Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Volcanoes, Geysers, and Trolls, oh my!

I was restless and then this opportunity came up for me to go to Iceland. So, I went. And what an adventure it was. I was excited to go and see the natural wonders there, but what I did not realize was how much it would embody my favorite books and movies and how much the land is steeped in lore.

I believe it will take me several posts before I'm finished. I'll try to stick to one topic per post, but I may get a little carried away.

The bay in Reykjavik.
Hmm, I think I will start with the trolls. I went on two excursions with different companies, yet both guides spoke of the trolls. Now I knew trolls were a part of Icelandic lore from reading The Story of Grettir the Strong, by Allen French, but I was surprised and delighted when the guides started talking about them.

The first guide told us that trolls were big, strong, stupid, and turned to stone when the light comes up. Check, check, check, check. Exactly how they are in The Hobbit.

Troll Couple with Boat
The next day, on the other excursion I had the opportunity to actually see some trolls, turned to stone off course.  The first two are located near Vík, a small coastal town (the southernmost town in Iceland). From the place where we stopped for lunch we could see them standing in the surf, frozen as they struggled to drag their three masted boat to shore before day dawned. There were two, a husband and wife troll. The interesting thing is that the bigger, wider one is the wife and the tall skinny one is the husband. The guide said this was so because just as women tend to outlive men, so this wider lump of rock would outlive the tall thin one as the elements beat upon them.

Lone Troll
As we stood on the outcropping near the third troll, we could see the two trolls with their boat in the distance. That's were I took the photo above.

 The third troll was located at the cape of Dyrhólaey. Here is a photo of him standing on the sand, the waves lapping at his feet. He's huge, over one story tall.

Here is another picture for size and location's sake.

Lone Troll

More on Iceland soon.

All photos are my own.

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