Iceland is well-known for its extremely beautiful, diverse and photogenic urban and rural landscapes. The stereotype notion of Iceland, by those who have never been is of a land fire and Ice where trolls still run wild; though I have never actually met a troll (although one sees lots of famous errant trolls that stayed out after sunrise and were turned into stone). It is certainly a land of ice and occasionally fire from volcanoes and sometimes a rare grass fire. Quite apart from awesome volcanoes glaciers (and great floods when a volcano under a glaciers erupts), Iceland is blessed with natural hot springs that heat houses in towns and in the countryside. The Wind Reader illustrates a much more complex and equally beautiful urban and rural landscape. In fact, in 2007, the United Nations ranked Iceland as the world's most desirable country to live in. The distinction has a lot to do with the way they approach their urban and landscapes. It stems from a delightful mindset that "Whatever you do, do it for the edification of Iceland."
Naturally, this is reflected in Icelandic arts, architecture, and education. But it is also reflected in the much more difficult quest for better land-care. Difficult in the sense that rural depopulation and a contrary natural environment tend to interfere with the best-laid plans of foresters, and soil conservationists. However, those charged with the task of landscape conservation, restoration and improvement have profusely demonstrated they are up for the task and are supported by a large and very active volunteer sector representing many public and civil-minded associations. And of course, given the annual influx of tourists who virtually triples the native population, there is certainly a considerable revenue stream to conserve Iceland's natural treasures and beautification town and country. What better place to demonstrate communities in harmony with Nature than The Agricultural University of Iceland at Hvanneyri as shown in this photo by Áskell þorisson.
Click on Photos below to enlarge
Photos of Iceland by Alexander Robertson