them. Philip, the miller, would follow with stories of

Nature Difficult to Move Networktheory2023-11-30 19:05:47 37458 6713

I had already seen the district between Reikjavik and Havenfiord at my first arrival in Iceland. At the present advanced season of the year it wore a less gloomy aspect: strawberry-plants and violets,-- the former, however, without blossoms, and the latter inodorous,-- were springing up between the blocks of lava, together with beautiful ferns eight or ten inches high. In spite of the trifling distance, I noticed, as a rule, that vegetation was here more luxuriant than at Reikjavik; for at the latter place I had found no strawberry-plants, and the violets were not yet in blossom. This difference in the vegetation is, I think, to be ascribed to the high walls of lava existing in great abundance round Havenfiord; they protect the tender plants and ferns from the piercing winds. I noticed that both the grass and the plants before mentioned throve capitally in the little hollows formed by masses of lava.

them. Philip, the miller, would follow with stories of

A couple of miles beyond Havenfiord I saw the first birch-trees, which, however, did not exceed two or three feet in height, also some bilberry-plants. A number of little butterflies, all of one colour, and, as it seemed to me, of the same species, fluttered among the shrubs and plants.

them. Philip, the miller, would follow with stories of

The manifold forms and varied outline of the lava-fields present a remarkable and really a marvellous appearance. Short as this journey is--for ten hours are amply sufficient for the trip to Krisuvik,--it presents innumerable features for contemplation. I could only gaze and wonder. I forgot every thing around me, felt neither cold nor storm, and let my horse pick his way as slowly as he chose, so that I had once almost become separated from my guide.

them. Philip, the miller, would follow with stories of

One of the most considerable of the streams of lava lay in a spacious broad valley. The lava-stream itself, about two miles long, and of a considerable breadth, traversing the whole of the plain, seemed to have been called into existence by magic, as there was no mountain to be seen in the neighbourhood from which it could have emerged. It appeared to be the covering of an immense crater, formed, not of separate stones and blocks, but of a single and slightly porous mass of rock ten or twelve feet thick, broken here and there by clefts about a foot in breadth.

Another, and a still larger valley, many miles in circumference, was filled with masses of lava shaped like waves, reminding the beholder of a petrified sea. From the midst rose a high black mountain, contrasting beautifully with the surrounding masses of light-grey lava. At first I supposed the lava must have streamed forth from this mountain, but soon found that the latter was perfectly smooth on all sides, and terminated in a sharp peak. The remaining mountains which shut in the valley were also perfectly closed, and I looked in vain for any trace of a crater.

We now reached a small lake, and soon afterwards arrived at a larger one, called Kleinfarvatne. Both were hemmed in by mountains, which frequently rose abruptly from the waters, leaving no room for the passage of the horses. We were obliged sometimes to climb the mountains by fearfully dizzy paths; at others to scramble downwards, almost clinging to the face of the rock. At some points we were even compelled to dismount from our horses, and scramble forward on our hands and knees. In a word, these dangerous points, which extended over a space of about seven miles, were certainly quite as bad as any I had encountered in Syria; if any thing, they were even more formidable.

I was, however, assured that I should have no more such places to encounter during all my further journeys in Iceland, and this information quite reconciled me to the roads in this country. For the rest, the path was generally tolerably safe even during this tour, which continually led me across fields of lava.

A journey of some eight-and-twenty miles brought us at length into a friendly valley; clouds of smoke, both small and great, were soon discovered rising from the surrounding heights, and also from the valley itself; these were the sulphur-springs and sulphur-mountains.



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