Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Amazing Iceland - Trivia (plus some other musings)

Here's some trivia for you. Iceland has no McDonald's. Yes, that's right, not a single Macca's, or Mickey D's in sight. There used to be 3 McDonald's but it wasn't financially viable. It is very refreshing to go to a place that hasn't been overrun with big American corporations (Although in saying that KFC was still there, as well as Taco Bell!). It also means that you have to be a bit more adventurous with the foods you try.. although apparently Iceland also has Europe's best hotdog, so I suppose you can stick to 'safe' food if you want :P

Another surprising thing about Iceland is that besides Claire, I didn't see another single Aussie. On all the tours I've been, and all the other countries I've been to, I meet up with at least 50% Australians, sometimes even up to 90%. But not in Iceland. Granted we didn't do a tour, but we did go on day trips, and none of our room mates where Australian. We did meet lots of Germans over there, and quite a few Americans too, so it was nice to see a more multicultural spread of people.

As an Australian I get asked quite a lot by non-Australians why there as so many Aussies travelling around. My answer to which is because Australia is so friggen far away that when we come over here we do it right! We appreciate that Europe (and I suppose any where in the world really) is a long way to come. So we aren't just going to go away for a weekend. In fact most of the Aussie's I've met are travelling for a minimum of 2 months, with a lot working in London/around the UK. People also ask me why England? The answer to that is simple... They speak English, and it's close to Europe.

That is one of the disadvantages of living in Australia - we don't have the availability to just go to another country for the day or weekend. I suppose you could go somewhere in New Zealand, but it's expensive. Flights are so cheap around Europe, especially if you buy them far in advance or get them while they are sale. For example, one of the longest flights you will do between European destination is from London to Istanbul (4hrs). I found RETURN flights for £59 just now.. that's less than $95 (AUD). You fly from Brisbane to Perth (which apparently takes an hour less flying west to east), cheapest flights are £176, almost 3 times the price! We take advantage of those cheap flights!!

Another disadvantage of living in Aus, is that we don't have are large range of cultures... you can't drive for a few hours and end up in a country with a completely different culture or language to the one you just left. And that's what I like about Europe, there is so much to see, so much different stuff to see, and I want to see it all. You can't get that in Australia. Of course it is also possible to see too many cathedrals and castles...

So, this turned into slightly more then an Iceland post, but I've wanted to write about the influx of Australians in Europe... and the lack of Aussies in Iceland provided the perfect intro to that, so it fits - sort of.