Improving Icelandic Tourism

Just a quick post as I dust off this blog a bit! I spent some time out of the country towards the end of the summer, and I’m afraid things got a bit neglected =)

One of the places I went was Iceland, which is incomparable for nature and landscape photography.

IMG_3706Near Þingvellir, the site of the original Icelandic parliament, there is a field full of small stone totems.  Although you see these sporadically throughout Iceland, the totems in this field are somewhat unimpressive – they’re all about ankle- to calf- high, and look like they could have been assembled in a few hours by 2 or 3 dedicated nine year olds.

Interestingly, this is an “official” attraction; I don’t know the story behind it, but there is a parking area and signage at the site.

We went to another site, Fjallsárlón, a lagoon into which icebergs calve off of a glacier before floating to the sea.  Although it’s the smaller and less popular sibling of Jökulsárlón, it’s a stunningly gorgeous site in its own right.


I found myself wondering if I was being unkind in my characterization of the Þingvellir totems, so I decided to try building a non-trivial totem myself. I spent about 10 minutes gathering and arranging stones, producing a 2.5 foot / 75 cm tall totem with a small stone circle around it. I thought it looked quite nice, and wondered aloud to my wife how many other tourists’ photos it would show up in over the years.

Hilariously, as my wife and I were walking up the hill to leave, we saw another pair of tourists come around a bend and excitedly start taking photos of the totem with the glacier in the background. Hurrah for instant gratification!

How to find it: I didn’t want to plunk this thing down right in the middle of the site, so it’s off to the east a bit. If you happen to visit and it’s still standing, please feel free to add a stone and send me a photo!