There is possibly no country on Earth where nature has had such a significant influence on the lives and culture of a population. Iceland continues to have a love-hate relationship with its nature, a country where a visitor can stand astride two continental plates and experience a nation being geologically created. Of course, recent Icelandic news was dominated by financial issues and the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the ash cloud affecting people all over the world with the closing of much of the European airspace.
In an exceptional display of co-ordinated national pride, in a campaign called Inspired by Iceland, the population of a little over 300,000 went online during a nominated hour today (the Iceland hour) and sent e-cards around the world about their remarkable island nation. The messages contain an open invitation for people to visit this inspiring country of such staggering natural beauty. A wonderful video of Iceland (ed: sadly no longer available) went to air in that same hour (introduced by the President) showing superb visuals of this extraordinary natural wonderland.
People who love Iceland (I have written my memories of visiting Iceland) can go to the Inspired by Iceland website and leave their favourite stories, photos or videos. People considering an overseas vacation this northern summer should seriously consider visiting Iceland. With a favourable exchange rate and an opportunity to have a truly unique experience of nature on such an immense scale, it is a great time to go to Iceland.
Though I have no heritage ties to Iceland or to this initiative, the country offered some of best travel experiences I’ve ever had. My memories of visiting Iceland are numerous – sitting in naturally warmed rock pools overlooking a glacier in the evening twilight, viewing tortured rock formations, standing on the edge of untamed waterfalls, trekking along immense glaciers, cruising a lake full of graceful icebergs, dining on wild salmon, watching a geyser erupt every few minutes, walking the colourful streets of the tiny capital city, standing on the location of the world’s first parliament and listening to rich Icelandic sagas (some written about on this blog). But my abiding memory is of the friendly reserved people, so proud and accepting of the wild and unpredictable nature of their terrain – as one put it “it is what makes us Icelandic“.
Do you want to be inspired by Iceland?