Iceland, 2018  2

After coming home to Bergen after a week at Gudvangen Viking Market, we washed and hung up our wool and linen to dry and went to bed, only to wake up in the morning for our next adventure. This time we were headed for my second homeland, Iceland! ♥

We had ten wonderful days staying in our cabin by my grandparents' farm on the West-coast of Iceland. We went to our annual family reunion, hiked in the lava landscapes, and went on a road trip with my brother to explore some new as well as some more familiar places.

Gullfoss, "the golden falls"...

We camped in the geothermal area of Haukadalur, where we arrived late at night and were able to spend some time there alone with the area to ourselves, getting private shows by the geyser Strokkur in the quiet darkness of the night. What a lovely feeling it was! I had only been there at daytime before, when the place is usually crowded with people.

When we woke up in the morning, I made sure to get some photos in daylight (tourists included this time).

Visiting Þjóðveldisbærinn, the Commonwealth farm, a reconstruction of a farm that was buried during the eruption of the volcano Hekla in year 1104. (As many other places in Iceland, it is also a location from the Game of Thrones series.)

My brother was hiding inside one of these skyr-barrels trying to scare me, and of course it was the one where I just happened to lift the lid to take a look... XD

Þingvellir is a national park and world heritage site, where the Icelanders held the Alþing (the national parliament in Iceland) from year 930. It's the oldest parliament in the world, adding an exciting historical significance to its beautiful surroundings. It's a geologically active area, located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia meet (which is very visible in the first photo below, where the ocean ridge can be seen on land).

The area was chosen for the parliament due to its location being accessible from the most populated places in the north, south and west. The longest travelling chieftain would still have to take a 17-day long journey by horse to get to the meetings, which lasted for two weeks every summer...

The Alþing also functioned as a supreme court, with all the good and bad aspects that may be associated with such a place. Punishments by execution were not carried out during the Commonwealth period, but became common after year 1262 and grew especially after year 1565. Men who were sentenced to death would be beheaded while women would be executed by drowning, or burnt at the stake during the witch hunts. The names of the various places in Þingvellir bear witness of various such atrocities, such as the water in the photo below called Drekkingarhylur ("drowning pool"). Thinking of how many women drew their last breaths before this pool, makes this a heartbreaking view...

At the top of the volcano Eldborg, which is not so far from our cabin.

With my cousin and dear friend Anna. We've had many adventures up in these mountain plains above the family farm in our childhood summers, most of which involve trips on horseback—be it sneaking out in our pajamas during the night to go riding, getting lost in the dark, or having perilous encounters with the depths of the marshlands. Never had a boring moment together ♥

Thank you for now Iceland, I am missing you and looking forward to our next visit! 🇮🇸🍃

Music: Sigur Rós - Untitled #8

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