The history of Iceland is so different from the rest of the western countries. There were no natives here to be displaced. The country was settled after the onset of writing so it is really clear who did what to whom and often with which kind of sharp object ( note, axes apparently were favored for be headings over swords.). Also interesting is that witchcraft seemed to be accused of men more than women (30:4) but that may well have to do with the fact that the change to Christianity drove the paganism underground. Those in charge were men and thus more likely to be a threat to other men. Wise women, on the other hand were necessary to the health and safety of the community. Not a fact, just my opinion.
Te architecture here is fascinating. Since the Vikings essentially denuded the land of all the lumber it is not surprising that lava, stone, cement and metal are the main building materials. What I did not expect to see was a massive used of pole barn in early Victoria mode complete with historically accurate colours.
Besides the Harper which is the concert hall, convention centre and expensive glass building all rolled into one, there are a few old stone buildings. Mostly however, since Iceland was (and now is again) for centuries an extremely poor country where farmers eked out a living, there is little that has survived the centuries. From being independent in the 8th Century to belonging to Norway starting in the 1100s to being claimed by Denmark a few centuries later, it only became independent in 1944 when the Nazis invaded Denmark.
Serving to support allied navies and air during WWII, Iceland was left with a NATO base, airfields and a world wide interest in its use of geothermal energy. I did mention all the water didn’t I?
Iceland sits right on top of the intersection of the Eurasian and North American plates. The divide runs through the country at an angle complete with all the usual accompanying seismic activity. The country itself is volcanic born and still has active volcanos, geysers and thousands of small earthquakes every year. I think most know about the volcanic eruption in 2010 that shut down the skies over Europe for days. Fewer know about the eruption the following spring (2011) from an adjacent mountain that was 4x larger. The difference was the wind direction. Since the ash was blowing north, it affected so e air traffic lanes but mostly was a problem to Iceland and northern Norway.
Just south of the arctic circle, Iceland is also warmed by the gulf stream which might just explain why mankind has managed to survive this far north in what would otherwise be completely ice covered most of the year (see Greenland which isn’t ). The sun set last night at 2338 and rose at 0348. As you can tell, it is past the solstice ( I am on the eclipse) so the days are starting to shorten. Not that I would recognise ~20 hours as a short day.
A day spent walking around was a day very well spent. I looked at books, purchased no yarn and made it back to the ship in time to have a leisurely lunch. Plus, the 5 km walk each way added to town walking ensured at least a bit of exercise today.
The site of the Reykjavik Summit