Why do they call it Iceland?
We come from the land of the ice and snow
Led Zeppelin’s open line from the Immigrant Song was reputedly penned by Robert Plant as he sat in a Reykjavik Coffee shop, on a holiday to Iceland. This North Atlantic rock is also known as the land of ice and fire, or even the land of Ice and Auroras. One thing these pet names have in common is ICE. Many people visit for the Northern lights. Some visit for peace and quiet or a marriage proposal. Only one thing is guaranteed on a trip to Iceland and that is ICE.
Even on the hottest day in the middle of Summer, it is possible to find Ice on the beach. You can’t find a parking space or a ladies toilet, but there it is sat on the black volcanic sand… ICE. You might have difficulty booking a hotel room for the night and getting the loan to pay for it, but you can rest assured that you will see some ICE. Now don’t get me wrong, you wont necessarily see Ice in the middle of Reykjavik unless someone knocks over their Gin and Tonic, you have to get out to the big glaciers. But you can’t miss them because they cover a 3rd of Iceland.
Some rumours state that the Icelanders named Iceland and Greenland the wrong way round to prevent the Danes from visiting. The Danes still visited. But it is true that in the Summer, there is enough green to fill several hundred houses, so Iceland could have been named “Greenland”. Green is a strange colour in Iceland because Icelanders don’t see any green for 3 – 4 months during the Winter (apart from the green glow of the Aurora). Some residents of Greenland never seen green. Maybe this is why it’s called “Greenland” – to remind the people that the colour still exists.