I overheard an interesting conversation about Iceland last Saturday night. My children’s literature teacher, from a couple semesters back, just happened to be at a bar I was at, and was quite passionately giving a speech about the Icelandic people and their belief in elves. Yep, you read that right, elves. Those fairytale creatures that most of us grew up with, or read about in Lord of the Rings. A breed of beings that are commonly depicted as miniature humans, rumored to have pointy ears, and supposedly live on rocky terrain.
Elves are a part of Celtic folklore, and the people of Iceland regard them with respect. When I overheard my old teacher, he was discussing how pieces of land are often protected in Iceland because elves are believed to inhabit particular areas. Scheduled building-projects frequently cease in Iceland because of them.
Some of you may be thinking that this tradition is lunacy. Why would we stop the progress of our society for a group of mythical beings? But this folk tale seems to have at least helped a little with the human problem of over-development. And keeping alive a source of magic and wonder can’t be bad for the country’s morale. No, I think we should thank the elves for contributing to the preservation of this beautiful country. For the sake of its wildlife and culture.
But, back to why you’re here–the infographic! Here’s ten reasons why you should visit the magical land of Iceland as soon as possible! [Via]