Djúpivogur (Iceland) on the Guardian


The paradox of the “slow movement” is that it’s positively dynamic these days. Its philosophy, which encompasses everything from slow travel to slow food and now slow television (in Norway you can watch real-time knitting), was born out of anger in the 1980s when Italian Carlo Petrini objected to McDonald’s opening on the Spanish Steps in Rome. The movement’s aim – as outlined in Carl Honoré’s 2004 book In Praise of Slow – is to encourage people to calm down the pace of life.

So what does that mean when applied to a town? The coastal town of Djúpivogur, in east Iceland, has just been granted international Cittaslow (Slow Town) status, and is making a quiet bid for some international love by offering to show visitors Iceland in slow motion.

I edge my way towards Djupivogur at a suitably modest pace, first staying at the Egilsstadir Guesthouse, a cosy spa hotel on the shores of Lake Logurinn. It’s a must for foodies. Even WH Auden – who wrote the not-altogether-complimentaryLetters from Iceland (in which he complained about dried fish and sleeping in a wet tent) – praised the food here. Part of the ethos of the slow city is to reconnect distinctive regions with their food, their nature, and their craft producers to form a bulwark against homogenised, globalised culture.

Read the full article on the Guardian

Photograph: Jill Schneider/Corbis