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Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. Its latitude at 64°08' N, the world's most northern national capital. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. With a population of 119,000, it is the heart of Iceland's economic and governmental activity.

Reykjavík is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, which Ingólfur Arnarson is said to have established around 870. Until the 18th century, there was no urban development in the city location. The city was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the next decades, as it transformed into a regional and later national center of commerce, population and governmental activities.

Today, Reykjavík is the centre of the Greater Reykjavík Area which, with a population of 200,000, is the only metropolitan area in Iceland. As a highly modernized capital of one of the most developed countries in the world, its inhabitants enjoy a first-class welfare system and city infrastructure. Its location, only slightly south of the Arctic Circle, receives only four hours of daylight per day in the depth of winter; during the summer the nights are almost as bright as the days. It has continued to see population growth in past years as well as growth in areas of commerce and industry.

Reykjavík was recently ranked 1st on Grist Magazine's "15 Greenest Cities" list.

Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland (Icelandic: Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland; IPA: [ˈliðvɛltɪθ ˈistlant]) is a country in northern Europe, comprising the island of Iceland and its outlying islets in the North Atlantic Ocean between the rest of Europe and Greenland.[1] It is the least populous of the Nordic countries and the second smallest; it has a population of about 316,000 (April 1, 2008 estimate) and a total area of 103,000 km². Its capital and largest city is Reykjavík.

Located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is volcanically and geologically active on a large scale; this defines the landscape in various ways. The interior mainly consists of a plateau characterized by sand fields, mountains and glaciers, while many big glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, Iceland has a temperate climate relative to its latitude and provides a habitable environment and nature.

The settlement of Iceland began in 874 when, according to Landnámabók, the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfur Arnarson became the first permanent Norwegian settler on the island.[2] Others had visited the island earlier and stayed over winter. Over the next centuries, people of Nordic and Gaelic origin settled in Iceland. Until the twentieth century, the Icelandic population relied on fisheries and agriculture, and was from 1262 to 1918 a part of the Norwegian and later the Danish monarchies. In the twentieth century, Iceland's economy and welfare system developed quickly.

As of 2007, Iceland is the most developed country in the world with fellow Nordic country Norway according to the Human Development Index[3] and one of the most egalitarian, according to the calculation provided by the Gini coefficient[4]. Based upon a mixed economy where service, finance, fishing and various industries are the main sectors, it is also the fourth most productive country per capita.[5] Icelanders have a rich culture and heritage. Iceland is a member of the UN, NATO, EFTA, EEA and OECD, but not of the European Union. The country is a candidate for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_springs_around_the_world (I am a tad bit upset that there is not a hot spring where I live ,in Minnesota ,,,)
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On April 29th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC), oldrecipe commented:
It's so amazing and beautiful, I could say so much but I would go on and on. I am actually going there soon. I have been scheming and scheming and secretly saving and I am pretty sure I'll have all I need by next summer to go to a clinic there with a hot spring. Yesss!
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