Today I embark for Iceland. In case you’re not familiar with this island, it’s set in the northern midst of the Atlantic Ocean and a land of ice, snow, bubbling hot springs and stark beauty.
My plans so far are to traverse the entire circumference of the island (not too great a task from what I hear as it’s about the size of Kentucky or Virginia). Who knows what I’ll encounter, but I’m sure it will be an adventure.
For the history-challenged among you, Iceland was settled in the late 9th century by the Vikings, although there’s some evidence Irish monks were there even earlier. By 930 A.D., the settlers had created a parliament, making it one of the oldest in the world.
During the 10th century, Icelanders began recording their own history in the form of Sagas. Most were written in the 13th and 14th centuries. There are many and they depict not only the history but the mythology and familial culture of the island. Because of its long literary tradition, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, as a “City of Literature” in 2011, only the fifth city in the world to be awarded such a status.
So, come with me over the next week and explore the country. It promises to be an interesting journey.