Sounds great, Carlos! The only thing that prevented me from visiting Iceland in winter is the fact that there's hardly daylight. I become depressed under such circumstances :nope: 

But your description with the snow sounds really fascinating.

I hope you will share some pictures with us as soon as possible.

Wow, you saw whales? Lucky one! We "only" saw dolphins.

 

What impressed me most were the gorgeous waterfalls. :o

They made me feel sooo small....

 

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Carlos we flew through Iceland our stop over being Reykjavik on our way to Helsinki .......we really liked the route because it was a shorter  than going through Amsterdam or England. We spent two months in Finland / Estonia. I think we must have passed each other in the airport . LOL  on our flight from Reykjavik I had a very interesting conversation with an Icelandic gentleman regarding the growth and economy in Iceland found it fascinating.  A coffee at the air port cost $6 Euros  ..... :wacko: ide  love to spend some more time and meet the friends and explore .....thanks for the interesting tid bits.  Your picture “ priceless”! 

 

Thanks Christina for sharing your pictures. 

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