This little book (you put it in your bag like that) came by on a facebook page that I follow.
Whoever posted it had bought the booklet at Reykjavik airport and thought it was a very useful booklet, which basically everyone should read before they come to Iceland, she wrote.
My interest was piqued.
In any case, I wanted to learn more about Iceland, its backgrounds, what is it really like to live there (after all: with my possible emigration plans, that is pretty important information).
And of course, I was curious how Icelanders think about us, tourists,.
So I went looking for the book.
Tip 1: Search well on the internet and compare prices with the different providers.
The prices for the booklet I found were between 12 and 40 euros, quite a difference!
I ended up buying the booklet from Amazonde, and as soon as it was in I started reading.
And I didn't stop until I finished the book!
Except to sleep or work occasionally, but really, every moment I had the time I read in this booklet. On the one hand because I dig up all the information about Iceland like a sponge, on the other hand, and that is much more important: because Alda explains with a lot of humor, in understandable language how things work in Iceland.
In 206 pages, you get an insight into Icelandic culture, the shock that has gone through Iceland since tourism has increased, the consequences for the country, for its residents, and for nature.
Because where I enjoy going to Iceland, and drive around there, and walk, for example, I also like it if there is a toilet here and there.
What you don't think about in all your joy is that a toilet is not just somewhere: for that, sewage has to be built, and it has to go somewhere, to be disposed of, and that means that the beautiful nature of Iceland has to mess up, because they have to go into the ground.
And that's a small example.
Another example: setting up a hotel in or near a beautiful nature reserve is a nice idea, because then you'll be in the nature reserve faster, but there too: electricity has to come, so poles above the ground, ugly! Underground means a big attack on nature. Not to mention all the trucks that have to come there to bring building material, and bring the stock. The tourists who come must be able to get to the hotel by car, and signs must be placed in the unspoilt nature.
Iceland is changing, and at a very fast pace, because, after the country was on the verge of the abyss when a few national banks fell over, there has been an advertising campaign to lure people to Iceland. A very successful campaign, because 4 million tourists come to the country each year, which has 375,000 inhabitants.
The tourists all have good intentions, but it has consequences for the country.
Also positive ones, because with all those tourists, there was a whole new industry, the tourism industry, which generates a lot of employment and income, which of course makes many Icelanders very happy! Because life in Iceland is quite spicy, due to the extreme climate, and the remote position of the island.
So Iceland is actually continuously in splits, due to tourism.
And why, and how this came, and that we are still welcome, if we take into account a few simple things, Alda explains in this booklet.
In addition to tourism, which is extensively exposed, there is also a lot of room to address and debunk famous myths.
Myths where I too have been kicked in, as more than 50% of Icelanders would believe in Elves and trolls.
It explains why Icelandic horses are called horses, when technically they are not horses (sssst, you don't have it from me!).
What about those hot pools, and do you really have to shower in your bare before you get in?
Are Icelandic women really that easy to get into bed?
She tells in her book!
And what are the places you really shouldn't skip in Iceland?
An important booklet, which, in my opinion, everyone who wants to go to Iceland on vacation should read first.
It reads like a train, is packed with tips, and makes you feel like traveling to this beautiful country.