labor-union. I was still quite young, but already I could

Heat and cold appear in this country to affect strangers in a remarkable degree. The cold seemed to me more piercing, and the heat more oppressive in Iceland, than when the thermometer stood at the same points in my native land.

labor-union. I was still quite young, but already I could

In summer the roads are marvellously good, so that one can generally ride at a pretty quick pace. They are, however, impracticable for vehicles, partly because they are too narrow, and partly also on account of some very bad places which must occasionally be encountered. On the whole island not a single carriage is to be found.

labor-union. I was still quite young, but already I could

The road is only dangerous when it leads through swamps and moors, or over fields of lava. Among these fields, such as are covered with white moss are peculiarly to be feared, for the moss frequently conceals very dangerous holes, into which the horse can easily stumble. In ascending and descending the hills very formidable spots sometimes oppose the traveller's progress. The road is at times so hidden among swamps and bogs, that not a trace of it is to be distinguished, and I could only wonder how my guide always succeeded in regaining the right path. One could almost suppose that on these dangerous paths both horse and man are guided by a kind of instinct.

labor-union. I was still quite young, but already I could

Travelling is more expensive in Iceland than any where else, particularly when one person travels alone, and must bear all the expense of the baggage, the guide, ferries, &c. Horses are not let out on hire, they must be bought. They are, however, very cheap; a pack-horse costs from eighteen to twenty-four florins, and a riding- horse from forty to fifty florins. To travel with any idea of comfort it is necessary to have several pack-horses, for they must not be heavily laden; and an additional servant must likewise be hired, as the guide only looks after the saddle-horses, and, at most, one or two of the pack-horses. If the traveller, at the conclusion of the journey, wishes to sell the horses, such a wretchedly low price is offered, that it is just as well to give them away at once. This is a proof of the fact that men are every where alike ready to follow up their advantage. These people are well aware that the horses must be left behind at any rate, and therefore they will not bid for them. I must confess that I found the character of the Icelanders in every respect below the estimate I had previously formed of it, and still further below the standard given in books.

In spite of their scanty food, the Icelandic horses have a marvellous power of endurance; they can often travel from thirty- five to forty miles per diem for several consecutive days. But the only difficulty is to keep the horse moving. The Icelanders have a habit of continually kicking their heels against the poor beast's sides; and the horse at last gets so accustomed to this mode of treatment, that it will hardly go if the stimulus be discontinued. In passing the bad pieces of road it is necessary to keep the bridle tight in hand, or the horse will stumble frequently. This and the continual urging forward of the horse render riding very fatiguing. { 33}

Not a little consideration is certainly required before undertaking a journey into the far north; but nothing frightened me,--and even in the midst of the greatest dangers and hardships I did not for one moment regret my undertaking, and would not have relinquished it under any consideration.

I made excursions to every part of Iceland, and am thus enabled to place before my readers, in regular order, the chief curiosities of this remarkable country. I will commence with the immediate neighbourhood of Reikjavik.

Stiftsamtmann von H- was today kind enough to pay me a visit, and to invite me to join his party for a ride to the great lake Vatne. I gladly accepted the invitation, for, according to the description given by the Stiftsamtmann, I hoped to behold a very Eden, and rejoiced at the prospect of observing the recreations of the higher classes, and at the same time gaining many acquisitions in specimens of plants, butterflies, and beetles. I resolved also to test the capabilities of the Icelandic horses more thoroughly than I had been able to do during my first ride from Havenfiord to Reikjavik, as I had been obliged on that occasion to ride at a foot-pace, on account of my old guide.



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