About I'd Rather Be In Iceland

Icelandophile, runner, cat lover

Dream day in Iceland

Although Iceland isn’t a huge place it is big enough and has enough to do that I always warn people about trying to do too much in one trip or cover the whole country. However, if time, distance, and transport were no object, this is what I’d do on my dream day in Iceland:

I’d magically teleport myself to just outside the tunnel leading into my favourite town of  Ísafjörður. Just because I rarely get to go through tunnels I find them fun! P1010792

From there I would go into town, wander around the streets and watch a plane attempt a landing at the airport, hopefully with several go-rounds. I’d eat at the pizza place, I can’t remember exactly what I had there but it was good. Yep, I realise this is not the stuff most  people’s dreams are made of. Just humour me.

P1020029From there I’d snap my fingers and have the fun of the drive down the stunning Selárdalur road to the Samúel Jónsson site. I don’t know why I find this place so appealing, it is partly the scenery along the road and the general isolation.

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Then I’d magic myself to the sulphurous wasteland of Hverarönd,  and remind myself what a trip to Mars or a post-apocalyptic world could be like.

From there I’d go Jökulsárlón, but not to the lagoon itself but to the iceberg littered beach across the road.

4cFinally, there would be a change of season and I’d go and visit any of the waterfalls in their frozen state.P1000328I can think of a few other good combos – maybe they partly seem interesting because they could never really happen! So that’s my dream day in Iceland – what’s yours? 

 

Book review: 88 by Alva

“we’re supposed to throw ourselves out there, take risks! but never ever show any kind of pain or sense of failure if things don’t turn out the way we hope they will.”

There was a statistic in the news last year stating that 1 in 10 Icelanders will publish a book. Iceland is a country for book lovers although only a very small percentage of those published are then translated into English. It’s probably no wonder that many people interested in Iceland turn to bloggers to find out more about daily life and their thoughts on current events. Iceland Eyes was a hugely influential blog for me. Maria has covered just about every aspect of Iceland you can think during the many years she has been blogging. In recent years it’s been interesting to see through her blog and other social media that she has become more introspective in her writing and interested in more mystical topics. I was really excited when she announced she would have a book out. 88 was written under the name Alva to deliberately make it more artistic and less completely “her”.

88 is actually quite hard to review as I feel like it’s a very personal book. Maria gave 88herself a timeline of 88 days to write this book in. Because of this, the book is reflective of her daily life and thoughts during this period, dipping in and out of life events and coming back to include Iceland’s natural surroundings. Writing without an idea of the overall outcome as you don’t know what will happen during those days is an interesting concept. Having read her blog I had several moments where I “recognised” what she was talking about and knew more of the wider context, and it was interesting to read about the same events in a different format. Having said that, there is an element of fiction as this is not a diary and you should not assume that everything in this book happened at all, or specifically to Maria.

This book has a style that you could either love or hate, it’s non-linear and almost reads like a poem in places. It means you could just read a few random pages without feeling that you’ve missed out  by not reading it in order. It is full of emotion and I would imagine it was pretty cathartic to write. Maria is a natural writer and proven she can adapt her writing style, and be a creative writer as well as she can cover factual topics.

You can buy this book in the Mál og Menning bookstore on Laugavegur in Reykjavík, via Blurb (UK link here but should take you to your local website) or download via iTunes.

 

Life without blogging

It’s funny the way blogging works. I haven’t posted in 3 months and yet my views aren’t much lower than when I was posting! There seems to be a year-round flow of people looking for information on planning trips to Iceland and from my search terms, a huge number also want to move to Iceland.

I was surprised when a post of mine went viral and I had 30,000 views in 3 days. Why is it that the posts that people share are never your best ones?? I’m sure it should be a bloggers dream to get lots of new readers in one hit but it was actually a little weird.

Sadly, several bloggers that I have been a long-term follower of have also either been quiet or made a conscious decision to stop. I suppose like any hobby, most blogs have a shelf life – my problem is that I haven’t found any new ones that I like as much! On a positive note doing less blog reading and social media in general makes it feel like I have lots of spare time.

I’ve been quiet partly because I was meant to go to Iceland in February but had to cancel my trip and have been feeling a little uninspired in terms of new content. I do still have a few places from the last trip that I haven’t blogged about yet, but I’m now also looking forward to going back later this summer. It’s feeling like a very long time since I’ve been.

Just because I’ve been quiet, doesn’t mean there’s been a shortage of Iceland in the news. Pollapönk, protests and DNA testing for Icelanders have taken up big parts of my news feed in recent months. Perhaps the most unexpected news story for me was the fact that Showtime is doing a remake of the great Icelandic TV series Heimsendir. It’s a shame that most viewers will probably never see the original, which is both dark and funny.

Just so I don’t feel guilty about a post with NOTHING new about Iceland to share, as many of my readers seem to like Icelandic sheep, I will close with a photo of a two headed sheep/typical Icelandic roadblock:

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Hiatus

Don’t you hate it when a blogger just goes silent with no explanation? This is just to let you know that I will be taking a break from blogging. There’s loads of content to catch up on the archives and other great Iceland bloggers (links on the right) that you can read in the meantime. Thanks for stopping by!