Up in the coldest, most northwestern part of Europe lies a little rocky island. Iceland has for more than a thousand years produced quirky stories, sizzling sagas and eerily beautiful music that are all set to the background of the harsh volcanic natural wonder that makes up this interesting island.
From when it was first settled by Vikings in the ninth century till today, Iceland has always provided its inhabitants with a rich, yet brutal landscape to be inspired by. The sagas are of course the original foundation for everything Icelandic and it is indeed a very good starting point for anyone wishing to familiarise themselves more with not only the history of the island, but certainly also that of the Vikings in general.
The brutal, the beautiful and the downright strange often go hand in hand when it comes to Icelandic literature as well as its music and film-production. The well-known poet Sjon blends in all these in his award-winning novel The Blue Fox, which is set in a small village in the Icelandic wilderness of the 19th century.Nobel Prize winning author Halldor Laxness is another literary great from the small volcanic island that should definitely not be overlooked on your cultural journey through Iceland.
Musically the island has proven itself as well. With Sigur Ros who formed in Reykjavik in the mid-90s, you will experience the most beautiful compositions, through soft sounds of Mum to the recent indie-pop sensation Emiliana Torrini. And of course one cannot say Iceland without saying Bjork, the daughter of a well-known trade unionist, who rose to become one of the strongest female personalities on the alternative rock scene.