Geoffrey Lucas/Via Unsplash
It’s a land of amazing natural beauty, of glaciers and geysers, and even of the active Eyjafjallajökull volcano. And qualified EF Group Leaders can experience the best of it firsthand this Thanksgiving on a Teacher Convention Tour to Iceland.
EF Group Leaders will hike the Stakkholtsgja Fissure, snowmobile the Langjökull glacier and visit the Blue Lagoon (above) during a once-in-a-lifetime tour of this natural paradise. They’ll also explore Reykjavik and enjoy a drink at the famous Ice Bar.
In recognition of this unique convention destination, we asked EF Tour Director extraordinaire Paul Mattesini—one of the primary proponents of EF’s first Iceland convention in 2007—to provide a light-hearted look at the tiny island nation.
Having visited the country a few times, I
feel honor bound to share some of the plus points of one of Europe’s
truly beautiful countries. So, in no particular order, here are five great things about Iceland:
- Swimming is the national pastime and obsession. Every
town, no matter how small, will have a huge public pool heated
geothermally (as the whole country is) with the main pool surrounded by
small hot springs for lounging in. None of these is finer than the
amazing Blue Lagoon at Keflavik, especially in the depth of
winter surrounded by snow and ice.
- Kirkjubæjarklaustur (pronounced “Kirkjubæjarklaustur”). A small
village on the southeastern coast, close to the glacial lakes of Jokulsarlon (used in the opening scenes of the Bond
movie A View to a Kill) and the astonishing Skaftafell
- Some of the most comfortable knitwear
imaginable, perfect for an Icelandic
- Last names. No one really has them (except half a dozen families
we won’t talk about here). Everyone, including the president, goes by
his or her first name, and all Icelanders are listed in the country’s one
phone directory by first name! Children are named with the father’s
first name and then “–son” for a boy or “–dottir” for a girl. So, my
daughter would have the name Izzy Paulsdottir. Women don’t take the
husband’s name when they marry (that would cause mayhem). Go on, work
out your Icelandic name.
- Iceland lies just south of the Arctic Circle. Winter nights and summer days are
long. On December 21 in the capital, the sun rises at 11:30 a.m. and
sets four hours later. On June 21, the sun sets about midnight and rises
at 3 a.m. It never gets darker than twilight at night during the late
spring and early summer.
Bailey Zindel/Via Unsplash
For more information about EF’s Teacher Convention Tour to Iceland, please visit eftours.com/rewards. And, if you’re a qualified EF Group Leader who wants to experience this amazing destination firsthand, please enroll online or call 1-800-782-2076.
Photo: big-ashb via Flickr (CC license)