Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsReykjavik

In Iceland, everyone's invited to have pancakes with the president

November 08, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Suddenly, I really want to go to Iceland. The president invited me to his house for pancakes. And the mayor of Reykjavik asked me over for Icelandic sushi.

Actually, it's not just me. These high-profile pols -- and a boatload of their countrymen -- are inviting visitors to come to dinner, go birdwatching, stick their feet in a geothermal pool or go for a walk with their dog.

What started as a tourism campaign to "accept Iceland's invitation" to visit this winter has morphed into real events by real people behind those invites. Travelers can go to the website, browse the activities and click a button to accept an invitation from one or two of the 320,000 residents who live there.

But back to the pancakes. President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson is set to open the presidential palace in Reykjavik to tourists at 4 p.m. Wednesday (as in today). He'll be serving up pancakes with whipped cream and rhubarb jam -- not bloated IHOP-style pancakes, but thin little crepe-like concoctions. (If you need an invite, see the video above).

Sif Gustavvson of Visit Iceland says many travelers have RSVPd to the event that promises little fanfare or official scrutiny. "Visitors to the president's residence are generally surprised by the lack of security," Gustavvson says. "It's just him at the door with his dog." How refreshing.

Next week, travelers may visit a microbrewery in the north (Nov. 18), see three hot springs in a day (Nov. 19), go for a dive in the North Atlantic (Nov. 20) and learn to cook Icelandic fish (Nov. 22). If you stay longer, the invites can keep you busy into February.

Maybe Iceland is onto something. I like the idea of formally accepting invitations to dinner or a party in a faraway land. And returning home to tell friends you had pancakes with the president? It sure doesn't get better than that.





Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|