Iceland by by anieto2k on FlickrIceland is the only European country that I have not visited.

Technically, only about half of the country is in Europe, as it exists right in the middle of the tectonic plate that divides Europe and North America.

Because it lives on a crack in the earth, an astounding amount of geological activity takes place there. Erupting olcanoes, boiling hot springs, and soaring mountains litter the landscape.

I can't wait to visit it one day. My dream is to walk across it like my friend Jonathan Ley did.

Since I know little about Iceland, I accepted this article written by Allison Turner.

Interesting Facts About Icelanders

Boats in Iceland by manumilouAll countries and cultures have their own unique quirks, it just seems Iceland has a few more of these quirks than other places. The key to this charming strangeness comes from the people that inhabit the land itself, the native Icelanders. Here are four interesting facts that you may not have known about Icelanders.

Surnames Do Not Exist

The majority of Icelanders (save for a few family names left from foreigners marrying into an Icelandic family) do not have a surname, which is why they call everyone by their first name. The last name is made from their father’s or mother’s first name with the addition of daughter or son. That also means that women keep their last names when they get married.

Everyone Knows Everyone

Ok, maybe they don’t know everyone, but Icelanders have a big interest in genealogy and family. So much so that there’s a resource online called “The Book of Icelanders” that people can use to find out how someone is related to them. Their love affair with genealogy might seem strange at first, until you realize that this is a country with less than 400,000 inhabitants.

Icelanders Believe in Elves

While clearly not every Icelander believes in elves, according to various polls taken over a period of time, the majority of Icelanders do in fact believe in them. However, these aren’t the elves that you see at Christmas with the pointy ears, instead they’re the same size as humans - just invisible. There are many different tales regarding how the elves originated in Icelandic folklore, but one thing remains - Icelanders both believe and respect these creatures!

Icelanders Eat Raw Puffin Heart

Every country has its own, strange delicacies and customs. Icelanders seem to prefer to eat only the cutest of animals. A puffin is a small bird with black and white feathers and an oversized beak, and is absolutely adorable. However, Icelanders love to eat this small bird, and raw puffin heart is considered a delicacy. A cute, adorable, delicacy.

From days with 24/7 sunlight to a belief in woodland creatures, Iceland is a strange, wonderful country. It's enduring popularity means that you'll find a host of travel blogs offering holiday ideas and itineraries. It’s one of those places that you have to see it to believe, and once people experience it for themselves, it seems they can’t help coming back.

This post was written by Allison Turner. To write your own post, review my guidelines first.

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