Before we begin, here’s a fun picture. I saw this on the duck pond in Reykjavík. It’s a human-sized hamster ball. It was worth showing you, but it didn’t warrant its own post.But the real aim of this post is to wrap things up. After I returned from Denmark, the rest of my time in Iceland was dedicated to thesis writing. I enjoyed this well enough, but it did not give me any photo-worthy material. The thesis is finished now, as is the Masters, as is my time in Iceland. My time here has been, to say the least, well spent. I’ve seen some beautiful and frightening landscapes, met lots of great people, learned a lot and, uncharacteristically for me, had fun.
It seems only appropriate to end with some photos.
If you’re planning to go to Iceland someday, I hope some of the pictures I’ve put up here in the past will give you some ideas of where you might want to visit. I recommend the Snæfelssnes area, but you can’t go wrong with the Golden Circle. Regardless, you must try horseback riding somewhere. That was probably my favorite way to see the countryside, though hiking is fun too. The food in most places is pretty good, and the people in most places are pretty friendly. I suggest going during the summer since it’s too dark to do anything during the winter. But if you go during the fall or winter, you get to see the Northern Lights.
Now that I have my M.A., let me make some reading suggestions. First, I recommend Njáls saga again. I’ve heard it compared (justly, I think) to War and Peace, and that means it’s good. I won’t give anything else away here (but I have in older posts). Second, those of you who have not yet had any exposure to the legend of Sigurðr the dragonslayer are missing out on one of the most powerful mythological tales in European history. I think that it really should be taught alongside Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid in our high school literature classes. (Do high school literature classes still teach the Aeneid?) Völsunga saga, though a little stylistically dry, is as good a place as any to get acquainted with the story, and the Eddic poems on the subject are great. And if you want to meet one of the most entertaining characters in literature, you really must read Egils saga so you can hear about Egill Skallagrímsson. Grettis saga and Laxdæla saga are also both excellent.
Many thanks to the M.I.S. faculty and the Árni Magnússon Institute for the opportunity to study with them, and the Fulbright Commission for making my travels and studies possible, to the Icelanders for their hospitality, and to God for all of these things.