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Back in 2010 the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano, although quite a small event on the seismic scale, caused worldwide travel disruption with its now infamous ash cloud and a lot of consternation for the newsreaders who had to pronounce it. This is one of the main things people remember about Iceland, along with the crash of one of its banks a couple of years earlier, causing another considerable amount of damage and then there's Bjork. It would be fair to say that Iceland is not terribly well known and it doesn't immediately spring to mind as a tourist destination. For lovers of the truly weird and wonderful though, Iceland has a lot of surprises up its sleeve; there really is nowhere else quite like it. In many ways, it more closely resembles what we might imagine the moon to look like, with black fields of lava the predominant landscape, backed by steaming backdrops of mountains and with great geysers of spouting water and bubbling pits of sulphurous gases. It was a sensible choice for the astronauts who came to test drive their moon buggy here. Lovers of wild, isolated places and natural phenomena will not be disappointed with Iceland. What's more, it is only a three hour flight from the UK, so perfectly accessible for a whacky weekend away from the everyday.

The must see sights are the spectacular hot springs. Geysir features a giant blowhole called Stokker, which blasts into the cold air at heights of 30 metres or more. It's a geothermal miracle that occurs reliably every five minutes, astounding with its ferocity. Just as breath-taking is the cascade of waterfalls at Gulfoss, which disappear over the edge into a canyon, in a kind of reverse spectacle. You can go and stand right next to the torrents which are an adrenalin rush in itself. To relax after these excursions, there is nowhere else to head but the Blue Lagoon. Famed for its therapeutic qualities, the steaming waters revive both body and soul and its imperative to rub the mud onto your face as well, to obtain the full benefits of this open air bathe like no other.

Most of the population live in the capital city of Reykjavik, with its multi-coloured simple houses and its villagey feel. In keeping with the futuristic feel of the rest of the island, the city has a sci-fi spirit in its main concert hall, Harpa and its art museum, both of which feature cutting edge technologies and "out-there" installations. This is completely in keeping with the Icelandic ethos, not influenced by, affected by or trying to keep up with, anywhere else. It is, quite simply, unique in its quirkiness. It is also one of the best places to catch the dazzling display of the Northern Lights.

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