June 30th, 2010

drinking bird


I just spent almost 2 weeks in Iceland. It is a small island in the north Atlantic, on about the same latitude as the Faroe Islands and Norway, not very far from Greenland. It is sparsely populated [300,000 or so, 60% of whom live in Reykjavik].

a farm

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There are snow capped mountains and volcanoes [some active], lakes, rivers, waterfalls. Myriads of sea birds nest on the cliffs, and I saw as well troupes of wild swans near the lakes. Icelanders raise small, docile hairy horses, also little woolly sheep and smallish cattle

Icelandic horse and handler

Perhaps the defining trait of Iceland is water. The sea of course, all around and never far. But also rivers, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs sending up plumes of vapor.

I also want to mention the lovely wild flowers all over.

hardy geraniums


Of course there are many others, and much wild thyme, creeping all over and covered in mauve blooms

I will continue this tomorrow, with more waterfalls, and volcano ash!