I had an interesting email exchange with Cassie over at Too Much Wool the other day, in which she mentioned that she’d been getting lots of “flak” for praising Iceland.
For praising Iceland??
YT was rather astonished at this little bit of information, since as far as she knew Iceland really is pretty insignificant in the whole Scheme of Things and barely gets a second glance from, say, 98% of the world’s population [you lot reading this are the other 2%] so why on earth would anybody be giving Cassie flak about liking Iceland? I ask you!
Well no, actually I asked her. And so she sent me this link to one of her posts. And sure enough, some of them comments… whoo-hoo. People. Hel-lo?
[Actually, Cassie also revealed that there was someone else who emailed her privately and gave her even more flak than this, claiming that Icelanders hate Americans, charge them more for everything, etc.etc.]
YT is going to step into the role of Icelandic Ambassador for a moment, in an effort to address some of the, um, notions mentioned in that post. So listen up!
1. Iceland is like the moon.
No. The part between the airport and the city of Reykjavík [about a 45 minute drive] is sort of like the moon. It’s actually a huge moss-grown lava field and when you get up close and personal with it is just amazing with all its nooks and crevices and places to flake out on the foot-thick moss. [Real good for picnics and sunbathing!] It also happens to be where Neil Armstrong practiced his moonwalk and it’s the perfect place to hide a body if you’ve killed somebody.
Oh, and we do have the occasional volcanic crater but these are relatively few and far between.
2. The landscape is quite interesting for about 30 minutes.
Clearly this person has only travelled from the airport to Reykjavík.
3. Icelanders do not want Americans to live there.
Iceland has similar immigration laws to other countries in the Western hemisphere. However, they’re reasonably flexible and it’s a hell of a lot easier to get a work permit in Iceland than to get, say, a green card in the US.
4. Icelanders stopped a wall of lava from destroying its best harbour by spraying seawater on it.
True. This happened in the Westman Islands, during a volcanic eruption in 1973 that lasted for six months and destroyed half the town. When the huge wall of lava began crawling towards the harbour, someone had the brilliant idea of putting pumps in the sea and spraying water on the lava. Those Westman Islanders were a laughing stock throughout the world, but their scheme worked, and they wound up with a perfectly sheltered harbour.
5. You can see everything there is to see in weeks.
Um, depends how many weeks. If you’re talking, say, 3,900 weeks, then maybe. I personally don’t think I’ll be able to see all I want to see of this country in my lifetime. [Every summer we go on a five-day hike and explore amazing places – places that are not necessarily in the tourist brochures. Last year we went to a small part of the West Fjords and I came back a changed person.]
6. There are thousands of people in Iceland who live there and love their country.
7. Icelanders hate Americans.
Some people may dislike some Americans [especially loud, belligerent Americans who make sweeping generalizations] but generally Icelanders are tolerant, open and friendly.
8. Icelanders charge Americans more for everything.
It’s like this: Every time someone speaking American enters a shop those crafty Icelanders change all the prices without them noticing.
9. Iceland has the highest adolescent alcoholism level in the world.
Hm. I’ve never heard that, but it may well be true. Utopia this ain’t.
10. Icelanders seem more civilized than Americans and have had a woman president already.
I don’t know about the first part [judge for yourself] but the second part is true.
HOWEVER, YOU CAME HERE FOR THE WEATHER…
And as predicted, it has been tempestuous. Raging storm, started out absolutely horrid with flurries and cold and yick and yack, but as the day wore on temps rose and YT actually went out for a run. I went about the same distance as usual but it took me twice as long because on the way back it was like an invisible outstretched arm had its hand on my forehead and I just… could… not… seem… to move forward. But anyway, it’s gonna die down and we’re gonna have luvverly weather tomorrow and here comes the weekend and whoo-hoo! So current temps are, um, don’t know ‘cause all mbl.is has up is a °. So it’s anybody’s guess. But the day broke at 6.51 and darkness fell at 20.22.