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.

So far it is clearly having some effect as over 500,000 people have viewed the video and two million have checked out their Twitter (@icelandinspired).

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?

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10 Responses to Inspired by Iceland

  • GotPassport says:

    this post makes me want to visit Iceland even more now! thanks for the share. Cheers!!

  • Manisha Chopra says:

    Iceland seems to be a charming spot. And your photographs are really beautiful

  • Sherry says:

    What a great tourism effort by the country. I love unique ideas like that.
    A great story!

  • Donna Hull says:

    I've always wanted to visit Iceland. I'm impressed with this tourism effort by citizens of Iceland.

  • Vera Marie Badertscher says:

    Thanks for sharing this travel wonder. My brother and S-i-L who have traveled widely thought Iceland was one of the best places they had visited. It truly looks gorgeous in your excellent pictures.

  • BarbaraW says:

    I've long wanted to go to Iceland and now even more so after reading your post. Plus, aurora boreal activity is on the rise, so the timing is perfect for this coming early 2011.

  • anubhav kapoor says:

    I was always fascinated by the name itself. I mean "iceland" directly implies something that is hard to find these days…cold, tranquil places that are away from the usual fuss of city living.

  • Katie Hammel - WhyGo Iceland says:

    Iceland is truly like no other place on Earth, and I'm so happy to see interest in the country growing thanks to this inventive tourism campaign.

    Of all the places I've been, Iceland remains the most dear to me. Maybe it's the geologic forces, maybe there really is something other-wordly going on there, but everyone I know who has visited has agreed that there's just something special about Iceland. As soon as you arrive, you just feel more calm, more comfortable. It really is magic.

  • Mark H says:

    @GotPassport: An extraordinary country and an extraordinary initiative.

    @Manisha: Thank you

    @sherry: It is an impressive idea.

    @donna: It must be a very together country to be able to pull something like this off.

  • Mark H says:

    @vera: If you like nature, then Iceland abounds in it.

    @BarbaraW: Visiting in late winter would be very different.

    @anubhav: For its name, the country was very green. Maybe they got Greenland and Iceland the wrong way around?

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Welcome to Travel Wonders
My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.
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