The spirit of Iceland

The poet W. H. Auden, in his Letters From Iceland, described north Icelanders as 'realistic' and 'unromantic'. North Iceland's glossy new tourist brochure, however, identifies the regional character as 'pure spirit'. But is this perhaps an example of subtle Icelandic humour? I suspect it might be.On day one of our three-day tour we visit the surreal, volcanic landscape around Lake Myvatn in a U.S. military Hummer adapted for tourists' comfort. 'Sterile, immature mountains, intense in the abno...