If you wander out of Gunnar’s house to the bottom of the lake, a pleasant 20 minute walk in the right light, you will see birds taking wing above the Hallormstadaskogur, the great National Forest of Iceland.
In any other light, they’d be the outlines of cliffs breaking out into the April sun, but on a day like this, they’re birds, for sure.
Forests are a new thing in Iceland, and must all be planted by hand, just as this group of Siberian larch at Gunnar’s birthplace above the Jokulsá.
And no-one’s quite sure what to do with them. At the moment, they are chopped up into that staple of all harbour cities, shipping palettes, and then reassembled in familiar forms from there. It’s a little wobbly, but all shipping palette construction is.
But there’s definitely a keen-ness in the air. All the tools of the trade are readily available for working out the kinks at home or in the woods.
You did spot Thor’s battle axe there on the wall, right?
When the art is not particularly good, just frame it with the street.
And vice versa!
Because in Reykjavik inside is outside and outside is inside.
It’s in the East.
Across the lake from Hallormsstaðir. I wonder if Gunnar would have stayed at the end of the lake if he’d had neighbours like this.
On the face of the Austurfell just west of the old monastery at Skriðuklaustur, and at the feet of the Ogre’s Staircase, the trolls are thick. And not just trolls. Have a look:
See them? Here are some hints:
Above: A Family of Fish Trolls Looking Much like a Fish Egg With a Skull for an Eye (or the Moon)
Above: Fat-Bellied SeatedTroll, Waving
Above: Musical Monks
Above: A Skull On A Post
Above: Lovers Embracing
Below: Troll With Runes and Spilled Treasure. Beware!
Below the Fell, the land runs with blood in the spring.
(Time your trip to arrive at sunset.)
At that time of nightfall, when the icebergs look like this as they wash up on the sand …
…the Atlantic looks like this.
Your mind works like this, too.
The technique is exquisite. You let the sun and gravity break off a bit of a glacier, you soak it for a few days in salt water, then cast it up on a beach of black volcanic sand. After a night of the waves splashing sand all over it, it sets in the sun. It’s really fun to chase this art form down,. Here’s a troll with a monk in its belly, holding Christ as a child. And isn’t the Mjalður the Bell Ram off to the left? Why I think it is.
If you haven’t read Gunnar’s Advent, it’s time.
Of course, you could just go right to the source, though.
There is the Blue Lagoon, and the Iceberg Lagoon, but the Bronze Lagoon is best.
(Hint: It’s in between the other two.)_