Old growth timber gets logged in Iceland.
And stacked up beside the road outside Hallormstaðir. Hawthorn City.
Count the rings. I count 23 years.
Back before the Millenia, in Old Iceland, this was a tourist place.
The tourists were Icelanders. In Modern Iceland, men brought in the heavy farm equipment.
And got at it.
When Gumnar lived at the end of the lake, just a few minutes away by car or the length of a saga by foot, there were no trees here at all. Modernity, it seems, is a return to the old world, with fun equipment along the way.
Iceland has one of the highest divides between wealthy and poverty people in the world. One result is that private construction is improvised and not meant to last.
While government construction is sturdy and maintained.
The Church at Borg
This is not new. Private, circa 1945:
Looking out from the Harpa Concert Hall over the New Harbour in Reykjavik
Well, OK, government-financed completion of failed rich man’s extravagance. That’s part of the picture, too.
Private life in Iceland is often an improvisation. Many people are just camping.
This misfit between built environments and how people fit into them is profound and nearly universal. It looks like poverty. It probably feels like it. It’s probably a profound resistance, the very one that Gunnar, in a more rural Iceland, called wealth.