Apologies for the lack of chronology in these posts! Admittedly this must be a very confusing read. Still yet a variety of Icelandic experiences to consolidate, a number of notes I’m organizing for a return trip here in the future, and still more that I have yet to uncover. As I’m belatedly going through some of the photos from a week ago from the hallway floor of a hostel in Quebec City, sifting through my notes and photos, the quirks of Iceland become all the more striking.
Propped against a dramatic backdrop of volcanoes and frozen waterfalls, punctuated by nordic viking culture and extreme weather conditions, Iceland was the only environment extreme enough to bring to life “The Game of Thrones” series.
As dramatic as it is, Iceland is also a land so charmingly benign that it is both admirable almost comical. Admirable in the sense that, despite still not having a government after following elections several months ago, they remain socio-politically stable. Comical, in the sense that a glorified value is attributed to every woolen reindeer sweater you would only wear to your grandmother’s home. Likewise, music culture whose primary claim to fame is that they once hosted Kaleo before he got big. (*In the capital there’s museum depicting the evolution of music in Iceland. Inside, there’s a milestone labeling when Punk became popular in the rest of the world. For Iceland it simply states, “No Punk”).
In many ways, it almost strange to see how harmoniously the more traditional ‘glorified isolationism’ interacts with the booming inclusivity of globalization. I believe I mentioned before that this 337,000 demographic is expected to host nearly 2 million visitors through the next year.
Tied to tradition by necessity and heritage, Iceland bears a distinctly Scandinavian interpretation on foods, literature, music and many other things which I’m sure I would have discovered if I’d had more time.
All the while, still at the technological forefront producing nearly all energy by optimizing its geothermal and hydro-electric capacity (although the latter is more controversial). Lack of a naturally prolific growing season has also prompted greenhouse agriculture (one of the reasons why Iceland is Europe’s largest producer of bananas).
In sum, fascinating country! Definitely worth the visit! Am out of time, otherwise I’m sure I could continue all day!