Iceland

Iceland: Eyjafjörður and Laufás Museum

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According to Wikipedia, Eyjafjörður is the longest fjord in Iceland, other sources say that it is the longest one in northern Iceland. One thing is sure, this fjord is gorgeous:

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With Akureyri at its end:

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And with small towns on both sides:

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One of its famous tourist attraction is this weird looking village, called Laufas:

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The heritage site Laufas is mentioned in historical records soon after the settlement of Iceland (874-930) being a renowned church site and chieftain’s residence. The existing church was built in 1865. The old rectory at Laufas is considered to be the prototype of the Icelandic architecture (many gables side by side), but much larger than most other such complexes.  Usually, between 20 and 30 people lived here.

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The houses you see here are called turfhouses.

Icelandic turf houses were the product of a difficult climate, offering superior insulation compared to buildings solely made of wood or stone, and the relative difficulty in obtaining other construction materials in sufficient quantities.

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30% of Iceland was forested when it was settled, mostly with birch. Oak was the preferred timber for building Norse halls in Scandinavia, but native birch had to serve as the primary framing material on the remote island. However, Iceland did have a large amount of turf that was suitable for construction. Some structures in Norway had turf roofs, so the notion of using this as a building material was not alien to many settlers.

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An interesting fact about Iceland:
Why aren’t there any trees in Iceland?
Ancient Icelandic writings from the 12th century tell how the settlers three centuries earlier found a country that was covered with trees from mountain to shore. The fact that they mention this point suggests that trees were already becoming scarcer then. Over the centuries they were chopped down for timber and firewood, while grazing sheep, harsh winters and ash from volcanic eruptions caused erosion that prevented trees from taking root. Reforestation work began early this century and although there is still only one proper forest in the country (Hallormstadaskógur in the east), Iceland today plants more trees per head of population than any other nation in the world (around four million a year, or 16 for every man, woman and child.)

(http://midatlantic.icelandair.com/destination/iceland-facts/)

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2 Comments

  1. Chandra & Mark
    August 20, 2016 at 8:28 pm — Reply

    Wow those houses are so cool!

  2. Bozena Stoch
    August 21, 2016 at 10:21 am — Reply

    Bardzo ciekawe domy!

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