A Song Of Iceland: Fire Up The Jet

So you’re stuck at home with a nasty case of pandemic and budding bungling fascism.

You can’t travel, which makes it hard to accomplish your lifelong dream: startling reindeer and puffins with a random primal scream.

Iceland has you covered.

This might be one of the more brilliant tourism promotional campaigns I’ve ever seen.

The website Looks Like You Need Iceland lets you scream into a computer or smart phone and broadcast it at designated spots around that weird, wonderful landscape. You can be an annoying tourist without leaving home AND do wonders for your psyche.

It’s scream therapy in the Arctic Circle without having to bundle up.

And it’s only the first of several reasons why you should schedule your first post-pandemic flight for Keflavík International Airport (did you know that you can actually search for “Iceland airport” and it instantly brings up this particular airport? That would be like searching “US Airport” and instantly getting SFO.)

Here are some of the others:

  1. In Iceland, elves kill corrupt bankers.

Okay, so this one’s included mostly because I love writing about Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

But. There is a charming hint of “What if?”

Do elves exist? According to Iceland Magazine, while the short answer is most Icelanders do not believe elves exist, they aren’t necessarily willing to commit themselves to outright denial. And while Iceland Magazine could be having us on, with a bit of wry humor as seen with getting us to scream into the wilderness, the ‘better safe than sorry’ perspective makes sense, without the cynicism of Pascal’s Wager and matching up well with why I’ve always said I’m an agnostic with atheistic tendencies.

  1. You can touch ice from 1,000 years ago.

Glaciers are melting everywhere in North America. Even in Glacier National Park, a relatively hidden jewel, glaciers will be gone in my daughter’s lifetime.

In Iceland, a visit to Jökulsárlón lets you see harp seals patrolling frigid, black waters, and you’ll hear the occasional boom of a calving iceberg. A cruise of the lagoon gives you the chance to touch floating ice hauled aboard by the guide – and ice stays frozen for thousands of years there.

On second thought, there are too many people there already. Don’t go there. Leave it cold, dark, and silent. The world needs more of that.

  1. Iceland has reinvented midnight to look like 7 PM.

It’s a trippy thing, going for a walk at midnight through empty parks, past a shuttered City Hall, and through quiet streets, knowing it’s midnight but feeling like it’s twilight. It’s an alien feeling.

However, don’t necessarily trust Icelanders when they tell you they know all about the midnight sun and have the best blackout curtains; when we stayed in Reykjavik in June of 2015, the AirBNB ‘blackout’ curtains had a good two-inch-per-side gap; we had to exploit all the towels and baby books we brought to jury-rig additional coverage.

  1. The Big Lebowski Bar. Enough Said.

How can you hate a country that produced an entire Big Lebowski-themed bar, complete with White Russians?

  1. They might not be as bad about whaling.

Our stay in Reykjavik was one of the more peaceful, relaxed segments of our 2015 European adventure. But it wasn’t untroubled.

We were on a harbor cruise past some rocky islands, home to nesting puffins and abandoned school-buildings, when the guide mentioned the whaling industry.

Oh, that’s right, I remembered with a thud. Iceland is one of the BTA (Big Three Ash-hole) countries, along with Norway and Japan. Only I didn’t think Ash-hole.

But. It looks like that could be changing.

Granted, this isn’t coming from change of heart. Like most progressive steps, there are pragmatic reasons:

  • Social distancing requirements made the industry impractical (an ironic benefit of the pandemic, perhaps)
  • Increased income from whale-watching
  • Diminished export market in Japan

Hey, progress is progress, regardless of the cause. So, assuming the world doesn’t end and travel becomes more feasible, Iceland could be your next great vacation.

Published by dmhallett101

Husband, father, writer, reader, mostly in that order. Staying sane by pretending to be creative by playing with (WordPress) blocks.

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