More home in the dark.
Yet more shopping (there’s lots of shopping.)
And more home in the dark (there’s lots of dark.)
Tourist Reykjavik is only one half a block deep.
Iceland has one of the highest divides between wealthy and poverty people in the world. One result is that private construction is improvised and not meant to last.
While government construction is sturdy and maintained.
The Church at Borg
This is not new. Private, circa 1945:
Looking out from the Harpa Concert Hall over the New Harbour in Reykjavik
Well, OK, government-financed completion of failed rich man’s extravagance. That’s part of the picture, too.
There’s the pretty one.
And across the street, the rusty one. All the fish are gone. Beautiful, though.
With ruins in the foreground.
Neither is Iceland, though. That’s something the Icelanders keep to themselves. What they present to you in its place are charms and gestures.
You know, stuff you remember from the world.
So, lunch. That would be nice. Why not the Apotek in Reykjavik?Highly rated. A rather desolate environment, sure…
… but you came here for desolate, right? The bracing subarctic! And there is a fine menu. Why, the hamburger is only about CAD$40. Add a Gull, of course, and it’ll be around $55.
What? That was a whole day’s food budget? Not to worry. There are other options. The road to Seyðisfjörður, for example, or just off to the side, in case there’s a car. Serving travellers for 1100 years.
The menu is simple.
Bilberries and Rainwater
Add a Skyr for CAD$2.00…
It even comes with a clever little Chinese folding spoon, which you can keep as a souvenir! And you can wander while you eat.
Bring a coat, though. It’s Iceland! Oh, and dessert is the same as lunch.
But that’s OK, right?
We need more rust in Reykjavik! This lovely old antique shop in Reykjavik is now a restaurant. Heck, every building downtown is either a bar or a restaurant, or a coffee shop, well, also a gift shop.
The price of this form of industrialization is history. Reykjavik is now a place where tourists go to rub shoulders with other tourists. For an industry based on sincerity, that’s dangerous.
More rust, please. Please. Save the glass for the burbs where the Icelanders live. They deserve the light.
1100 years of improvisation beats out the competition any time.
But, don’t take it from me!
“Iceland is a highly competitive location for operation of Data Centres. Iceland has specialized in storage and disaster recovery for foreign companies offering a unique low-cost location for large International Data Centres low corporate tax and highly skilled IT labour. Iceland has built up a large-scale infrastructure that is very well-suited to meeting the new technological requirements of enterprises. This infrastructure has undoubtedly served as a major support for fast growth in the ICT industry and the fast adoption of technological solutions throughout society.”
Yeah, like that. In Iceland, the whole country is wired.
Low Cost Solutions Abound!
” Iceland is a highly competitive location for operation of Data Centres. Iceland has specialized in storage and disaster recovery for foreign companies offering a unique low-cost location for large International Data Centres low corporate tax and highly skilled IT labour. “ http://www.made-in-iceland.com.cn/it/
The same as anywhere else. You channel a river system through a hydroelectric dam to power an aluminum smelter for the industrial and economic elite, and deposit the water in the next valley, claiming that all environmental standards have been met… … kill the sacred lake, the birthplace of Iceland’s country and the modern state. This is, of course, called progress. These images were taken in Hallormstaðir, the Town of Rowans, a sacred place a couple hours by foot from Gunnar’s house. It’s a good thing he’s not there to see it!
This globally precious land in a country that claims to be an environmental leader is about to be sold for tourist developement. Perhaps this image shows why it is not being made into a national park instead, which would be the responsible, wise course to meet tourism and environmental goals together.
Note the catastrophic lava field that obliterated the original farms in modern memory, the excavator digging gravel out of the river, a forbidden practice in many countries but likely under government subsidy here, to enable farmers to stay on the land, and the farm up on the poorly-productive high country, away from that lava gick. This is a story of survival by harnessing energy to an austere, hierarchal system of political order. The fear is palpable, but the land…
… is palpable, too. Environmental laws mean nothing if this land is not protected from crass development. The soul of the nation is here. Development is inevitable, and in true Icelandic fashion, it will be industrial and in place, and it should be. Restraint, though, is also Icelandic, and it is sorely needed here.
This land, rich in spirit, is as fragile as Iceland. The response to the offer of sale of this land should be as robust as iceland, which means putting some teeth into environmental legislation. The alternative is to become a laughing stock. It’s not desirable, and it’s not necessary.