September 20, 2015

Who Lives There?

That's what Grace asked in astonishment after looking at my pictures of the Icelandic landscape.  So here's some answers:

The population consists of about 300,000 folks of mostly Nordic heritage...
Who settled Iceland in the ninth century, when Eric the Red was kicked out of Norway.
Some are imposters.

I found a wonderful sense of humor....

Harvest at the marshmellow farm.
 And a love of color.

They have few natural resources and settled the country with what they had at hand.
Old turf home.

Church from driftwood and turf.

Even today, they figure out ways to use what is around them.
"Leather" tanned from wolfish skins

Salmon skin.
The only crop of significance is hay and what isn't a hay field is filled with sheep. As are the roads.
Icelanders also raise cattle, which apparently are ocean-going...
...and the famous, fabulous Icelandic pony.
To maintain the integrity of the breed, no other horses are allowed into the country and if one leaves for an international horse show or a week at Club Med, it is not allowed to return.

Speaking of leaving, drastic numbers of young people are abandoning the rural areas of the country (which is just about everything except Reykavik) and heading into the cities. Deserted farmhouses dot the outer fjords.(We can find a ghosttown anywhere in the world, just dare us.)

The wildlife is primarily birds. I could have spent a lifetime watching them as they returned from their day trips fishing to their clifftop nests.
See the white chalk line in the grass? That is the official protection against falling 1500 feet off the cliff.
And finally, there was this. The ultimate indicator of a civilized culture.
And that, she said, is what I did over my summer vacation.
The End.



  1. Replies
    1. It was breathtaking. Made me want to go to work for National Geographic, except I don't do snakes.

  2. Thank you for the ice and stone tutorial and the views of Icelandic life. What a fascinating place!

    1. It was, especially when I look now at these photos.

  3. Very cool! Thank you so much for sharing....

  4. leave it to you to have a boxer (I think) find you on summer vacation....Iceland is on my bucket list....big knitting community you know, all those sheep!

  5. From across the globe, they come to us, slobber in tow. And the wool, oh my gosh, the wool.

  6. were you able to go inside the turf homes, church?

    1. Oh yes...the church is still active,it is five or six pews of pine and all the churchish stuff up front. Not ornate, just painted. And the homes--some were just lived in up until the 1940s and all the stuff is there. The turf walls are solid and thick, just packed in tight so you don't even get dirty rubbing your hand across them. They are like rabbit warrens (or at least the ones in the Disney movie), they just go on and on, one and two stories.

    2. then in a certain way, like adobe. I so would love to see these in person...
      How elegant, to build of earth....

  7. Julie, you have such a good way to describe. A pleasure to read and look at your beautiful pics.