Winter in Iceland. Photo © Jenna Gottlieb.

Weather and Climate in Iceland

Iceland isn’t as cold as you may think. The Gulf Steam works to moderate Iceland’s climate, but doesn’t mean calm, as it’s also responsible for the frequent weather changes. Weather here is not casual conversation, but serious business; it can change rapidly, from calm winds and sunny skies to rain, snow, sleet and back to calm wind and sunny skies, all in the same hour. It’s unpredictable, frustrating, exhilarating, and confusing for many tourists, but Icelanders have learned to adapt and go with the flow.

Whale-watching near Húsavík. Photo © Filip Fuxa/123rf.

Iceland’s Best Wildlife-Watching

Iceland offers some of the best whale-watching and bird-watching opportunities in the world’s northern reaches. But there’s more to the island’s wildlife than just the star attractions—seals and reindeer are also worth seeking out.

An American plug is held up against a European wall socket.

How to Use North American Electronics in France

If you choose to bring your electronics with you when you make the move, you’ll need a series of transformers, adapters, and regional setting work-arounds to make them work in France. Expert author Aurelia d’Andrea explains everything you need to know, and advice on making the switch to PAL electronics.

A puffin in North Iceland. Photo © Bjorn Ludviksson/Dreamstime.

Iceland’s Animals

Iceland may not be known for its land mammals—other than sheep, cows, horses, reindeer, and arctic fox—but animals in the ocean and sky are varied and ample. Here’s a look at what you’ll find in the water and the air; whale- and bird-watchers will be delighted with the sheer number of species!

A sunny day at Gullfoss Falls in Iceland.

Ring Road Trip: The Best of Iceland

The most accessible route around the country is the Ring Road, encircling the island and connecting many of the most popular attractions. On this best of Iceland road trip, you’ll be driving clockwise from Keflavík International Airport. To avoid road closures from snow, this trip is best done in the summer!

Stairs go down to the entrance of Bank tube station in London, England.

London’s History: The Blitz

From September 1940 to May 1941, Britain and its population had to endure sustained bombing by the Germans—an event that is referred to as “the Blitz” (German for “lightning”). In town, you can still see the scars of where the bombs fell, knocking out a few houses in a terrace of older properties.

Rainbow with a dark overcast sky above suburban houses in London, England.

Living with the Weather in London

Expert author and long-time London resident Karen White shares her experiences with the weather and seasons in London, from dealing with short winter days and long summer ones, its stereotypical rainy streets, and the relatively uncommon experience of snow–and occurrence that, when it finally happens, unfortunately throws the city into chaos.

A row of purple and white buildings with large wooden doors, known as mews in England.

Useful London Real Estate Terms

There are numerous types of properties available in London, and the range is staggering: from converted lofts to terraced houses to apartment blocks—with everything in between. The whole process of finding accommodation in London (especially a home purchase) is very different from the procedure used in the United States, so be prepared for a bit of a roller-coaster ride when trying to rent or buy a home in London. To get you started, here is a helpful list of important British real estate terms for both buyers and renters.

West Iceland's rocky landscape. Photo © Jenna Gottlieb.

Where to Go in Iceland

From bustling urban Reykjavík and quaint fishing towns to hiking glaciers and scaling mountains, it’s not hard to see why Iceland is a popular destination for those seeking something outside the typical sun–and–sand vacation. Here the summer sun is nearly endless, shining almost 24 hours a day at the peak of the season, and the black-sand beaches are framed by snowcapped mountains. Any time of year, temperatures are milder than you might expect.

A row of draft beer spigots line in the bar in a traditional English pub.

Tipping in London

When you first come to another country, it is difficult to know when, who, or how much you should tip the service provider. Certainly here in the United Kingdom there isn’t the strong tipping culture that you get in the United States, where tips are considered part of a service provider’s pay. With this ambiguity in mind, here is a quick guide to tipping in London.