ILKLEY & DISTRICT u3a
Talks are presently held via easy to use Zoom video link
Malcolm and I visited the Land of Ice and Fire in 1969, before it became a holiday destination, and spent two weeks trekking through uninhabited volcanic terrain to the top of the Torfajökull glacier. It was certainly different and has stayed in my mind ever since, though my interest was rekindled only fairly recently when Julia Bradbury did her Iceland Walk on television.
Beyond the coastal towns there had been no sign of civilisation back in the 60s. We travelled to our starting point in a 4x4 mountain bus driving on lava chips. We slept in old shepherds' huts, caves or tents and had to carry all our food and equipment. When there were rivers to cross we had to wade up to our thighs. There is now a road around the island, bridges across some of the rivers, waymarked footpaths and comfortable accommodation.
Iceland’s entire banking system failed in the 2008 crash but by 2014 the economy had made a significant recovery, due in large part to the surge in tourism. Join me for a scamper through the history and geography of this fascinating place, some memories of a gruelling trek, and a look at modern Iceland.
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