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dreadful and incessant action ; with an Iceland walking staff, furhaving before his eyes tremendous nished with a long spike at the proofs of what is going on beneath end ; and, in case of need, we cara, him; enveloped in thick vapours; ried some pairs of large coarse his ears stunned with thundering worsted stockings of the country noises ;
these can hardly be ex- manufacture. We likewise had pressed in words, and can only be our hammers and bags for speciwell conceived by those who have mens, a compass and thermomeexperienced them.
ter, a bottle of brandy, with some Earthquakes are said to occur rye bread and cheese. frequently at Krisuvik, limited,
“ Thus equipped, we set forhowever, to a small district in their ward on our march ; and having extent and effects. It was re- passed two or three cottages, marked to us, also, that they hap- whose inhabitants gazed with wonpen generally after a continuance der at our expedition, we directed of wet weather; but whether these our course in nearly a straight line
; statements are accurate or not, we towards the margin of the snow. had no means of ascertaining. The nearer we approached it, ve
getation became more and more
scanty, and at length almost enACCOUNT OF SNAEFELL Jokul. tirely disappeared. After walking From the Same.
at a steady pace for two hours, in
which time we had gone about six The weather having now be. miles, we came to the first snow, come more favourable, the ascent and prepared ourselves for the of the Snæfell Jokul was accom- more arduous part of our enterplished by my friends on the 3rd prize. The road being now alike of July; and I give the following new to all, we were as competent parrative of the
expedition in the as our guides to the direction of words of Mr. Bright :
our further course, The summits After a hesitation of an hour of all the surrounding mountains or two, on account of the doubt- were covered with mist; but the ful appearance of the day, Mr. Jokul was perfectly clear; and as Holland and myself, with our in- the sun did not shine so bright as terpreter, and one of our guides, to dazzle our eyes with the reflecwho was very desirous of accom- tion from the snow, we entertainpanying us, put ourselves under ed good hopes of accomplishing the direction of a stout Icelander, our purpose. During the first hour who undertook to be our leader in the ascent was not very difficult, the ascent of the Jokul. He, and the snow was sufficiently soft however, honestly confessed, that to yield to the pressure of our feet. he had never been higher up the After that time the acclivity was mountain than the verge of the steeper, the snow became harder, perpetual snow, as the sheep never and deep fissures appeared in it, wandered beyond that limit; but which we were obliged to cross, or this was also the case with the to avoid by going a considerable other inhabitants of the district. way round.
These fissures preEvery one of us provided himself sented a very beautiful spectacle :
they were at least thirty or forty across the chasm. Standing upon feet in depth, and though not in the brink, we cut with our poles general above two or three feet three or four steps in the bank on wide, they admitted light enough the other side, and then, stepping to display the brilliancy of their as lightly as possible over the white and rugged sides. As we bridge, we passed one by one to ascended, the inferior mountains the steps, which we ascended by gradually diminished to the sight, the help of our poles. The snow and we beheld a complete zone of on the opposite side became imclouds encircling us, while the mediately so excessively steep, Jokul still remained clear and that it required our utmost efforts distinct. From time to time the to prevent our sliding back to clouds, partially separating, form the edge of the precipice, in which ed most picturesque arches, case we should inevitably have through which we descried the been plunged into the chasm. distant sea,and still farther off, the This dangerous part of our ascent mountains on the opposite side of did not continue long; and we the Breieè-Fiord,stretching north. soon found ourselves on a tolerawards towards the most remote bly level bank of snow, with a extremity of the island.
precipice on our right about sixty • In the progress of our ascent feet perpendicular, presenting an we were obliged frequently to appearance as if the snow on the allow ourselves temporary
side of the mountain had slipped respite, by sitting down for a few away, leaving behind it the part minutes on the snow. About three' on which we stood. We were now o'clock; we arrived at a chasm, on the summit of one of the three which threatened to put a com- peaks of the mountain ; that which plete stop to our progress. It was is situated farthest to the east, at least forty feet in depth, and We beheld immediately before nearly six feet wide ; and the op- us a fissure greatly more formiposite side presented a face like dable in width and depth than any a wall, being elevated several feet we had passed, and which, indeed,
, above the level of the surface on offered an insuperable obstacle to which we stood ; besides which, our further progress. The highest from the falling in of the snow in peak of the Jokul was still a the interior of the chasm, all the hundred feet above us; and after part on which we were standing looking at it some time with the was undermined, so that we were mortification of disappointment, afraid to approach too near the and making some fruitless attempts brink lest it should give way. to reach, at least, a bare exposed Determined, however, not to re- rock which stood in the middle of nounce the hope of passing this the fissure, we were obliged to barrier, we followed its course till give up all hope of advancing we found a place that encouraged further. the attempt. The opposite bank • The peak of the Jokul we had was here not above four feet high now attained, is about 4,460 feet and a mass of snow formed a above the level of the sea. The bridge, a very insecure one indeed extensive view which we might have obtained from this elevated whenever we stuck our poles into point, was almost entirely inter- the snow bridge, they went directcepted by the great masses of ly through. The first person, cloud, which hung upon the sides' therefore who crossed struck his of the mountain and admitted only pole deep into the lower part of partial and indistinct views of the wall, thus affording a point of the landscape beneath. It has support for the feet of those who been said by Egbert Olasson, and followed ; Mr. Holland, however,
, others, that from one part of the who was the second in passing channel which lies between Ice- over, had, notwithstanding, a narland and Greenland, the mountain row escape, for his foot actually of Snæfell Jokul may be seen on broke through the bridge of snow one side, and a lofty mountain in and it was with difficulty he resGreenland on the other. It is cued himself from falling into the difficult to ascertain how far chasm beneath. We were scarcely this is an
accurate statement. all safe on the lower side of the The distance between the two chasm, when the mist surroundcountries at this place cannot ing us, made it extremely difficult be less than eighty or ninety
eighty or ninety to keep the track by which we leagues.
had ascended the mountain. The clouds now began rapidly When we came opposite to a small to accumulate, and were visibly bank which we had remarked in rolling up the side of the moun- our ascent as being free from snow, tain; we were therefore anxious we desired our guide to remain to quit our present situation as where he was, that we might not speedily as possible, that we might lose the path, while we went to repass
the chasm before we were examine that spot. We found the involved in mist. Our first bank to be almost entirely comobject, however, was to examine posed of fragments of pumice and the state of the magnetic needle volcanic scoriæ. After our return which Olasson in his travels asserts to the former track we made the to be put into great agitation at best of our way back to Olafsik the summit of this mountain, and
which we reached at about a quar. no longer to retain its polarity. ter past six, to the great surprise What
may be the case a hundred of every one ; for we were scarcely feet higher, we cannot affirm ; but expected till the following mornat the point we reached, the nee- ing ; such is the reverential awe dle was quite stationary, and as inspired by the Jokul. None of far as we could judge, perfectly our party seemed more gratified true. We then noted an observa. with
the exploit than our guide, tion of the thermometer, which who having always been accustowe were surprised to find scarcely med to look upon the Jokul as so low as the freezing point ; and some invincible giant, greatly exafter an application to the brandy ulted in this victory over him ; bottle, began with great care to but we afterwards learned, that retrace the footsteps of our ascent. he found considerable difficulty We found re-crossing the chasm in making his friends credit his a work of no small danger; for narative of the ascent.'
THE HOT SPRINGS OF REIKHOLT. rock, in which water also boils From the same.
briskly. At the time we saw these
springs, there happened to be less The hot springs in the valley of water in the river than usual, and Reikholt, or Reikiadal, though not a bank of gravel was left dry a the most magnificent, are not the little higher up than the rock. least curious among the numerous From this bank a considerable phenomena of this sort that are quantity of boiling water issued. found in Iceland. Some of them, About two miles further
the indeed, excite a greater degree of valley on the opposite side of the interest than the Geyser, though river, whose windings rendered it they possess none of the terrible necessary for us to cross it several grandeur of that celebrated foun- times, are the church of Reikholt, tain ; and are well calculated to and the minister's house. We exercise the ingenuity of natural went thither for the purpose of philosophers. On entering the val- examining a bath which was built ley we saw numerous columns of nearly 600 years ago by the celevapour ascending from different brated Snorro Sturleson. The parts of it. The first springs we bath is a circular bason, constructvisited, issued from a number of ed of stones, apparently without apertures in a sort of platform of any cement, but nicely fitted torock, covered by a thin coating of gether. It is about fourteen feet calcareous incrustations. I could in diameter, and altogether about not procure any good specimens, six feet deep, the water being but from those we broke off, the allowed to fill it to the depth of rock appeared to be greenstone. about four feet. The hot water is From several of the apertures the brought from a spring about 100 water rose with great force and yards distant, by means of a was thrown two or three feet into covered conduit, which has been the air. On plunging the thermo- somewhat injured by an earthmeter into such of them as we quake. We were told that cold could approach with safety, we water had been brought to it, so found that it stood at 212o. that, by mixing the hot and cold
A little further up the valley, together, any desired temperature there is a rock in the middle of might be obtained. All round the the river, about ten feet high, inside, a little way under the surtwelve yards long, and six or face of the water, was a row of eight feet in breadth. From the projecting stones, placed aphighest part of this rock a jet of parently to serve the purpose of boiling water proceeded with steps. Steps were constructed as violence. The water was dashed an entrance to the bath, close to up to the height of several feet. the orifice by which the hot water Near the middle, and not more entered. At present it is not than two feet from the edge of much used, and the bottom is the rock, there is a hole, about covered with vegetable matter two feet in diameter, full of water and soil. boiling strongly. There is a third In the absence of the minister hole near the other end of the we were politely received by his
wife, who gave us some excellent their apartments by the hot cream; a good proof of the qua- springs that are steady in their lity of the pastures of this valley. operations. One would think,
Proceeding down the valley on that the great scarcity of fuel the side opposite to that on which and the difficulty of procuring it, we entered it, we came to a group would have suggested this long of cottages, situated close to some
ago. The fear of danger does not hot springs. In the water of one exist, for the habitations are close of them we saw some pots, con- to the springs; and near the place taining milk and curds. There is where boiling water is thrown out a sort of natural dome, several with the most terrible violence, feet in diameter, formed over part and which will afterwards be de. of this spring of clay and stones. scribed the natives quietly repose. It intermits at short, and pretty Their not having taken advantage regular intervals. Having sat of this natural source of comfort, down near an orifice in the dome must proceed from that want of from which steam was rushing, enterprise, which is so conspiwe oberved that the noise sudden- cuous in the character of the ly ceased, and the water, when it Icelanders. was visible, sunk down amongst About a mile further down, at the stones in its channel, leaving the foot of the valley, is the Tunthem dry. After a short interval ga-hver, an assemblage of springs the noise recommenced, steam the most extraordinary, perhaps, rushed forth, and boiling water in the whole world. A rock followed. We observed many (wacke?) rises from the bog, repetitions of this phenomenon; about twenty feet, and is about and the intervals were scarcely fifty yards in length, the breadth two minutes. It may be easily not being considerable. This explained in the same manner seems formerly to have been a as that of ordinary intermittent hillock, one side of which remains springs, connecting such an ap- covered with grass while the other paratus as is supposed to belong has been worn away, or perhaps to them, with one in which steam destroyed at the time when the may be brought into action in hot water burst forth. Along the order to force the water upwards. face of the rock are arranged no Upon part of the mound or dome fewer than sixteen springs, all of mentioned above, and extending them boiling furiously, and some a little way beyond, a hut was of them throwing the water to a constructed the entrance to which considerable height. One of them was by a long, narrow, and low however deserves particular nopassage. The heat of the earth tice. On approaching this place occasioned by the hot water was we observed a high jet of water, here confined, so that the tempe- near one extremity of the rock. rature of the air was 730. No use Suddenly thisjet disappeared, and was made of this hut except for another, thicker, but not so high the drying of clothes. It is sin- rose within a very short distance gular that the people have not of it.
of it. At first we supposed that contrived the means of heating a piece of the rock had given way,