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Þormóður Símonarson

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I have traveled north and south America as well as Europe mainland, British isles and Iceland. My knowledge of Iceland can help visitors experience this country to the fullest.
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The difference between heaven and hell

There is and old joke about the difference between heaven and hell being that in heaven the English will greet you, the French will to the cooking, the Italians handle the entertainment and the Germans will organise everything. In hell, on the other hand, apparently the French will greet you, the English will cook, the Germans will do the entertaining and the Italians will organise everything. Of course we don't take hell very seriously in Iceland. Before Christianity we didn't have a hell here, the only thing that came close was a poorly build house with doors on the north side. So it was qu

Are you enjoying Iceland yet?

I find (and I hope) that no one comes to Iceland for the weather. We have summer and winter, but there can be a week of sunny, bright and still weather for a week, any week of the year. It can also be the other way around with storm and rain for a week - any week of the year. Or one could experience four seasons in one day. This does not have to be a bad thing. The nature is so raw in it's beauty, making rough weather fit nicely. And when the rain or fog cover the mountains afar, it reveals the lava and the green moss up close to the traveler. After all it's only weather, nothing per

Ever heard about the puffin island of Grímsey?

There is a small part of Iceland that reaches north, past the arctic circle. An island by the name of Grímsey. It is not the easiest to access, which makes it a bit of a hidden gem. There is a ferry from Dalvík, traveling time about three hours. The ferry only goes there three times per week, arrives on noon and departs again at 4 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so most only get to enjoy this isle for few hours. There is also a flight available from Akureyri, so staying one night is possible. I went to Grímsey on the 21st of May and returned on the 23rd, so I was there for 52 hours (a

An original way to visit Iceland

The nights are bright in Iceland from late May until the end of July, which gives travelers a unique opportunity. One brilliant way to explore Iceland is to be up and about during the night and sleep during the day.  I have met such a traveler while working in Langaholt, a guesthouse founded by my parents - now owned and run by my brother.  For few days in a row this visitor showed up in the reception about 10 am asking me if he could use the campground until the afternoon (he had a pickup truck with a truck camper). The first two mornings I just told him to go ahead and didn't give it any

Seasonal food in Iceland

Luckily the season for pickled rams testicles is only one month in Iceland and that's February, the shortest month (although it won't seem short to anyone eating only those). But there are other times of year when there is a lot of a particular food on our little island. In April and May each year my father, and many more farmers around Iceland, go about with their boats and nets and catch trout.  As each day adds lots of trouts, great creativity is needed and my brother, Keli Vert at Langaholt guesthouse and restaurant, uses his days now making cured trout, smoked trout, trout paté and

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Look up while in Iceland

One of things I like about Iceland is the sky here. There is something about the combination of the different types (and height) of clouds, the low angle of the sun and the clarity of the air. It all adds up to a very enjoyable sky-gazing. It does not matter if one is hiking and enjoying nature, or doing some task outside (and enjoying nature), looking up and pausing every now and again will add to the experience. I believe the clouds to be one of the main reason humans took to thinking in the 3rd dimension (back in the days a few millenniums ago). And still they have the power to pull

The taste(lessness) of Iceland

There are a lot of different types of food to taste in Iceland, beside the fermented shark. I hope you'll taste the shark as well and I assure you the smell is worse than the taste (as Garfield once said about Odie, that his bark is worse than his bite and also his breath is worse than his bark - I'm not sure why I thought of that). Out of all the tasteless things I have (not) tasted, nothing is better than freshly fallen (arctic) snow. I am talking about white snow, that's the only kind without taste. As I live in rural Iceland, there are a few quirky traditions in the county.

Unusual things to do in Iceland

There are many things you can do in Iceland, not only gaze at the northern lights and bathe in a natural hot pool. Two rather unusual things to do would be sky-diving and reindeer hunting, (although those two can not be combined - so reindeer hunting while sky-diving is not possible in Iceland, at least I'm not aware of it being possible). In spring and fall we have very lovely and brisk breezes, or even gust. Also there are endless lakes all around. So if you bring your wind surfing gear, and a wet-suit, you'll have a great time. Don't book ahead, rather listen to (or read) the

Which roads not to follow in Iceland

When traveling to an island which is a home to only 320 thousand, a first though might be to travel a ring road and see the whole thing. As it turns out we have a road no. 1 - the ring road of Iceland. Unfortunately there are people who only visit places along road no.1 and those miss out on a lot of fabulous places. Among the treasures left out are the "Western fjords" and Snæfellsnes peninsula. In the Western fjords there is almost no lowland and the mountains have flat tops. A trip over there will be long remembered, regardless which time of year one travels. Snæfellsnes is another gem,

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