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Reykjavik, Iceland.

legends of Vikings between ice, water and fire

episode transcription

Before starting this exciting journey, I remind you that Alternative Reality is a project that was born with the idea of ​​being supportive and inclusive by being a podcast that anyone can enjoy, including visually impaired or people with hearing problems. Find the platform of your choice to enjoy it at www.realidadalternativamx.com.mx In this program we create a community that helps different causes, I hope one resonates with you and ¡welcome!

It’s nice to greet you, I’m Yael Yancelson, your guide on this exciting tour that between ice, water and fire takes us to discover the legends of the Vikings and especially beautiful natural settings, we go with our imaginative power and the 5 senses to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik. So let’s go… 

The capital of Iceland was one of the first Viking settlements. According to the 12th-century Landnámabók (Settlement Book), Ingólfur Arnarson, who was fleeing from the Norwegian king Harald, was there in 871.

We are going to visit Reykjavík and the entire southern part of the island, including a brief incursion through the eastern fjords and a little in the north, quickly visiting the towns of Husavik and Akureyri, and Lake Myvatn.

Without a doubt, I can tell you that it is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to.

Let’s rent an all-terrain jeep to enter together into the lonely and fascinating lands of this island that keeps so many secrets and dreamlike landscapes.

Here, you can appreciate how nature is the main protagonist, breathe and feel the fresh and cold air, a very different and special natural environment is perceived, ¿don’t you think?  They say that this is the land of fire, ice and water. Turning to the right as we walk, we see these spectacular waterfalls, we will also visit caves, solidified lava fields, tundras, glaciers, fjords and if you realize everything is surrounded by a mystical halo that occurs when listening to legends of Viking gods and other  mythological beings.

What an exciting journey! Well, we can find the northern lights and admire the immense beauty offered by the country that is known for being a land where you can experience the four seasons every day. In a moment, you can go from having a spectacular sun to receiving the uncomfortable horizontal Icelandic rain; Oh did you feel that? It was a strong gust of wind, very common around here.

It gives us time to visit the Snaefellness peninsula, Reykjavík, the Golden Circle, the glacial lakes (Jökulsárlón and Fjallsárlón), the Vatnajökull Glacier National Park (the largest glacier in Europe), the black sand beaches near Vik , the East Fjords, the Oxi Valley, Skaftafell and a host of beautiful waterfalls such as Gullfoss, Seljalandfoss and Glymur.

In addition, we will see the whales in Husavik and, of course, try to admire, up close, the spectacular eruptions and the lava flows of the last Icelandic volcano that has erupted: the Fagradalsfjall, also known by the name of the valley that houses it. (Geldingadalur).

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular tourist attractions not only in Reykjavik, but in the entire country. See that beautiful hot springs, with a bluish tone and the volcanic environment in which they are found, have sincerely turned it into a spectacle. I would say that it is a huge thermal pool (with an average temperature of 38°C) that has that striking sky blue color due to the abundant silice particles in its composition, which are also beneficial for the skin. So let’s take the opportunity to do an exfoliating treatment for the face that is offered in the mask bar of the hot springs, in addition to other masks made from seaweed and even lava.

What a delight, it was a relaxing experience to be in the hot springs, did you like it? Tell me.

Now we go to the Secret Lagoon, near the Golden Circle, or the natural baths of Myvatn and the pool of Hofsós, in the north of Iceland.

We will walk through Laugavegur, which is one of the oldest streets in the city and also one of the longest, since it is approximately 2 kilometers long that crosses the historic center of Reykjavík. It has its origins in 1885, when a path was built along which women used to go up to the Laugardalur hot springs to wash their clothes: in fact, the name Laugavegur means ‘water path’. However, from 1930, the road evolved at the same time as the capital of Iceland, and did so to become the most beautiful street in Reykjavík thanks to its picturesque and striking Icelandic-style buildings. How nice, right? Everything looks very rustic and cozy.

We are very close to the Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík Old Port and even the National Phallotheque- as well as you hear, a museum of the phallus, hahaha. It will be interesting to enter.

Looking ahead, we can see Reykjavík’s most famous sculpture, the Sun Voyager, which was designed in the mid-1980s to commemorate the bicentennial of the city’s founding. Its author, Jón Gunnar Árnason, devised an elegant steel sculpture reminiscent of a Viking ship, honoring the history of Iceland and its seafaring tradition. The sculptor also wanted each person who arrived in Reykjavík, seeing this metal ship, to imagine where they could travel with it. And where do you imagine traveling seeing this piece?

The Settlement Exhibition is a modern, interactive museum in the heart of Reykjavík, built on the ruins of an old Viking house. This building was discovered recently, in 2001, and it was from then on that it was decided to build a museum around it.

We continue our journey to enter the blue ice cave, one of the wonders of Iceland located under the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest in Europe.

We explore its irregular terrain, full of strange formations and mills that make the glacier constantly changing, due to the weather conditions in Iceland.

I’m honest, I could feel my breath catch when contemplating the impressive cave, how wonderful! This cave is located under the glacier and, due to the lack of air, the intense blue color that characterizes it is formed.

Ice caves can hardly be found, since they originate naturally and in exceptional conditions. Let’s take some time to contemplate this natural beauty.

The locals have told us about one of the most popular sagas, Laxdaela, in which Kjartan and Bolli tragically break their friendship for the love of the beautiful Gudrún. who is buried in the church of Stykkishólmur, from where the Helgafell or holy mountain is ascended. The residence of the god Thor, according to the Landnámabók, had to be washed and there you could not “kill an animal or a person”. it is breaking apart as the European and American tectonic plates move apart two centimeters a year. According to the Book of Icelanders, from the 12th century, the 39 elected godi met there in the Althing, the first Parliament in the world of which there is written evidence.

And finally we will have the privilege of watching whales in the port of Húsavík.

And if you are interested in cooking, I invite you to try the traditional shark tacos, which are accompanied by Brennivin, an Icelandic brandy that is served to fishermen to warm up.

By the way, the shark is fermented because its meat is toxic, but I don’t know if it is worse to eat it fermented or with the toxins. For this reason, it is paired with this high-proof liquor. Although it does not smell good, I recommend trying it, if you are very daring to try strange things.

Did you know that When the Vikings arrived in Iceland, 1,100 years ago, between 25 and 40% of the island’s surface was covered with forests, but these first inhabitants cut down the trees for firewood and construction material, as well as pasture for his sheep and horses.

For years, Iceland has carried out a reforestation plan, but although there has been progress, its results are being slower than expected. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, look for what the Icelandic Forestry Association does.

Iceland is an island surrounded by a sea that is very rich in fish. In fact, its fishing industry is very powerful, and fish has always been part of the Icelandic diet. Icelandic fish soup (fiskasúpa ) is one of the most popular dishes in the Icelandic gastronomic tradition.

If we visit that extraordinary country we can taste fiskasúpa almost everywhere and in each place it will be different, it can be fish, fish with shellfish, or just shellfish. The one I present on this occasion is fish soup, in general, they are usually salmon, cod and arctic trout, although it can also incorporate mussels, prawns and Norway lobster.


Well, this is how today we leave Reykjavik, we will travel every week to another corner of this wonderful world, to know, enjoy and fly with the imagination, I wait for you and I ask you, if you liked the content, share it with your friends and give me a like and a review of your comments because with that you help me a lot to raise the ranking of this podcast, ALTERNATIVE REALITY A UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT SPACE THAT CREATES COMMUNITY…. This space is born from a very personal need to connect with visually impaired people and people with hearing difficulties, what do they teach us that you can enjoy these trips full of music, smell and taste in very different ways and that is why I like to think that together we make the difference. I invite you to visit the ONCE Foundation for solidarity with blind people in Latin America/ and if you like to contribute, we will be very grateful, visit https://www.foal.es

By helping others we primarily help ourselves. Don’t forget to comment and share this episode.

 Until next week and thanks for traveling with me.


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