I have a thing for islands around the world. They don’t even need to be exotic, I just love them. Some of them are countries, others are belonging to the mainland, some of them are the main part of a city, and others are simply national parks. Actually, I am now on the eighth one, but I used to live on the first one and wish I could live on another one mentioned in the article. Famous or never heard of, what follows are three facts about each visited island and, like always, my pictures.
- Beer was illegal until 1989, they are celebrating Beer Day on March 1st.
- The very first parliament in Europe was met in the year 930 AD in Iceland, in what is today Þingvellir National Park. The site has since been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its cultural, historical, and geographical significance.
- The first explorer to set foot on continental North America is an Icelander, Leif Erikson. He was a Norse explorer and established a settlement on the northern tip of Newfoundland in modern-day Canada.
Chiloe Island, Chile
- It is the only place in the world where Humboldt and Magellanic penguins coexist in the wild.
- Home of the potato. With over 400 varieties, more than 90% of them can be traced back to Chilote roots.
- The iconic palofito stilt houses are squatted land since nobody can own a shoreline in Chile.
Manhattan, NYC, USA
- The subway system was open in 1904, had 28 stations and one ride cost five cents.
- The iconic Empire State Building has its own zip code, 10118. Talking about big!
- 800 different languages are spoken here, I mean in NYC but still… wow!
Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
- Only 30% of the islands have forests, the rest is covered by steppe and cool semi-desert.
- The first indigenous groups arrived on this island around 8000 years ago. The Yaghan and Selk’nam were the descendants of these initial inhabitants.
- There was a massive immigration to the main island between 1883 and 1909. It was prompted by reports of large amounts of placer gold found during a Chilean expedition in 1879.
Elba Island, Italy
- Using granite from Elba for structures like the Cathedral in Pisa and the Pantheon made the island famous.
- Half of Italy’s iron output comes from this island, one of the oldest geologic areas.
- It became a sovereign principality under the exiled Napoleon I for a brief period of time, May 1814–Feb., 1815.
- The original name was “Cercina”. The witch-goddess Circe imprisoned Odysseus there, seeing him as too handsome to let go.
- A port and look-out point by the Romans, to keep note of offshore activity.
- The islands’ population decreased significantly throughout the ’80s due to drought.
- Perfume originated in Cyprus. The oldest remaining traces found in Pyrgos, on the South of the island, are more than 4000 years old.
- A Roman Empire province starting in 45AD, it was the first country having a Christian ruler.
- The legend says Aphrodite has risen out of the water near Paphos.
Isla de la Plata, Ecuador
- It’s a national park, so no one actually resides on the island as it is a natural reserve.
- Known as the the poor man’s Galapagos. The island is home to the famous Blue-footed booby, found in the Galapagos Islands, but it is way cheaper to visit.
- There is a shrine from Inca times located on the island.
As you can notice I do have a large part of the world unexplored, but little by little I will get there as well. What are your favourite islands around the world? Where would you want to explore next? Let me know in the comment below.
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