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July 2018

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Iceland by Andrew Evans

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for: Those traveling to Iceland who want some more history beyond a couple pages in the back of the book.

In a nutshell: Author Andrew Evans provides a (more than usual) in-depth history of Iceland before sharing standard guide-book fare.

Worth quoting:
“Iceland is the most literate country in the world and one out of every ten Icelanders will write a book in their lifetime.”
“Also, don’t bring a pair of shorts just in case it gets warm. It won’t.”

Why I chose it:
I’m heading to Iceland for a long weekend next month.

Review:
As I write this it is currently 94 degrees outside. In London. A place roundly mocked for being rainy and mild year round.

Ninety. Four. Degrees.

What I’m saying is, I CANNOT WAIT to get to Iceland, where it’s going to be in the low 50s. It’s possible I will be cold again soon.

Anyway, I bought this book awhile ago and then realized the trip was coming up quickly. I am not familiar with Bradt guides, so I figured I’d try it out on a low-stakes weekend away to see if it’s worth seeking out for longer trips in the future.

It definitely is.

I think I’ve said before that I appreciate guides that provide more than just the tourist info. And I don’t mean that I need hidden gems or whatever; I mean I want to know something about the place I’m going. And this guide delivers. The first four chapters – nearly a quarter of the book – focuses on the background, history, natural history, and practical information one needs when visiting Iceland.

The book then breaks the country down into a few regions, focusing on how to get around and then providing details on the towns in the region. The only area that took some getting used to was the “things to do” piece isn’t broken down the way it normally is. Instead of little chunks of info listed out (like the accommodation and restaurant sections), it’s more of a narrative, with the needed details (like opening hours) includes in parenthesis. Not my favorite way to get information, but a little easier to read.

 

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