- Lyndell Daniel
ICELAND - Icelandic Sheep
The Icelandic sheep is a breed of domestic sheep. Genetically the Icelandic sheep is the same today as it was 1100 years ago. It is possibly the oldest and purest domesticated breed of sheep in the world today. I have read that the Icelandic sheep is special in many ways. For example, the leading sheep possessing the qualities of the Icelandic breed does not exist anywhere else in the world. Many stories have been told of their rescuing both men and other sheep from danger.
Around 1980 there were about 100 times more sheep in the country than people. The number has since been reduced because of the bad effect overgrazing was having on the fragile nature.
Just after we left the airport we encountered the Icelandic Sheep - our first sighting was cardboard cutout sheep on the fences in Rejkavik; but soon after that we saw the real version.
There are apparently, still more sheep in Iceland than people, which I can believe after living, travelling and conversing with these sheep everywhere we went. I must admit I became fascinated with them. They appeared to always stay in groups of three. Even when you thought there was one lone sheep, you would then realise his two mates were lying in the grass not far from him. If you went up to them, the three sheep would come together quickly and either stand and stare at you or rush away.
I could not complete my Iceland blogs without a section for the sheep. They were on the roads, in the hills, on cliffs and even in the water where we bathed sometimes.