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Transcript of Iceland
Angela Ueng, Cindy Duong, Crystal Truong
Background Information on Iceland
Infrastructure: strong and highly-developed because the country is highly developed and educated
Recent History of Iceland
During World War II, Iceland decided to stay neutral. Although Iceland was its own sovereign kingdom, it remained under the Danish monarchy. When Denmark was under German occupation during the war, British troops occupied Iceland in 1940. In 1941, U.S. troops then took over the defense of Iceland. There, the United States stationed thousands of troops. Iceland’s location was an advantage because its strategic position was perfect for air and naval bases. Even though Iceland cooperated with the Allies and was persuaded to join them during the war, Iceland stayed officially neutral. In 1943, the Treaty of Union with Denmark expired. But, Denmark was still occupied by Nazi Germany. An overwhelming amount of the citizens of Iceland voted to cut all ties with Denmark. This separated Iceland from the Danish monarchy. Iceland became the Republic of Iceland on June 17, 1944. After World War II, Iceland became one of the founding members of NATO. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, Iceland faced fishing and whaling issues. There were disputes over fishing limits, creating “Cod Wars”. Meanwhile, the debate over legal whale hunting also took place. As Iceland moved on to establish closer relationships with Western Europe, the country also experienced an extreme financial crisis where the total banking system was close to collapsing. Today, Iceland has made dramatic recoveries as the country is more economically dominant. Not only is the financial crisis removing its heavy mark on the country, female politicians have been prominent throughout the years. From the first female presidents and prime ministers, Iceland has evolved into a more gender-equal country.
Need to Knows for Iceland
Total Mileage Estimate: 4,769 miles
Currency: Icelandic króna (1 USD = 112.6 ISK)
A passport is sufficient to get into the country
Total Cost: $14,451.54
plane flight: $10,113.00
transportation in Iceland: $244.00
recreational costs: $1,144.00
Highlights of Iceland
NORTHERN LIGHTS (GLYMUR)
SKAFTAFELL NATIONAL PARK
This waterfall is Europe’s most powerful. The huge mass of beauty is immersed in sand, rocks, and boulders. Much of the air is very chilling and unpolluted. The powerful water from the great vatnajökull glacier winds from the highlands of Iceland 45 meters down. The feeling of water specks from all the mist that is formed around the canyon truly creates a memorable experience. This is a very awesome spectacle of the power of nature. We want to visit the Dettifoss waterfall because not only do we want to hike up the beautiful land of Iceland, but we want to also learn to embrace the gracefulness as well as power of such a beautiful waterfall before it’s too late.
This tour takes nearly 8 hours but encompasses so many beauties of Iceland’s natural aspects. The first stop, tourists see the two American and European plates drifting away from each other. You are able to step out of the bus and not only walk on the plate, but also feel the swaying plates under your feet. The next visit was a geisher which tourists were able to see explode in 7-8 minute intervals. The clear blue water bursts created mist to mock the feeling of rain mist. The last stop was Gullfoss waterfall, where powerful water gushed down when tourists get the chance to enjoy the high view of all that Iceland has to offer. We want to see the whole golden circle to truly acknowledge each aspect that makes Iceland different than any other country. Each of these attractions have been naturally formed and barely altered from its originality.
It is a spa that has geothermal water because it is near a geothermal plant. It is actually true that when you swim in the spa, you are swimming through two continents. This is because Iceland sits on top of the Mid Atlantic Ridge: Where North American and European plates are located. Visiting in the winter makes the Blue Lagoon even more valuable because the Northern Lights, Warm water plus hot air combination, and all the summer tourists will be avoided. The lagoon has silica mud which has shown to have medical treatment in it to cure and treat psoriasis and other skin ailments. There is no time limit to in the spa so you can swim around to the water and experience a waterfall massages, and after you can swim to an area where plenty of silica healing mud is located (face masks). The three of us want to take a break from all the stress that we endure during school and we just want to relax and gossip is a beautiful spa.
When pursuing this activity, it makes Iceland much more interesting. You are able to check out various whales that swim alongside in the ocean that we know so little about. Many different breeds are often spotted. The tours are currently located in Reykjavik’s capital oldest harbor. Many of the spots that the tour goes to are filled with various whales. Babies, moms, and large whales are all in the Arctic ocean of Iceland. Many birds are also spotted in the middle of the ocean. Many of these birds are unlike any other that is seen in cities or on TV. We want to go here because we can’t help but dream about the calming ocean waves and the perfection of our endangered wildlife. Our hearts lie with the slowly decreasing population for our large water fishes. We are so concerned with the outcome of our planet Earth, and what our future will look like in a few years. We want to get as close as we can to whales before they become a thing of the past.
The Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) are one of the most magnificent sights on the planet, and Iceland is just the place to see them. A dark place, away from city lights is the ideal setting to see this mysterious lights. The colder the temperature, the brighter the show! Icelanders have designed Borealis based cruises, tours, and even concept bars. For a long time, men stared at the northern lights with just stories and superstition to explain the phenomena. In Glymur, pollution is very low that this spectacular sight is best. Now, we know that it occurs when solar wind collides with the magnetic forces of the Earth's atmosphere to cause this spectacular show! If you are on your way to Iceland, you just might get lucky enough to witness the Aurora for yourself, and you won't forget it!
Skaftafell National Park
This park is the best of all the worlds to us. Not only do you get the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Iceland’s icy wonders but also adventure. There are various types of hikes, some for intensiveness, family friendly, and summer hikes. The trails are well marked and take you through some of the most breathtaking and amazing parts that Iceland has to offer. This is truly a scenic paradise with crisp clean cold air and beautiful snow covered mountains to adventure.
Angela enjoying the nice cold breeze of Iceland!
Cindy taking a swim during our trip to Iceland!
Crystal is definitely better than any other aurora
Literacy Rate: 99%
Percentage of Population Below the Poverty Line: % N/A, est. 332,100 families
Life Expectancy: 81.22 years
School Life Expectancy: 19 years
GDP (PPP): $13.11 billion
Labor Force (by Occupation): Agriculture: 4.8% , Industry: 22.2% , Services: 73%
Infant Mortality Rate: 3.15
Government Type: constitutional republic
Independence: June 17, 1944, from Denmark
Predominant Language(s): Icelandic, English, German, Nordic languages
Predominant Religion(s): Christianity (Roman Catholicism & Lutheran)
Gov't Structure: 3 branches (Executive - Prime Minister, Judicial - Supreme Court, Legislative - Parliament