Iceland By The Numbers

A recap of our all-too-brief time in Iceland, expressed in numbers. And pictures. (And words.) 

2.5 – Number of days we spent in Iceland.

0.125 – Percent of the country we were able to visit in this time.

1 – Grains of salt with which you should therefore take any opinions, positive or negative, expressed below.

ice general ice general 2 ice general 3 IMG_8661

11:30 – Time of night at which we arrived, which was five minutes before the official sunset for the day, and not all that long before 3:30 – time in the morning at which sunrise officially began. However… 0 – Minutes of total darkness were experienced.

29 – Waking minutes of our stay during which it wasn’t raining.

2 – Continental plates that bisect Iceland’s interior; also the number of centimeters by which they drift apart each year. A narrow divide separates the North American and the Eurasian tectonic plates, and nowhere is it better visible than in Þingvellir. Standing here, between these two violent land masses in the vast rift valley, was truly one of the highlights of the trip.

divide  divide 2 divide divingThose who don’t find Iceland’s air quite cold enough can dive or snorkel here for an underwater glimpse of the continental rift.

divide -

50 – Estimated (by me) percent of people in North America and Europe who take comfort in knowing they are ever so slowly drifting apart from one another.

15 – Estimated (by me) percent of every króna spent on purchases at a tomato farm, returned in kickbacks to tour companies who include a tomato farm on their tour of Iceland’s “Golden Circle” of natural wonders. OK, so the tomatoes are in a greenhouse incubated using geothermal heat, which is quite interesting (“kinda neat”, to those on the North American plate), but seriously… did we need to stop at a tomato greenhouse? “Yes,” says Meg, who enjoyed the hearty fresh tomato soup, and liked the smell of fresh tomatoes so much she (rather weirdly, I thought) rubbed the plants to convey their scent onto her hands for the day.

tomato kickbacks 2 tomato kickbacks

– Average number of minutes spent at intersections bobbing our heads up and down looking at a map then a street name, back to the map, back to the street name, then up and down again, and again, before feeling comfortable that we were on the right street.

street signs - an easy oneOne of the easier ones. Some less friendly examples include Amtmannsstígur, Kaplaskjólsvegur, and, my personal favourite, Þormóðsstaðavegur

8 – Average number of minutes between eruptions like this one, rumbling out of the earth’s belly and shooting up into the air at Geysir, the place from which all similar features in the world  take their name.

IMG_8575 - Version 2Before


meg in geysir sprayAfter

38 – Temperature in degrees centigrade (that’s 100 balmy Fahrenheit degrees for people on the North American plate) of the water in the famous Blue Lagoon, where we spent a very welcome, languorous afternoon. I even let Meg put healing silica mud all over my face, but I would never admit that in public.

blue lagoon 1 blue lagoon coouple blue lagoon - face

38 million – tons of water that flow over Gulfoss each day, making it far and away Europe’s most powerful waterfall. On days like we had at Gulfoss, the falls work in concert with the clouds above to create a truly soaking experience for visitors.

gulfoss 3 gulfoss 2

360 – Degrees in a circle. We closed the loop on our European adventure at the same airport where it all began on our connecting flight to Paris — Iceland’s Keflavik Airport — before making our way back to the USA for the second leg of our journey. Stay tuned…

Categories: Europe, Iceland

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4 replies

  1. How VERY interesting and entertaining Kev! + (loved ‘the Royal baby bit) – good for you Meg for carrying about the scent of the tomatoes! (A special gesture of thanks to ‘the nature world’ for providing!). Thanks for such glorious ‘tell-tale’ photographs! What a pleasure! I must tune into the radio now for an update on The Baby! Look forward to next instalment – lots of love, Wends xxxx

  2. Very cool and entertaining post and excellent pics..:-)

  3. really LOVE your stories and especally all beautiful pictures, it sometimes in my fantasy I feel like I join you! how and when do you find the time to write it? Please continue, I am eagerly “swallowing” all your news!
    Have a great time, travel safe, my thoughts accompany you both!

  4. When I last looked at this post I had no idea that the next time I looked we would be planning our own adventure to Iceland. I am keen on the bird cliffs in the North West and Pete is keen on the fishing. We are both keen on the amazing waterfalls. Would you recommend Iceland? Hope you are both well and still adventuring. Lots of love to you both. Lind

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