Icelandic Journals

Tuesday, July 25th, In camp at Geysir

‘. . . a very bright gay red-purple flower with grey leaves and red stems grew in great masses amidst the river-bed: I son’t know the name of it’ (IJ p 65).



‘. . . presently as we ride along Gisli points out to me through an opening of the hills on our left a low hill across a flat valley, all burnt red with earth-fires, and underneath it a whitish slope with a great cloud of steam drifting about it: this (a long way off still) is our journey’s end to-day, and I feel ashamed rather that so it is; for this is the place that has made Iceland famous to Mangnall’s Questions and the rest, who have never heard the names of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Njal or Gunnar or Grettir or Gisli or Gudrun: Geysir the Icelanders call it, which being translated signifyeth the Gusher’ (IJ p 66).


‘. . . however go we must, and presently after crossing a small bright river, come right on the beastly place, under the crater of the big Geysir, and ride off the turf on to the sulphurous accretion formed by the overflow, which is even now trickling over it, warm enough to make our horses snort and plunge in terror . . .’ (IJ p 67).