The trip did not end with the waterfalls. Our next stop was Reykholt, which was once the site of Iceland’s bishopric and the home of the great Snorri Sturluson, pictured here:
This portrait is in the museum set up at Reykholt. There’s also a very nice library with an apartment attached to it that researchers can rent.
The museum is currently working on its decorations. They’ve hired a carpenter from Norway to carve a new entryway for the main room of the museum.
Snorri was a very influential Icelandic chieftain who was also well respected in Norway and was an ally of the Norwegian king, Haakon IV. While serving the king, Snorri authored, or is credited with authoring, Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings. While at Reykholt, we were told that when Snorri left Norway to return home to Iceland, he did so against the king’s wishes. This made Haakon angry, so he sent a letter to another Icelandic chieftain, named Gissur, asking him to capture Snorri and bring him back. I don’t know how aware Haakon was of the fact that Gissur was a political enemy of Snorri’s, but at any rate, there’s no record of Gissur actually trying to capture Snorri; he just brought a group of men to Reykholt and assassinated him. This is where it is believed to have happened:
Yes, this is a hot-tub, and it was during Snorri’s time too. These are pretty common in Iceland. It’s pretty easy to find naturally hot water from hot-springs. On another field trip, which I’ll tell you about later, I was told that the water runs down from the glaciers into the ground, and there it runs close to the volcanic chambers and gets heated. I couldn’t tell you quite how that works. But Iceland has no trouble getting hot water, and this makes water heaters are unnecessary here. If I’ve been told correctly, more energy is used to cool the water down. Here is shot of some more hot-springs nearby:
If you drive along one of the rural highways here in Iceland, there’s a good chance you’ll see steam rising up from various point in the landscape.
We stayed at Reykholt for supper, then returned to Reykjavík that night. Here are some final pictures of Reykholt:
All these pictures of sunset have made me think it’s time to go to bed. So that’ll be it for today. Thanks for reading.