“Iceland: Same, Same, Different”

From Here Now, 5:00 am on 27 May 2024
Gullfoss is one of Iceland's best-known waterfalls.

Gullfoss is one of Iceland's best-known waterfalls. Photo: Kennedy Warne

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Iceeland and Aotearoa – are they twins?  Two nations separated at birth? Well, that’s the impression you might get from reading travel blogs about our two countries. And true, there are some remarkable similarities. Mountains, snow, fjords, hot pools, geysers, a small population and mind-blowing natural beauty.

Phil Vine decided to take the matter up with two Iceland women, Bjorg and Hera Hjartadóttir, who’ve made their homes in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Björg Halldórsdóttir

Björg Halldórsdóttir fishing in Christchurch Photo: RNZ

Despite the geographical doppelgängers there are some pretty well-defined cultural differences between Iceland and New Zealand.

Hera at home in Christchurch

Hera Hjartadóttir Photo: RNZ

Icelanders eat rotten shark, drink Black Death and put something unmentionable in their mashed potatoes.

At Christmas time there are 13 Bad Santa’s, one of whom steals your sausages. And they have a pretty unique attitude towards weekend drinking.

Find out more on this weeks episode of Here Now.