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ICELANDIC TIMES – ISSUE 35

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Iceland, standing in the middle of the Atlantic, is a small nation positioned between two different cultures, political systems and world powers.
When the country hosted the famous meeting of the Presidents of the USA and former USSR, the island that was known as ‘Europe’s Best Kept Secret’ was thrust into the limelight.
From that point, Iceland began to play more major roles, becoming the ‘go to’ place for tourists and adventurers— and becoming known for its volcanic eruptions and its economic crash.
On every front, Iceland was suddenly thrust into the public eye and, as word spread about the people, the nature, the amazing sights and experiences that greeted visitors, it has undergone an amazing transformation.
It has taken its place on the world stage, bringing to the table fresh ideas, perspectives and an entrepreneurial vision. It is providing forums for discussion, a land of health alternatives, possibilities of tranquil peace and a humbling perspective of life with its dramatic landscapes that just might enable cooler heads to prevail.
One of the challenges that has faced Iceland with the current boom in tourism, is how to maintain the very things that differentiate it from every other country that tourists fly to see.
The country’s infrastructure has been developing rapidly, not without its growing pains, but with a desire on the part of the nation not to allow its culture, landscapes and nature to be spoiled.
Iceland is very concerned about the environment and its care. It is a leader in geothermal developments, for example.
Providing for the needs of an expected 1.5 million tourists in a country of just over 300,000 inhabitants is no easy task but Icelanders are rising to the occasion to meet the needs of tourists from budget back-packers to wealthy celebrities and provide the best experiences of the country throughout the year. All four seasons offer completely different views and challenges—a fact that is encouraging visitors to come at different times of year.
This issue offers a range of topics and views from this unique island in the North.