Where there are almost no ours
Meanwhile, other foreigners this unusual place has long been manitis as a magnet. Real Icelanders on the Polar Island lives only about 270 thousand – as in a not very large Moscow residential area. Meanwhile, the National Airlines Icelandair is transporting more than a million passengers on its international flights. Not all of them seek in Iceland itself. Island is strategically very profitable – approximately halfway from Europe to North America. Many people just pass it with a transit, on the way to the USA and Canada or back. But those who remain in Iceland itself do not have to miss. Their attention is a little country offers surprisingly a lot (for their modest scale) "the most".
Here nature has placed the highest active volcano in Europe – Heklu. Here is the very first geyser – yes, with a capital letter. This is your own name. All other geasers, including Kamchatsky, are named after Icelandic. The same story with Gletcher. In Iceland, this is a specific glacier with his name. All other glaciers sliding on the slopes of the mountains in different parts of the world are named according to his image and likeness. The only major city of Iceland – Reykjavik – the landmark in itself, because it is the most northern capital of the state in Europe (and in general in the world). And whales splashing nearby, in the Reykjavik Gulf, not suspecting – the most famous and politicized whales of the world, because their fate, or rather, the stubborn reluctance of Icelanders completely abandon the whaling fishery – serve as a constant source of international diplomatic frictions.
Ours in Alsing
In the fact that the ours are everywhere, you can clearly make sure in the Icelandic Parliament. Parliament (or in local – Alsing) in Iceland too "the most-most". Oldest in Europe. He first gathered in 930. And since then almost never stopped his work (although his functions changed greatly in different centuries), staying to this day a living symbol of Icelandic democracy.
In the service directory of this extremely democratic institution, employees are listed in a single alphabetic list, without distinguishing deputies, their assistants, secretaries and cleaners. In this list, I found at least three our surnames. True, by a strange coincidence, all these ladies were not deputies, but for some reason exactly the cleaners. But still curious and nice. Where only our people will not take.
Without genus and tribe
By the way, to have a surname in Iceland is a sure sign of a foreigner. Or, as a last resort, a long-time descendant of foreigners. All indigenous citizens are content with the name and patronymic. It is precisely the patronymic of Icelanders or Icelandes abroad usually take for his last name. It turns out not quite convenient. Let’s say, contact Olafur Peterscron "Mr. Petersburg" – this, if we translate to our realities, I don’t care what to say to Ivan Petrovich – "Mr. Petrovich!". Icelanders are sometimes trying to explain to incomprehensible foreigners that in official situations should always be used both by the name of the local person together, but rather soon cast this meaningless occupation.
The situation is even more complicated by the fact that the patrimonial of the brothers and sisters differ greatly by ear. In addition, "patronymic", in principle, can be educated and on behalf of the mother.
All men on the island have patronymic ending with "-son" (son). All women – on "-Dottir" (daughter). What stands before this end – is determined by the personal life circumstances of the child. If he has a formal father – then the name of the father. If not (and in Liberal Iceland, about a third of children appears outside of marriage) – not a misfortune, "Patronymic" gives him mother.
All this system detects its imperfection when publishing telephone directories. People are located there in alphabetical order not by last name (which is not), and not by patchedations, but on the first names. Alien Such a situation is usually immediately confused. Icelanders saves the habit and the fact that in an incomplete country everyone knows each other and without telephone directories. Reykjavik accommodates approximately half of the now living Icelanders – about 130 thousand. human. On the opposite (northern) tip of the island is the second large settlement – Akureyri. There are only about 16 thousand. citizens. The rest of the Icelanders are scattered at different ends of the republic with the villages of 500-1000 people, and for them to remember the phones of all their friends do not represent at all difficult. By the way, codes of cities in this country are not like. All subscribers are easily placed on one nationwide switcher.
The northern nature of the northern nature and the smallness of the population taught the Icelanders economically spending what they have, and attracted them a persistent disgust for excesses. For example, that the most thousand-year parliament is placed in the center of Reykjavik, in a good two-story building. Just in the days when I was in the capital, the church of lawmaking was not used in direct appointment in connection with parliamentary holidays and current repairs. And I was lucky enough to visit the hall where all 63 deputies of the highest legislative body of the country are going to plenary sessions. I could not hide my surprise with modest sizes of this room. The employee of the parliamentary press service accompanying me was hurried to clarify what otherwise it could not be, as of the two floors of the building only one, the top, given to the needs of the parliament itself. And on the first floor there is a university. One of the two, which the town of Reykjavik. The office of the Prime Minister is at all in one-story historical mansion. From the security there are only two bronze statues of state-owned past. A city prison at the same time reminds parliament (in it two floors) and the premiere residence (no guards are not visible). Prisoners on weekends are dismissed home. Police patrols on the streets do not wear weapons.
But this patriarchal good, hovering in a calm northern atmosphere, does not mean that Icelanders are not capable of strong emotions and donkey stubbornness when it comes to something serious.
Not far from Reykjavik Pearl of local nature – Gudlfoss Waterfall (Golden). Crowds of tourists, grazing there all summer long, almost do not turn to the bronze bas-rolled broneline baself with a female face, harsh, as if the face of Comrade Zyuganov at a rally against an anti-people government. This is Sigrisur Tomasdottir, the daughter of a local farmer, who in the 1920s threatened to rush into the waterfall, if it is given under the construction of a hydroelectric station, and thus destroyed. Icelandic government of that time did not resolutely understood her noble impulse. Understanding came later when in 1975 the waterfall was declared national heritage.
Country of flying crown
The cute charming Iceland has one unpleasant trait – life is very expensive here. Local Monetary Unit – Icelandic Crown – Deceptively Chalk. At the current exchange rate 1 US dollar is 71 Crown, which translated into our money means more than two crowns per ruble. But the price level in Iceland is such that crowns fly very, very quickly.
And getting to the remote island – not the most ruined. There are no direct flights from Moscow to Reykjavik. The nearest point to us, where Icelandair flies – this is Helsinki. Ticket from Helsinki to Reykjavik there and back costs 400-450 dollars. Another 100 dollars. It is necessary to spend on the train from Moscow to the Finnish capital (the aircraft is more expensive). By the way, Iceland is part of the Schengen zone, so no separate visa is required there. Enough almost any existing Western European visa, for example, Finnish.
Main expenses begin already on land of glaciers and volcanoes. Hotel rooms are cheaper than 100 dollars. overnight there just does not happen anywhere and at what time of year. Three-four-star hotels taking $ 180-200. for one / double room in summer, a little cheaper in the cold season. In the private sector – the so-called "Guesthouses" – a room for one will cost you 80-90 dollars. There is, however, a colorful local version of the night – "in sleeping bags". It is understood that the sleeping bag you should bring with you, and the owner of the Guesthouse will provide you with a piece of clean floor in a room for several people. It costs about $ 20., but requires the relevant warehouse of character.
To save in Iceland, it is better not to drink a lot. The mug of weak local beer (according to the law it is forbidden to produce a fortress of more than 2.25%) costs 8-10 dollars. So much is a glass of local vodka – Schnaps, imported hot drinks – more expensive. The main dish in the middle hand restaurant – 25-50 dollars. Accordingly, dinner for two with a bottle of wine, most likely, will cost much more than hundreds of dollars.
What the money is not regretted – this is acquainted with the amazing Icelandic nature. Excursion half a day to geysers, waterfalls or to China (on the boat) will cost 50-60 dollars. per person, and entrance to the city museums Reykjavika – about 5 dollars.