Iceland is a young country in more ways than one. It is geologically young but , even among the old, there is a sprightliness that comes from being outside all the time.
That’s something you find in Iceland, you don’t spend much time inside, unless that is you are in Reykjavik where something of European office culture exists.
I have bought a buss pass that allows me to fly from one spot of outstanding beauty to another without having to walk twelve hours a day with a 40 pound pack, which is what most of the people I meet are doing.
Being on a bus also allows you to enjoy conversations, something that Icelandics are only too happy to instigate. While they are proud of their Island, they are doubly proud of their occasional victories abroad
- the cod war of 1972 is still a top topic of conversation if you mention you are English
- followed by the World Cup 2016
- followed by Iceland’s part in the banking crisis (e.g. surviving it when the world wanted to shut Iceland down.
There is nothing chippy about these conversations. They remember their victories as they look forward to their challenges. I met an extraordinary lady last night called Arna Vilborg..
She is the first Icelandic to climb Everest , the first to ski to the south poll. Her motto “you snooze, you lose”. At 37 she has achieved a lot, she got up Everest late last year despite having her two previous trips aborted, avalanche and earthquake .
I met her banging out some emails in the volcanic hut at Thorsmurk. She had forgotten her computer, I had a Mac and she asked me to do her slideshow
Here she is ,
she tells me for her next trick she wants to be the first person to ski from one side of Iceland to another.
In this country, nothing would surprise me!