When we book a trip to a new country, most often we’ll spend some time searching up facts for that particular place. I know I do! When it comes to Iceland, you definitely should not believe everything you read/hear/are told. It didn’t take me long, after spending time here and working with the locals to find out much of what the rest of the world thinks of Iceland is not true. Now I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing… Because I think we would all like to believe that elves exist somewhere. But I am here to debunk a few myths and facts that the rest of the world spreads about this country.
- Myth: 55% of Icelanders believe in elves and trolls. The Facts: Like I said, the majority of Icelanders do not believe in elves and trolls. Don’t get me wrong – there are tons of magnificent folklore tales and stories to go with every waterfall and valley but they remain fictitious here in Iceland. (as far we can tell at least)
- Myth: Most Icelanders do not lock up their bikes and leave their doors unlocked. The Facts: After some investigation and asking around, I found out that the locals here DO in fact lock their bikes up, and do not leave their doors unlocked at night. Iceland is definitely the most peaceful country I have ever been to but it does not dismiss the fact that there are some bad people out there!
- Myth: Iceland is made up of only ice. The Facts: While the name might have you fooled… Iceland is not only made up of ice! Sure, during the winter months it is bright white with snow and the sidewalks are slippery from ice. But it doesn’t take long for the snow and ice to melt and reveal the most lush green valleys you could ever imagine.
- Myth: All Icelanders eat whales. The Facts: While whale meat is definitely on some restaurant menus, and it was once a traditional dish… most locals do not eat whale meat regularly and it is left as an old tradition (or a tourists’ delicacy)
- Myth: There are penguins in Iceland. The Facts: Nope. Despite the Arctic feel, there are no penguins in Iceland but there are puffins!
So here are a few of the misconceptions I learnt of, that the rest of the world has towards Iceland.
Comment if you can think of any more I missed!