Life on the volcano
With their many volcanoes, Icelanders live quite carefree. One can break out all the time and then, for example, paralyze air traffic. This is what happened in 2010 when the Eyjafjallajökull erupted. Such an eruption is also something special for Icelanders, but all in all, life on volcanoes is part of their everyday life. Just like earthquakes, by the way. The Icelandic earth shakes every day – but most of the earthquakes are so small that you don’t even notice them.
Stones show the way
Stone towers or stone men are not only found in Iceland, a country beginning with I according to Countryaah. They were mostly used as signposts in the mountains or in rough terrain, where there is often fog. In Scandinavia there is also the superstition that a hiker should put another stone on each cairn to protect himself from trolls. In Iceland, both things are true: stone towers are used for orientation and protection from trolls! In the past these turrets were actually only within sight of each other, today many of them have fallen apart.
Bathing in a hot tub
Icelanders are known to love swimming! Due to the many volcanoes on the island, there are also many hot springs. They are used to heat bathrooms. Hot thermal water and the hot pots are heated, the hot pots. They can occur naturally or be created artificially. Many private houses even have a hot pot. Swimming pools are also important meeting places for Icelanders.
The Icelandic pony or Icelandic horse is of course also typically Icelandic. It is a breed of horse that comes from Iceland. Icelanders are very strong and can also carry an adult. They get a very thick coat in winter so that they can survive in the Icelandic climate. The Icelandic pony not only masters walk, trot and gallop as gaits, but also the tölt. This gait is particularly comfortable for riders.
Icelandic sweater – Lopapeysa
We also know Norwegian sweaters here. They keep you nice and warm in winter, because they are knitted from thick, coarse wool. There are sweaters like this in Iceland too. The Icelandic sweater is called Lopapeysa in Icelandic. Its pattern differs from the Norwegian sweater. The multi-colored, round patterns around the neck and shoulders are typical of the Icelandic sweater.
Eating in Iceland
What did Icelanders like in the past – and what now?
Traditionally, people in Iceland eat a lot of fish. Because it is abundantly available off the coast of the country. Whale meat is still available today, but it is eaten far less than it used to be. Meat is consumed more by sheep, cattle and horses. Smoked lamb, called hangikjöt here, is a delicacy. One likes to eat it with a thin flatbread, the flatbraud, or with rye bread, the rúgbraud. Meat from puffin and alcohol is also available.
In the past, grain and vegetables could hardly be grown due to the harsh climate and long winter. That is why it does not play such a big role in Icelandic cuisine, even if you can buy everything in the supermarket today.
Berries such as blueberries or crowberries used to provide vitamins. Just like mushrooms, people still like them today. Today you can even grow bananas or tomatoes in greenhouses that are heated with geothermal energy.
What is Torramatur?
Þorramatur – or in Icelandic þorramatur – are traditional Icelandic food. You can see some of them in the photo. Flatbraud and Rúgbraud are on the right. There are meat dishes on the plate on the left. At the top left is Hängikjöt, the smoked lamb. At the top right is Hrútspungar: These are pickled ram testicles. Liver sausage and black pudding are also included (left and center). The dice in the middle on the right are Hákarl: shark meat from the Greenland Shark. Below is half a black-seared sheep’s head, the Svid (Svið).
Pönnukökur and Skúffukaka – mmh!
So there are some things that sound like getting used to. Not so alien to us, however, are Pönnukökur, the Icelandic pancakes. You wouldn’t reject them, would you? They are baked very thin. There is also butter in the batter. They are eaten with jam and / or cream or rolled up with sugar.
Another sweet specialty is the Icelandic chocolate cake. It’s called Skúffukaka and you can bake it! Click for the participation tip !