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Icelandic Online Dictionary and Readings

Carry On Icelandic: Culture [selections] (2004)

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. . .og Ýss - . . .and ice

. . .og Ýss

═sinn er ˇa­skiljanlegur hluti nor­urslˇ­a, hvort sem er ß sjˇ e­a landi. J÷klar ■ekja ßlÝka mikinn hluta lands og hraun ■au sem runni­ hafa eftir a­ Ýs÷ld lauk, e­a um 11% af flatarmßli ■ess. StŠrsti j÷kull landsins, og jafnframt Evrˇpu, er Vatnaj÷kull. Tali­ er a­ undir honum liggi fimm megineldst÷­vakerfi.

A­rir stˇrir j÷klar eru Hofsj÷kull og Langj÷kull ß hßlendi ═slands. Ůekktur er einnig SnŠfellsj÷kull yst ß SnŠfellsnesi og eru hlÝ­ar hans a­ mestu ■aktar hrauni frß n˙tÝma.

Color photograph

═ j÷klafer­ (On a glacier tour).

═ augum landsmanna eru j÷klarnir ekki bara kaldur klaki heldur eru ■eir sveipa­ir nokkrum Švintřraljˇma, sem m.a. kemur fram Ý ■vÝ a­ margar ■jˇ­s÷gur hafa spunnist um ■ß bŠ­i fyrr og n˙.

SnŠfellsj÷kull hefur veri­ vinsŠlt umfj÷llunarefni rith÷funda. Kunn er skßldsaga franska vÝsindaskßldsagnah÷fundarins Jules Verne; Le Voyage au centre de la terre, frß 1864, sem kom ˙t Ý Ýslenskri ■ř­ingu 1944 undir heitinu Leyndardˇmar SnŠfellsj÷kuls. H˙n fjallar um Švintřraf÷r inn Ý j÷kulinn.

Bßr­ar saga SnŠfellsßss er ═slendingasaga Ý nokkrum řkjustÝl. H˙n segir frß Bßr­i sem er bergb˙aŠttar. Hann flřr Noreg og sest a­ undir SnŠfellsj÷kli. Hann gengur a­ lokum Ý j÷kulinn og gerist landvŠttur.

Nˇbelsskßldi­ Halldˇr Kiljan Laxness skrifa­i Kristnihald undir j÷kli 1968 sem Gu­nř Halldˇrsdˇttir kvikmynda­i en kvikmyndager­armenn hafa einmitt teki­ j÷kulinn Ý sÝna ■jˇnustu og ljˇsmyndarar og auglřsingager­arfˇlk leggja gjarnan lei­ sÝna ß j÷kulinn og Ý a­rar perlur Ýslenskrar nßtt˙ru.

VinsŠlt er einnig a­ fara Ý fjalla- og j÷klafer­ir ß sÚr˙tb˙num bÝlum og njˇta kyrr­ar og fegur­ar Ý fa­mi fjallanna.

. . .and ice

Ice is an inseparable part of the north, be it at sea or on land. Glaciers cover about the same amount of land as the lava which has erupted since the end of the Ice Age (about 11%). The largest glacier in Iceland, indeed in Europe, is Vatnaj÷kull. It is thought that five large volcanoes lie under it.

Other large glaciers are Hofsj÷kull and Langj÷kull, in the Icelandic highlands. SnŠfellsj÷kull is also well-known: its sides are covered with lava which has erupted during the recent epoch.

Through Icelandic eyes these glacier are not just cold ice but are seen in something of a fantastic light, as is illustrated by the many folk tales which have been spun about them, both before and now. SnŠfellsj÷kull has been a popular subject amongst authors. The novel by the French science-fiction writer Jules Verne, Le voyage au centre de la terre or Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864, and translated into Icelandic in 1944 under the title Leyndardˇmar SnŠfellsj÷kuls), is well-known. The book is about a fantastic journey into the glacier.

Bßr­ar saga SnŠfellsßss is an Icelandic saga written in a fantastic or exaggerated style. It tells of Bßr­ur, a man descended from "stone dwellers", who flees Norway and settles under the glacier. In the end, he descends into the glacier and becomes a spirit of the land, or landvŠttur.

Further, Kristnihald undir j÷kli (Christianity Under the Glacier), written by the Nobel Laureate Halldˇr Kiljan Laxness in 1968, has been made into a movie by Gu­nř Halldˇrsdˇttir. Indeed, film directors have taken glaciers into their service and photographers and advertisers make their way eagerly to glaciers and other pearls of the Icelandic landscape.

It is popular to go on mountain and glacier tours on specially equipped trucks and, in the embrace of the mountains, to enjoy the peace and beauty.

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