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The fire, frost and water symbolized by the red, white and blue of Iceland’s flag are manifested in this land. Reykjavik, or Smoky Bay, was so named in 874 A.D. by Ingolf Arnarson when he sighted the numerous hot springs on the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula. Today this remarkably pollution-free city is wrapped around a sweeping bay and has managed to retain its charming Old-World atmosphere. A pastiche of red-blue-and green-roofed houses together with the tall gray tower of Hallgrim’s Church dominate the skyline. In Old Town, many of the wooden buildings have been lovingly restored and stand side by side with modern timber and concrete structures. There are fine museums and art galleries; historic pubs present activity in late afternoon. The beautiful countryside outside of Reykjavik includes such natural wonders as volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, mountains and spectacular waterfalls.
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The most interesting places to visit in Iceland are Dettifoss, Myvatn, Goðafoss, Krafla, Ásbyrgi, the park in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, the fossils at Tjörnes, the ghost valleys of the north. Húsavík is known for being the whale watching capital of Iceland. The bird life offers unique nature experience on sea for tourists. Lundey (also known as Puffin Island) is an island colony of 100.000 puffins and other cliff dwelling birds. The beautiful garden in the center of town and the river running through it provides life for many birds. The Folk Museum has one of the largest polar bears ever caught locally. The well-timbered church built in 1907 is open for visitors during summer. The town is a starting point for sightseeing tours and one-day excursions to many famous places found in the north, like Lake Myvatn, Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, Hljódaklettar, Hólmatungur, Ásbyrgi, Tjörnes peninsula, Adaldalur valley, Laxárdalur valley and the Grenjadarstadur Folk Museum. Húsavík is an environmental friendly town - where geothermal water heats all houses and heats or dries industrial products.
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Approximately one third of the 50,000 residents of the "Sheep Islands" live in Torshavn. The city has large fishing industries, a seat of a Lutheran bishop and boasts many museums and culture.
The Shetland Islands are Great Britain's most northerly islands, situated nearly fifty miles northeast of the Orkneys. Lerwick is the capital of the principal island of Mainland and is Britain's most northerly town. Founded on the fishing industry and with strong Viking connections, little now remains of the old village of Lerwick. Features of interest include the Cromwellian Fort Charlotte and annual Norse fire festival, Up-Helly-Aa, held every January. On the southern tip of the island is Jarlshof, site of ruins of several Stone Age and Bronze Age dwellings as well as wheel-houses from the Iron Age. Elsewhere on the island is Clichimin Broch, another prehistoric site containing a Bronze Age fort.
With its spectacular setting among seven hills, Bergen is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable cities in Norway. Most sites are within an easy walk from the harbor. From fine surviving medieval buildings to a series of good museums such as Fishery Museum and Old Bergen open-air museum, Bergen offers a wide variety of attractions. Its scenic beauty can best be appreciated from Mt. Floyen and is captivating. Enjoy this lovely city by taking a stroll to the old part of town, passing impressive 12th-century Bergenhus fortress. Old Hanseatic Wharf, called Bryggen, is where reconstructed gabled buildings house workshops, boutiques and restaurants. St. Mary's Church is Bergen’s oldest building and one of the finest Norman churches in Norway. Rasmus Meyers Collection is a rambling townhouse featuring one of the best collections of Norwegian art, including an upper floor devoted almost entirely to Munch. Bergen boasts numerous historic buildings dating from medieval times: Bergenhus Fortress; Rosenkrantz Tower; Haakon’s Hall.
Founded in the 8th century and one of Norway's oldest towns, Stavanger is situated along the Byfjord, an arm of the Stavangerfjord. A bishop ruled the city from the twelfth through seventeenth centuries. At the end of the eighteenth century, Stavanger had developed a successful merchant shipping fleet and during the next century developed herring fishing and canning industries. Appealing echoes of that proud heritage live on amid the evocative cobbled streets of Gamle (Old) Stavanger, whose whitewashed 18th century houses are probably northern Europe's best-preserved community of wooden houses. It has a well-preserved 12th century stone church.
Set on the scenic southern tip of Norway, at a magical spot with more sunshine than anywhere else in Scandanavia, little Kristiansand is Nature’s playground. Its spacius, ice-free harbor is ringed with thousands of tiny islands, a haven for swimmers, boaters and sport fishermen. Along the waterfront, in the silent Christiansholm fortress, and the charming houses of the historic center, you’ll find a peaceful serenity.
Oslo, Norway’s capital and largest city, is encircled by wooded hills and snowcapped peaks. The city displays a mixture of several architectural styles. A full range of activities includes art galleries, museums, restaurants, theaters and nightclubs. Other points of interest include Royal Palace; Frogner Park, known for its famous Vigeland sculptures; Holmenkollen, where international skiing events take place; imposing Åkershus Castle; and Bygdøy Peninsula, home to some of Oslo’s most important museums. Many attractions can be explored on foot. Oslo's City Hall ranks as the most distinctive part of Oslo’s waterfront. The art portrays the country's different historical and domestic phases. Munch Museum, which is dedicated to the life work of Norway’s famous painter, contains more than 5,000 drawings and paintings. National Gallery has the nation’s largest collection of Norwegian art and some of Munch’s best-known works. Åkershus Fortress & Castle, transformed into a Renaissance palace in the 17th century, houses Norway’s Resistance Museum.
Wonderful Copenhagen is a city of bridge-spanned canals, copper-roofed buildings and manicured parks. This famous Baltic seaport is one of Europe’s loveliest capitals and the seat of the oldest monarchy in the world. Copenhagen is a focus for commerce, culture, industry and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The locale of Hans Christian Andersen’s enchanting tale of The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen is known as Denmark’s fairy-tale city. Its impressive theaters, museums and churches are of interest to many visitors; the best-loved attractions include the world-famous Tivoli Gardens, the Langelinie Harbor with its Little Mermaid statue and the busy shopping promenade known as Strøget.
At the tip of Jutland, where picturesque streets and luminous landscapes have inspired painters for centuries, see the works of Holger Drachman, and perhaps take up your own brush. Also in Skagen, Danish precision is manifest in the art of watchmaking. Get your Skagen timepiece here in the city of the same name.
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Zeebrugge is an important port city in Flanders, connecting Belgium’s intricate railway and canal transportation systems. It is the gateway to medieval Bruges, one of northern Europe's most picturesque old cities and Brussels with its tree-shaded boulevards, splendid parks, imposing monuments, and beautiful buildings.
London is known worldwide as an entertainment capital, a center for the arts, a center of rich and varied heritage, a 'green' city, and waterfront attraction center. The city is alive with theaters, clubs, pubs, casinos and entertainment venues, making it a day or night out to remember. Southampton is the main regional centre for the arts, offering quality, variety and choice. Southampton has a rich and varied heritage, five excellent museums covering all aspects of the city's past and the remains of the medieval town walls. Southampton's rich heritage of parks and open spaces make it probably 'the Greenest City in the UK'. Whether it's shopping, eating out or taking in great events, there's always something to see and do on the attractive waterfront.
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