Icelandic Journals

Friday, July 14th, At Reykjavík in the house of Maria Einar's-dóttir

Reykjavík Images

‘The town now lying ahead is a commonplace-looking little town of wood principally; but there are pretty-looking homesteads on some of the islands off it, and the bright green of their home-meads is a great relief to us after all the grey of the sea, and the ice-hills. At last we come to anchor and the boats pull off to us and the flags are run up to the flagstaffs of the stores on shore, and to the masts of the craft in the harbour, which include a French war-brig and gunboat, and several small Danish schooners and sloops: the Frenchmen are here to look after the interests of the 400 sail of French fishing vessels that do most of the deep sea fishing off Iceland: we saw several of them yesterday’ (IJ p 23).

 

‘. . . ashore we go and land in a street of little low wooden houses, pitched, and with whitesash frames; the streets of black volcano sand; little ragged gardens about some of the houses growing potatoes, cabbages, and huge stems of angelica: not a very attractive place, yet not very bad, better than a north-country town in England’ (IJ p 23).