ICELANDERS TO WORLD: COME MEET US IN OUR HOMES
In the fall of 2011, the people of Iceland sent out an unprecedented invite to the world, inviting everyone to come and visit them in their homes, at work, or any other place they might like to experience daily life in Iceland, as a part of the Inspired by Iceland tourism initiative.
Following in the steps of Iceland’s president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who invited tourists to sample Icelandic pancakes at the presidential residence in Bessastaðir, Icelanders from around the country opened their doors and pledged to offer a unique glimpse into daily life in Iceland through personal connections on the campaign website, www.inspiredbyiceland.com.
Invitations included walking across lava fields with Þorleifur Þór Jónsson and his Icelandic sheepdog Mosi, knitting, seal watching, photography, band practice, training with the The Reykjavík Raiders Rugby Football club and shepherding on a farm outside of Akureyri. BAFTA nominated Director Rupert Murray was on site in Iceland and present for many of the invites. The result is an innovative documentary, Íslander, which captures this unique initiative from the Icelandic people.
According to Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir, Director for Marketing & Visit Iceland at Promote Iceland, the film captures the spirit of Iceland and the wonderful experiences shared by both locals and their guests: “We wanted to get Icelanders involved to share the unique qualities of our country and to invite others to be ‘Inspired by Iceland’,” says Pálsdóttir. “We are extremely proud of the documentary, Íslander, and feel that it captures the essence of the Inspired By Iceland campaign but also the Icelandic people who contributed so much. We can’t wait to share it with the world and hope that everyone who watches it is inspired.”
Following the success of the invitations, and the apparent popularity of food-related invites, Inspired by Iceland decided to invite tourists to take part in a 12-day culinary road trip in March, starting from Reykjavik, journeying through black sand beaches and snow-capped glaciers, celebrating Iceland’s finest foods.
Designed to encompass traditional Icelandic charm, Eldhús, which is Icelandic for kitchen and literally translates to ‘Fire House’, is complete with a turf roof and seated only six diners around one single table each evening.
Every night, world-class chefs prepared a meal, using only Icelandic materials, renowned for its purity. The little house is on wheels and was transported to some of most breath-taking sites in Icelandic nature, where guests were invited to partake in one of the world’s most exclusive and intimate dining experiences.
There is a lot more to come from Inspired by Iceland.