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Sunday, 01 May 2016

Glimpses of a Landscape: Southern Iceland - Page 4

Written by Rama Shivakumar
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Somewhere over the rainbow, is where we are as we climb the steps leading to the top of Skógafoss, our faces wet with the spray. A perfect arc of a rainbow forms below us. The trail at the summit follows the tumbling Skóga River upstream; we walk by it mesmerized.

 

 

August 19th

Laugavegur, Reykjavík

 

The brightly colored row buildings in the main shopping artery in downtown Reykjavík stand side by side like they are built from Lego blocks: blue, red and yellow with white trims.

 

The Lutheran Church, Hallgrímskirkja looms over us protectively at every street we turn into. The hexagonal columnar architecture is reflective of the basaltic lava flow that we have seen in Vík.

 

There is a convergence of art and literature in these narrow cobbled streets. A quaint bookshop stacks works of the Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness and others. A hip art gallery displays local art. We see the interplay of fire and ice in the reds and whites; the mossy green in the landscapes; the braided rivers in the Skanko rugs.

The Harpa, the new glass concert hall and conference center sits by the water’s edge. In its teal tinted hexagonal honeycomb façade, we see the setting sun.

 

 

August 21st

Thingvellir

 

The sun filters down the jagged ridge; we run our hands on the rocky basaltic wall. It is a place of geological significance and volcanic activity, this mid Atlantic ridge. Standing here, we are in two continents that are meeting and separating at the rate of 2cm per year. In this very canyon, the Icelandic people instituted the Althing, their first parliament in 930AD.

 

We are spellbound. We have seen a small treeless country where volcanoes, glaciers, lava fields, waterfalls, black sand deserts, deep green valleys and rugged coastlines form a captivating landscape; where we are more aware that the earth is warming at an alarming pace; where people live harmoniously with nature that is both volatile and forceful.

 

 

© Rama Shivakumar, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Page 4 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 01 May 2016

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