ICELAND - AUGUST 2008
Iceland is famous for its Sagas. The Icelandic Sagas, some quasi-historical texts, were mostly written anonymously between the 12th and 13th centuries. Some of them recount the discovery and first populators of Iceland, at a time when the people were Pagans, worshipping the old Norse Gods: Odin, Thor, and Frigga.
"JON ARASON - Late in the 10th century, Christianity began to spread into Norway, and soon reached Iceland, which converted to Christianity in the early parts of the 11th century. In 1550, Jon Arason, then bishop of Hólar, was captured after some disputes with Lutheranism and beheaded. He was the last Roman Catholic bishop in Iceland"
"THINGVELLIR, ALTHING - During the time of the Sagas, the main feature of the political system in Iceland was the annual assembly called the Althing, being held during two weeks in the month of June. Estate holders had the power to decide judicial and legislative issues at the event, though their ruling power depended on the voluntary adherence of their supporters, the free farmers. This is the place where the original Parliament or Althing was established in 930 and where it remained until 1789"
"BOOK OF LAWS - In the winter of 1117-18 someone set to work in a farmhouse in northern Iceland and wrote out the whole code. Five winters later, the laws of the church got written down, too. The Book of Law had a primacy in Iceland that had few parallels in Europe until the Code Napoleon was drawn up in France at the beginning of the 19th century. Not only was it the book by which everyone lived, but it was also the book with which everyone learned to read"
"THINGVELLIR is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is on a power spot, along the Mid Atlantic Ridge separating the North American and European Continental plates"
"HEKLA, at 1,491 metres, is Iceland's most active volcano; over 20 eruptions have occurred in and around the volcano since 874"
"YELTSIN? - On a tour in Iceland we made a stop at the Greenhouse Hveragerdi. I wonder what was this one doing there..."
"VIK I MYRDAL, the wettest place in Iceland, is also its southernmost village, located 180 km of Reykjavík. Despite having only 300 inhabitants, it is the largest settlement for some 70 km around"
"REYNISDRANGAR - These three rocks, the tallest standing at 66m, are the subject of another Icelandic story. They were formed when two trolls dragged a three mast ship to the shore. However, as trolls do not survive in daylight, when the sun rose, the trolls and the ship turned to stone. The ship's masts are the only parts visible above the water. They are named Landdrangur, Háidrangur and Langsamur"
"GERMAN MEMORIAL - It commemorates a German fishing boat that was wrecked off the beach and was erected by the fishing company to thank the Icelanders who had risked their lives to save crew members"
"CHURCH IN VIK"
"SKOGASAFN - The Skogar Museum, one of the best folk museums in Iceland, has a collection of over 6000 artefacts and examples of various types of dwellings in Iceland since the early times"
"DWELLINGS - The museum also has an old turf farmhouse, where guests can experience the standards of living in Iceland in past centuries"
"CODFISH - The collection of tools and equipment used at land and sea is outstanding, but the dried codfish is amazing. It shouldn't be forgotten than the Portuguese had in the past one of the most important fleet of cod fishing ships and are probably the largest consumers of dried cod in the world..."
My Canadian Blogger friend of Baron's Life was so kind to pass this award to me. Thanks Baron!