“If you look at the map of Europe, you will see in its north-western corner lying just under the Arctic circle a large island…” William Morris
From William Morris’s Icelandic Journal
Tuesday 18th July 1871
…Still down, and the hills get lower now; I note here our riding over huge waste of black sand all powdered over with tufts of sea pink and bladder campion at regular intervals, like a Persian carpet, and then over a bank of sand into flat plain of smooth grass where we rested awhile, then off this into a deep rut between two slopes, the southward-looking one grass-grown and flowery, the northward-looking one a mass of spiky cindery lava, with nothing on it but the grey moss…
So we rode down the shaly hillsides, I with my heart in my mouth the while, for they were as steep as the side of a house, and so came among the lava plain at their feet: at last we got clear of it, and rested by the wall of a prosperous-looking stead on the short grass of the pastures, and ate and drank there, getting great pail of milk from the stead, where they were busy haymaking.