Iceland Is Closing Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon

iStock.com/Thomas Schnitzler
iStock.com/Thomas Schnitzler

Despite the high prices, Iceland is a wildly popular vacation spot for foreigners—and American travelers in particular. But tourists visiting Iceland in the spring and early summer may be disappointed to find that one of the island's most beautiful locations is off-limits. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon will be closed until June, and Justin Bieber is being blamed.

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a 1-mile-long, 330-foot-deep canyon located in the southern part of the country. The river that runs through it is shallow enough to hike in, making it a popular spot for tourists looking to experience Iceland's vegetation and geology up close.

But in recent years, Fjaðrárgljúfur has become too popular for its own good. The number of visitors to the canyon rose from 150,000 in 2016 and to 282,000 in 2017, forcing the site to close for recovery a few times since then.

What's the reason for the dramatic spike? Some people say Justin Bieber had something to do with it: In 2015, he released his music video for "I'll Show You," which shows him walking around and looking moody in what was once a hidden gem of Iceland.

But the pop star doesn't deserve all the blame. Iceland's overall number of foreign visitors quadrupled between 2010 and 2017, thanks in part to cheap airfare and innovative tourism campaigns. Fjaðrárgljúfur is just one example of how the small island nation has struggled to accommodate the influx of tourists.

"It's just a natural wonder that wasn't meant to be that popular," Inga Hlin Palsdottir, the director of Iceland's tourism agency, told CNN Travel. "We need to build a better infrastructure there so we can invite people all year round."

In the springtime, the ice and snow in Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon thaw, leaving trails wet and muddy. Not only is this dangerous for hikers, but it makes the canyon more vulnerable to the dangers of constant foot traffic.

After the canyon has a few months to recover, it will open back up to tourists in time for the busy summer season. If you're planning a trip to Iceland before then, there are plenty of sites to check out that are just as impressive.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

Turn Your LEGO Bricks Into a Drone With the Flybrix Drone Kit

Flyxbrix/FatBrain
Flyxbrix/FatBrain

Now more than ever, it’s important to have a good hobby. Of course, a lot of people—maybe even you—have been obsessed with learning TikTok dances and baking sourdough bread for the last few months, but those hobbies can wear out their welcome pretty fast. So if you or someone you love is looking for something that’s a little more intellectually stimulating, you need to check out the Flybrix LEGO drone kit from Fat Brain Toys.

What is a Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit?

The Flybrix drone kit lets you build your own drones out of LEGO bricks and fly them around your house using your smartphone as a remote control (via Bluetooth). The kit itself comes with absolutely everything you need to start flying almost immediately, including a bag of 56-plus LEGO bricks, a LEGO figure pilot, eight quick-connect motors, eight propellers, a propeller wrench, a pre-programmed Flybrix flight board PCB, a USB data cord, a LiPo battery, and a USB LiPo battery charger. All you’ll have to do is download the Flybrix Configuration Software, the Bluetooth Flight Control App, and access online instructions and tutorials.

Experiment with your own designs.

The Flybrix LEGO drone kit is specifically designed to promote exploration and experimentation. All the components are tough and can totally withstand a few crash landings, so you can build and rebuild your own drones until you come up with the perfect design. Then you can do it all again. Try different motor arrangements, add your own LEGO bricks, experiment with different shapes—this kit is a wannabe engineer’s dream.

For the more advanced STEM learners out there, Flybrix lets you experiment with coding and block-based coding. It uses an arduino-based hackable circuit board, and the Flybrix app has advanced features that let you try your hand at software design.

Who is the Flybrix LEGO Drone Kit for?

Flybrix is a really fun way to introduce a number of core STEM concepts, which makes it ideal for kids—and technically, that’s who it was designed for. But because engineering and coding can get a little complicated, the recommended age for independent experimentation is 13 and up. However, kids younger than 13 can certainly work on Flybrix drones with the help of their parents. In fact, it actually makes a fantastic family hobby.

Ready to start building your own LEGO drones? Click here to order your Flybrix kit today for $198.

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Instead of Taco Tuesday, Sweden Celebrates Taco Friday (or Taco Fredag)

ptpower, iStock via Getty Images
ptpower, iStock via Getty Images

If you think Swedish cuisine is limited to meatballs and herring, you've never celebrated Fredagsmys—the Swedish version of Taco Tuesday. The day, which translates to "cozy Fridays," is a chance for Swedes to get together with loved ones and eat comfort food at the end of a long week. And instead of indulging in more traditional Swedish fare, the Fredagsmys cuisine of choice is Tex-Mex.

Fredagsmys takes the already-Americanized taco and puts a Swedish spin on it. On Taco Fredag (Taco Friday), ingredients like tortillas, ground meat, peppers, and tomatoes are laid out smörgåsbord-style. The spread may also include some toppings that are rarely served with tacos outside of Scandinavia, such as yogurt, cucumber, peanuts, and pineapple. After assembling their meal, diners enjoy it in a cozy spot in front of the TV, ideally surrounded by pillows and candles.

The Swedish tradition of starting the weekend with a taco feast has only been around for a couple of decades. In the 1990s, the Swedish potato chip company OLW introduced the slogan “Now it’s cozy Friday time” into the national lexicon. Old El Paso capitalized on this concept with its own ad campaign showing Swedes how to assemble tacos at home. The Swedish spice company Santa Maria noticed the emerging trend and further popularized the idea of eating tacos on Fridays in its TV advertisements.

Tacos may be the food that's most closely associated with Fredagsmys today, but any quick junk food is appropriate for the occasion. Burgers and pizza are also popular items, as are candy, chips, and popcorn. The meal makes up just one part of the night: Settling in on the couch in pajamas to watch TV with loved ones is just as important as the food.

Making time for comforting indoor activities is a necessity in Sweden, where the weather is harsh and daylight is scarce for much of the year. The Danish do something similar with hygge, although tacos aren't an explicit part of that tradition.