Iceland (; Icelandic: ), also called the Republic of Iceland,[Note 1] is a Nordic island country between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. It has a population of 332,529 and an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence still keeps summers chilly, with most of the archipelago having a tundra climate.
Papa’s parents were from Iceland. With his recent passing, Mom decided to take Nick and Rachael and I to Iceland to see what it is like. We’ve met some of the ICESAR members at Washington State SAR conference in the past, and decided that we should go to their SAR conference, which is in October.
From the travel information I’ve found online, most vacations to Iceland are packages through Icelandair, which owns not only the planes, but also most of the hotels. Mostly they are two or three days – but we’re planning on two weeks. Rachael has found some apartments through AirBnB which will cost less for the two weeks than a hotel would for the three days – we’ll see. We’ll stay part of the time in the capitol and largest city, Reykjavik, but we also want to drive the ring road and find the town that Papa’s family is from.
It looks like a beautiful country. We’ll be taking all the cameras, and I bought a couple of GoPro Hero4 Sessions for Nick and Rachael in addition to my Hero3+. I’ve got an iPad Pro as my computer for the trip – it’s unlikely I’m going to need GIS or programming capability during the trip, though I will be picking up a European-version Particle Electron for the GPS tracker kit, and I’ll keep an online map updated.
More to come as we decide what we're actually going to do in Iceland.