Iceland – A Century of Metric-Only Measurement

Many moons ago, Icelanders used an Old Norse calendar, streamlining a year down to just Winter and Summer. Icelanders reckon Sumardagurinn Fyrsti (First Day of Summer) a public holiday celebrated on the first Thursday after 18 April, so I specifically plan our trip to coincide. I find metric-only instructional signage very refreshing at a spectacular Geysir Area and at Kerið Volcanic Crater and at Gullfoss Waterfall:2016 04 21 D 29 Golden Circle Bus Tour Gullfoss Waterfall
Instructional Signage at Spectacular Geysir Area: 2016 04 21 D 79 Instructional Signage Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area 2016 04 21 D 77 Instructional Signage Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area 2016 04 21 D 76 Instructional Signage Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area 2016 04 21 D 78 Instructional Signage Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area
Instructional Signage at Kerið Volcanic Crater:2016 04 21 D 95 Golden Circle Bus Tour Volcanic Crater Kerið Instructional Signage2016 04 21 D 96 Golden Circle Bus Tour Volcanic Crater Kerið Instructional Signage2016 04 21 D 97 Golden Circle Bus Tour Volcanic Crater Kerið Instructional Signage2016 04 21 D 98 Golden Circle Bus Tour Volcanic Crater Kerið Instructional Signage
Instructional Signage at Gullfoss Waterfall:2016 04 21 D 27 Golden Circle Bus Tour Gullfoss Waterfall
Iceland has a very low level of pollution, thanks to an overwhelming reliance on cleaner geothermal energy, a low population density, and a high level of environmental consciousness among citizens. The amount of toxic material in the atmosphere is far lower than any other industrialized country measured. We found (through AIRBNB) a nice place to stay (Hraunteigur 28) in Reykjavík. Here is the room where we showered with hot sulfur-smelling water straight out of the ground:2016 04 17 D 163 Water Closet Art at Hraunteigur 28
One must add cold water (otherwise you cook like a lobster). Hot water running through a radiator is how homes are heated too. Renewable sources – geothermal and hydropower – provide effectively all of Iceland’s electricity and around 85% of the nation’s total primary energy consumption. Iceland is one of the few countries that have filling stations dispensing hydrogen fuel for cars powered by fuel cells. It is also one of a few countries currently capable of producing hydrogen in adequate quantities at a reasonable cost, because of Iceland’s plentiful renewable sources of energy.

The government of Iceland is in talks with the government of United Kingdom about the possibility of constructing a high-voltage direct-current connector for transmission of electricity. Iceland has considerable renewable energy resources, especially geothermal energy and hydropower resources, and most of the potential has not been developed, partly because there is not enough demand for additional electricity within Iceland. But the United Kingdom is interested in importing cheaper electricity from renewable energy sources.

HOW WAS GULLFOSS FORMED? The Gullfoss gorge was formed by flash flood waters that forced their way through cracks in the basalt lava layers. The average water flow in Gullfoss is 109 cubic meters per second (m3sec), but at times it can reach 2,000 m3sec. This flow is enough to fill 60 transportation containers with water in one second. In some instances, flash flood waters in Hvitá have been so great that the gorge below the waterfall has overflowed:2016 04 21 D 31 Golden Circle Bus Tour Gullfoss Waterfall
Would an American tourist have any idea how hot this 80-100° C water is based on instructional signage at the Geysir Area?2016 04 21 D 67 Instructional Signage 80-100° C Golden Circle Bus Tour Spectacular Geysir Area
Would American tourists have any idea how much of a hike this 5 km Lighthouse Circle in Seltjarnarnes is?2016 04 19 D 70 Lighthouse Circle 5 km in Seltjarnarnes
“Hmmm – 38° C – Is that hot or cold? I wonder,” thought the American. I took this photo at the Reykjavík Hot Springs across the street from where we stayed:2016 04 18 D 48 Sign at a Reykjavík Hot Springs (across the street from where we stayed)
“Hmmm – Maximum Height 120 cm – Is that tall or short?” thought the American:2016 04 18 D 49 Maximum Height 120 cm
What about this 6° C display in Reykjavík? Surely, restricting one’s knowledge of temperature only to the F Word (Fahrenheit) is a considerable disability when traveling around on Earth. (Advocates of American Exceptionalism seem to take much pride in willful ignorance as though it is somehow a good thing).2016 04 19 D 1 Reykjavík Temperature 6° C
If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland – Plenty of A4 though:2016 04 17 D 38 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A4 though 2016 04 17 D 72 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A4 though 2016 04 17 D 36 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A4 though
And A5:2016 04 17 D 77 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A5 though
And A3:2016 04 17 D 78 If you want letter size paper (8.5 x 11) you are out of luck in Iceland - Plenty of A3 though
This sign conveys that one is leaving a 30 km/h (kilometers per hour) zone:2016 04 20 D 10 Leaving 30 kilometers per hour zone
Of course petrol is sold by the liter in Iceland, like most everywhere else on Earth:2016 04 16 D 13 Petrol Icelandic Króna per Liter
I find grocery shopping in Iceland a refreshing change from shopping back home where product labels are cluttered with dual measurements. Bananas are 425 Icelandic Króna (Kr) per Kilogram:2016 04 17 D 30 Bananas 425 Icelandic Króna per Kilogram
No one cares about ounces in Iceland:2016 04 17 D 28 No One Cares About Ounces in Iceland
In a Reykjavík Grocery Store is the first time I had ever seen an electronic price tag:2016 04 17 D 138 Electronic Price Tag in Reykjavík Grocery Store
While in Iceland, the exchange rate was around 123 Kr to the US dollar.
Apparently most Icelandic robbers are shorter than 190 cm:2016 04 16 D 15 Apparently most Icelandic robbers are shorter than 190 cm
While testing my ability to fill out an electronic crossword puzzle on our Delta flight, I had no trouble answering 49 Across. SI, of course:2016 04 16 D 1 Electronic Crossword Puzzle on Delta Flight SI
Our Delta aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 11,548 m according to the flight data displayed to each passenger:2016 04 23 D 10 Altitude 11,548 m
I just cannot get metric-only folding rulers here in the United States, so I just had to check Brynja out:2016 04 17 D 116 Brynja
I acquire a bunch of folding rulers there, which you can see at my Metric Pioneer Shop:MP18001 Folding Rule 59 - 1 MeterMP18002 Folding Rule GE59 - 2 Meters
I ask the lady behind the counter at the entrance to the National Museum of Iceland (just for my own amusement) if she knew when Iceland adopted the metric system. “Iceland has always been metric!” is her enthusiastic though inaccurate response. I know the answer; I just wanted to know if she knew. So many generations of Icelanders have exclusively measured with the International System that no living memory of metrication remains on this wonderful island nation whose enchanting city Reykjavík is the northern-most national capital on Earth.2016 04 21 D 48 Golden Circle Bus Tour Gullfoss Waterfall

Advertisements