Sunday, June 6, 2010

Building A Nation

This is coming a little late but yesterday was my first full day in Iceland, and boy was it a packed day. I don't think I have ever walked that much in one day in my entire life. We started off with a walk to the National museum to get a guided tour. The walk was a long one but it had some amazing views.
City Skyline
Group Shot at Modern art viking ship.
A beautiful house I found along our walk.

Once we arrived at the national museum we were given a tour by Gudmundur Olafsson, and now I must issue a warning, the following shall be chalk full of academic content. Seeing as the exibit was all about the settling of Iceland, it is interesting to compare the archaeological evdience provided by the exibits to the sagas that were read in class. On the floor of the museum there was a giant outline of a viking ship that gave the approximate size of the ship. Such evidence as this often cooraborates numbers that the sagas give, and the actuality of what these ships could carry.

Outline of a Ship

Another aspect, involves the folkart. Despite the Christianization of Iceland, much of the actual folk art was kept and incorporated into works. There are many post christian pieces feature the very distinct nordic style of loops and swirls.

Loops and Swirls

The large church built for conversion is also an interesting aspect. The traditional cross shape and architectual details such as transepts, the nave and atrium speak of a traded culture, but the fact it is made of wood and decorated drastically, keeps it to Icelandic roots.
A model of the church.

The museum was well put to gether, informative and interactive. The best part of course was the souvenir shop where I picked up a lovely necklace of a runic Z. I spent the day adventuring around Rekjavik. We shopped, walked, attempted a ghost tour but the guide didn't show up, walked, had a lovely dinner at a vaguely shady place, walked, experienced the infamous Icelandic night life and did I mention walked? There was so much walking! I swear I walked the high street way to many times for my own good!But that is all for now, and I am sure you were all waiting for this:

The Heroic Adventures of Harold.
Harold exploring and Icelandic forest.
Harold Defeating the Dragon.
Harold and the City
Harold being eaten


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