no end, and I was only at the beginning. No one took any

Nature Difficult to Move Networknature2023-11-30 19:06:25 27491 863

As we approached the lake, some thin mist-clouds lowered over it and over the earth, so that it seemed as if it would rain. One portion of the firmament glowed with the brightest blue; while the other part was obscured by thick clouds, through which the sun was just breaking. Some of its rays reached the clouds of mist, and illuminated them in a wonderfully beautiful manner. The most delicate shades of colour seemed breathed, as it were, over them like a dissolving rainbow, whose glowing colours were intermingled and yet singly perceptible. This play of colours continued for half an hour, then faded gradually till it vanished entirely, and the ordinary atmosphere took its place. It was one of the most beautiful appearances I had ever witnessed.

no end, and I was only at the beginning. No one took any

The roads separate about a mile behind the little town of Thingvalla; the one to the left goes to Reikholt, the right-hand one leads to the Geyser. We rode for some time along the shores of the lake, and found at the end of the valley an awful chasm in the rock, similar to the one of Almanagiau, which we had passed on such a wretched road.

no end, and I was only at the beginning. No one took any

The contiguous valley bore a great resemblance to that of Thingvalla; but the third one was again fearful. Lava covered it, and was quite overgrown with that whitish moss, which has a beautiful appearance when it only covers a portion of the lava, and when black masses rise above it, but which here presented a most monotonous aspect.

no end, and I was only at the beginning. No one took any

We also passed two grottoes which opened at our feet. At the entrance of one stood a pillar of rock supporting an immense slab of lava, which formed an awe-inspiring portal. I had unfortunately not known of the existence of these caves, and was consequently unprepared to visit them. Torches, at least, would have been requisite. But I subsequently heard that they were not at all deep, and contained nothing of interest.

In the course of the day we passed through valleys such as I had seen nowhere else in Iceland. Beautiful meadow-lawns, perfectly level, covered the country for miles. These rich valleys were, of course, tolerably well populated; we frequently passed three or four contiguous cottages, and saw horses, cows, and sheep grazing on these fields in considerable numbers.

The mountains which bounded these valleys on the left seemed to me very remarkable; they were partly brown, black, or dark blue, like the others; but the bulk of which they were composed I considered to be fine loam-soil layers, if I may trust my imperfect mineralogical knowledge. Some of these mountains were topped by large isolated lava rocks, real giants; and it seemed inexplicable to me how they could stand on the soft soil beneath.

In one of these valleys we passed a considerable lake, on and around which rose circling clouds of steam proceeding from hot springs, but of no great size. But after we had already travelled about twenty- five miles, we came to the most remarkable object I had ever met with; this was a river with a most peculiar bed.

This river-bed is broad and somewhat steep; it consists of lava strata, and is divided lengthwise in the middle by a cleft eighteen to twenty feet deep, and fifteen to eighteen feet broad, towards which the bubbling and surging waters rush, so that the sound is heard at some distance. A little wooden bridge, which stands in the middle of the stream, and over which the high waves constantly play, leads over the chasm. Any one not aware of the fact can hardly explain this appearance to himself, nor understand the noise and surging of the stream. The little bridge in the centre would be taken for the ruins of a fallen bridge, and the chasm is not seen from the shore, because the foaming waves overtop it. An indescribable fear would seize upon the traveller when he beheld the venturous guide ride into the stream, and was obliged to follow without pity or mercy.



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