Full text: Iceland 1930

Iceland is rich in good natural harbours, especially her eastern and 
western coasts, while the southern one, being remarkably free from 
indentations, has no harbours worthy of the name. In several places 
wharfs have been built where large ships can be accommodated, but 
other modern facilities for loading and landing are generally wanting. 
In various places the construciion of breakwaters gives good harbours. 
During 1913—18 a harbour was constructed in Reykjavik, at the cost 
of 2 million krénur; it has subsequently been greatly improved. And 
at the Westman Islands large sums have been expended on a harbour 
to accommodate the fishing fleet stationed there. 
The first lighthouse in Iceland was erected in 1878, on the Reykja- 
nes peninsula, a point which is passed by all ships on their way to 
Reykjavik from abroad; and in 1897 three more were added around 
the Faxi Bay. It may seem strange now how long this lack of light- 
houses was put up with, as navigation around the coasts of Iceland is 
in some places very dangerous. But it should be remembered that Ice- 
landic waters were navigated almost exclusively during summer, when 
there is so much light that artificial “sign-posts“ are not needed. But 
as the fishing fleet increased and deep-sea fishing came to be pursued 
mainly during the winter, and as navigation to the country developed, 
also during the darker seasons of the year, the want of lighthouses be- 
gan to be more keenly felt, and since 1900 the erection of lighthouses 
has been in rapid progress, with the result that they are now (1930) 
101 in number, 57 of which are kept up entirely by the State, the re- 
maining 44 by municipalities and parishes. 
The State expenditure towards lighthouses, including control and 
salaries to keepers, amounted in 1928 to 246 thousand krénur, while 
the light dues reached 449 thousand (see page 43); but it should be 
borne in mind that during preceding years the State has expended 
considerable sums towards the erection of lighthouses. 
In Iceland the postal service has from the first been under State 
management, and almost all the inter-provincial mail has, until quite 
recently, been conveyed on horse-back. The chief mail-routes are tra- 
versed regularly every month during the winter and more frequently 
in summer, for the purpose of delivering and collecting letters, parcels

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