Lake Hafravatn, Iceland - Travel wall art prints by Edwin Datoc Gallery

Lake Hafravatn, Iceland

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Hafravatn is a small lake on the eastern outskirts of Reykjavík, Iceland. Located at 76 m above sea level, it has an area of 1.02 km² with a greatest depth of 28 m. The Seljadalsa River flows into it from the east and its discharge is Ulfarsfellsa.[1] A small village lies on the northern bank of the lake and a paragliding take-off point on its eastern side. The smaller lake of Langavatn lies to its southwest.

Some Random Facts about Iceland:

1. Viking Ties

Iceland was settled by Vikings from Norway sometime in the 800s. This fact makes Iceland a fairly “young” country when it comes to settlement, and also contributes to its distinct cultural background. The Icelandic horses in the country today are unique in the fact that they are direct descendants from the horses the Vikings first brought over from mainland Europe.

2. No Forests

Iceland was formed by some pretty harsh phenomena: volcanoes and glaciers. Much of the country was carved out by slow-moving glaciers, chewing up the land and gouging deep valleys into it. But, contrary to popular belief, trees DO grow in Iceland. However, when the Vikings arrived, they forested the crap out of it, cutting down almost all the native tress in the country. Today, reforestation is being attempted, but you'll still definitely notice the lack of forests when you visit.

3. Elves and Trolls

The majority of present-day Icelanders (more than 50%, I was told) believe in the existence of fantastical beings such as elves and trolls. There are many amusing stories and legends about these creatures (which I'll tell you all about in an upcoming post), and Icelanders go so far as to postpone construction projects if it's believed that something is going to be built where elves currently live. Large fallen rocks in fields are said to be frozen trolls, and one guide told us that the smell present in Iceland isn't from sulphur at all — it's the smell of the trolls' dirty bath water.

​10. No McDonalds

As astonishing as it sounds, Iceland is the only country I have ever been to where McDonalds restaurants do not exist! Yes, you can find KFC and even Taco Bell in Reykjavik, but forget about picking up a Big Mac or some Chicken McNuggets — you won't find them here! I found this fun fact very refreshing.

11. Weird Foods

Iceland makes up for its lack of fast food with its bevy of downright weird traditional foods. Along with things like whale, puffin, and dried fish, visitors can also try fermented shark, sheep's head, and even pickled ram's testicles. The even weirder part is that some of these dishes can be found in just about ANY kind of restaurant in Iceland (including a Mexican place that advertised “traditional Icelandic dishes”).