Gulfoss @ Midnight

The Iceland Blog

The Iceland Blog

Gulfoss @ Midnight

Gulfoss @ Midnight

A recent trip to Iceland made me realize how similar Iceland and Ireland are – in some areas the landscape is just like Ireland. The price of petrol, food, beer etc are similar.

And the people are similar – warm friendly and eager to extract the last Krona/Euro from your pocket or credit card…

Like Ireland, Iceland needs tourists. A significant portion of Irelands/Iceland’s GNP comes from tourism.

So what’s the problem you might ask? Well it’s a long story and one I’ll be revealing over the next few weeks.

What everyone in Iceland and Ireland forgets is we are all in the tourism industry. Yes even staff in petrol stations. Especially staff in petrol stations. And shop assistants. You’re not selling petrol or food or beer or shelter for the night – you’re selling your country! Always.

I don’t expect red carpets or fanfares – a simple “Thanks” would do.

And so I say Thanks to the first Icelander I met in Keflavik Airport. A warm friendly guy waiting for his wife to come through from the Duty Free – as I leaned against a bollard outside the airport having my first cigarette in about eight hours… Weak from the effects of nicotine and a very scary landing. (That’s another story…)

View from Höfn, Iceland

View from Höfn, Iceland

The guy was selling nothing – he might have been a fisherman or farmer or an accountant. But he sold me on one thing – Iceland is a friendly country, full of friendly people – just like Ireland. And like Ireland, the rip-off merchants are waiting round every corner determined to line their pockets at every opportunity…