Iceland in the Caribbean

To understand the notion that Icelanders secretly believe that theirs is a Caribbean island, you need only study the tourist literature. The tourist is always warned to bring a bathing suit (and, to be fair, a sweater to keep warm on a perhaps chill summer evening), and there are swimming pools everywhere (public and private), and everyone swims (summer or winter) courtesy of the geothermal resources that make it easy to heat pools as well as cities. And the sports that Icelanders excel at are summer ones, such as handball. Nordic sports? Forget it! And do you want to talk about seasonal depression when the days are short and the nights long . . . visit Iceland in winter! Finally, Icelandic hotels like to show a little film that has the refrain, "You shouldn't call Iceland iceland." The point is that no one says what it should be called.

But don't get me wrong; it's a magnificent country. The air is very clean (thanks, again, to geothermal energy sources) and, consequently, the play of light on features natural and manmade is astounding.

Nevertheless, its Caribbean illusion results in a few peculiar situations for tourists in late autumn. I regret I didn't have the willpower to photograph the two women (who no doubt brought bathing suits) struggling on the route below in high heels.

Snowy trail

Yes, the famous (depending on the weather) ten- or nine- or eight-hour tour claimed two more victims.

Note: The background tile is from my photo of the black sands along the southern shore of Iceland.

The Tour!  |  A stroll thru Akureyri  |  An Icelandic horse ride

Love-jealousy on the lake: a whooper swan tale.

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