Steina Matt/Courtesy of Skessuhorn

It was addressed to an Icelandic “horse farm with an Icelandic/Danish couple and three kids and a lot of sheep,” and included a handy map.

So you need to send a letter, but you don’t know your recipient’s address. In today’s connected world, you might do a quick Google search, or opt to send an email instead. But one tourist looking to mail a letter to Iceland found an old-school solution: Draw a map on the envelope.

First reported in May by the Icelandic news site Skessuhorn, the letter is making its way back into the news thanks to a recent post on Reddit. Rebecca Cathrine Kaadu Ostenfeld lives on a farm in Búðardalur, Iceland, with her husband and three children. Her farm, which doubles as a mini zoo, according to its Facebook page, attracts a handful of tourists each year.

One of them, not knowing the farm’s address or Ostenfeld’s name, made their best attempt to provide the local mail carrier with as much information as they had.

Under “country,” they wrote Iceland. Under “city,” Búðardalur. Then, they got (sort of) specific with the recipient’s address: “A horse farm with an Icelandic/Danish couple and three kids and a lot of sheep!” They added that the Danish woman works at a supermarket.

In case that wasn’t quite enough information to get the letter where it was going, the clever sender drew a map on the envelope, with a red dot pinpointing its destination—near a body of water called Hvammsfjörður and off Route 590. To the internet’s (and reportedly, Ostenfeld’s) surprise, the letter made it, proving, as Skessuhorn put it, that “anything is possible in Iceland.”

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: Helsinki's national library
    Design

    How Helsinki Built ‘Book Heaven’

    Finland’s most ambitious library has a lofty mission, says Helsinki’s Tommi Laitio: It’s a kind of monument to the Nordic model of civic engagement.

  2. Three men wearing suits raise shovels full of dirt in front of an American flag.
    Equity

    How Cities and States Can Stop the Incentive Madness

    Economist Timothy Bartik explains why the public costs of tax incentives often outweigh the benefits, and describes a model business-incentive package.

  3. Life

    Tailored Place-Based Policies Are Key to Reducing Regional Inequality

    Economist Timothy Bartik details the need for place-based policy to combat regional inequality and help distressed places—strategies outlined in his new book.

  4. Equity

    Bernie Sanders and AOC Unveil a Green New Deal for Public Housing

    The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act would commit up to $180 billion over a decade to upgrading 1.2 million federally owned homes.

  5. Life

    The Zombie Storefronts of America

    If retail is dying, then pop-up shops might be what replace it.

×