Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Iceland Eyes

For the many who have never seen Iceland, a wealth of pictures, and a lot of heart. Hi Maria.


Iceland was arguably unfortunately named. It certainly has ice. It has glaciers that rival those in the rockies. It has absolutely stunning scenery. But compared to Ontario, it really is not that cold. Greenland was also misnamed. It unlike Iceland is not at all green.. it really is (or was before global warming) a land made of ice. Greenland's name was a very early sales pitch (as well as sails pitch). Those promoting emigrating from Iceland to Greenland, thought that calling it green might get suckers who had never seen it to imagine it greener than Iceland. I've never forgotten the salesman who convinced my wife that a pure white carpet wouldn't stain. Never trust a salesman.

In the summer when I was in Iceland I quickly found myself thinking that Iceland should be called "The land of rainbows". There was always the threat of a light drizzle, and thus a rainbow to be seen somewhere. It became almost a compulsion to find the rainbow of the moment. Iceland is a lot further north than most of Canada, and the light therefore very different. Rather than being brilliant and intense it was more red, and full of dappled shades and ever changing character. Most Canadians having seen Iceland once would long to visit it a second time.

The reason you wouldn't want to go to Iceland in the middle of winter would not be the risk of turning into an icicle finding your way to the out house, but the risk of getting lost finding you way to the out house. In the middle of winter Iceland sitting at its northern tip less than 1km from the Arctic Circle, and so is dark close to 24 hours a day. At Christmas I was told massive bonfires are lit in celebration, and it is the light as much as the warmth which is celebrated.


Here in Ontario the snow would be great if it just went sooner. I suspect that in Iceland, it would be a much better place to live if it just got light sooner. Of course just as in Ontario we make up for the cold of winter by having tremendous summers, so in Iceland they make up for the dark by having great summers with close to 24 hour daylight. We both know when to party, and when to close up shop.

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